Published on June 6, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for operations management in California.

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What is Operations Management?


Operations management is a crucial aspect of any business and plays a significant role in its overall success. It involves planning, organizing, and coordinating the processes and resources required to produce goods or services effectively. In the state of California, operations management holds particular importance due to the sheer size and diversity of industries present.

California is well known for its vibrant economy, making it an ideal setting for businesses to flourish. California offers businesses from industries that span technology to entertainment, agriculture, and healthcare - an abundance of diverse business sectors that need operations managers - professionals tasked with overseeing all aspects of an operation such as supply chain management, inventory control, quality assurance, and production efficiency - so their demand remains consistently high.

Individuals seeking to pursue operations management as a career can pursue various educational paths. Universities and colleges throughout California offer both bachelor's and master's degree programs in operations management and related disciplines, such as business administration and industrial engineering, that equip students with the knowledge and skills required for effective operations management, as well as the ability to solve any complex issues that may arise during operations management.

In terms of employment opportunities, California offers a wide range of options for operations managers. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, California employed approximately 207,430 operations research analysts, 50,000 industrial production managers, and 12,220 logisticians. These numbers demonstrate the significant demand for professionals with expertise in operations management across different industries.

 

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Online Operations Management Education in California


Operations managers' primary role is to develop and implement operational strategies and procedures that maximize efficiency and productivity including analyzing current processes, identifying areas for improvement, and making changes that streamline operations. They are also accountable for overseeing resources such as budgeting, scheduling, and staffing to ensure everything aligns with company goals and objectives.

Operations managers must not only oversee daily operations but also keep an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs), or metrics, that track organizational success and efficiency. This requires gathering data, generating reports, interpreting them appropriately, and communicating findings to all relevant parties. By regularly tracking KPIs, an operations manager can identify any bottlenecks and take necessary actions to address them.

An essential aspect of an operations manager's role is leading and overseeing their team. They must hire, train, and develop employees, as well as providing support and guidance so that everyone works toward similar goals. Effective leadership is vital in motivating employees while encouraging teamwork and creating an enjoyable working environment.

Online Associate Degree in Operations Management (AS)

If you’re hoping to quickly start a career in the field of operations management, an associate degree can be a crucial starting point. This degree equips you with foundational knowledge in business processes and prepares you for further academic pursuit or entry-level roles in the discipline.

An associate degree in operations management offers a comprehensive foundation in the principles and practices of managing business operations. With a focus on efficiency, quality, and productivity, these programs equip students with the skills to oversee production processes, logistics, inventory control, and supply chain management. Graduates are well-prepared for entry-level roles in diverse industries such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and healthcare.

Online Bachelors Degree in Operations Management (BS)

A bachelor’s degree in operations management equips you with a deeper understanding of the field and enhances your problem-solving skills. You'll engage in more complex projects and have the opportunity to specialize in areas like supply chain management or quality control.

With a focus on problem-solving and strategic decision-making, graduates of these programs are well-prepared to tackle the complex challenges of modern business operations. They are equipped with the ability to analyze data, implement process improvements, and drive organizational efficiencies. Additionally, an understanding of budgeting, resource allocation, business analytics, and project management further enhances their value within the competitive job market. As businesses continue to prioritize operational excellence as a key differentiator in today's global marketplace, professionals with expertise in operations management are poised for success in shaping the future of industry practices.

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Online Masters Degree in Operations Management (MS)

Earning a master's degree in operations management can open a world of opportunities for those interested in streamlining processes and optimizing efficiency in various industries. With coursework focused on supply chain management, business analytics, quality control, and strategic planning, students gain valuable skills to address real-world operational challenges. In today's fast-paced business environment, operations managers play a crucial role in driving organizational success through effective resource allocation and decision-making.

Furthermore, the growing importance of technology in operations management has significantly shaped the landscape of the profession. Understanding how to leverage data analytics, automation, and digital tools is essential for modern operations managers to stay ahead of the curve. A master's degree program provides an in-depth understanding of these technological advancements and equips individuals with the knowledge to implement innovative solutions that drive business performance. They may use this to advance their careers or start their own ventures through entrepreneurship. As businesses continue to strive for greater agility and responsiveness, professionals with expertise in operations management are increasingly sought after as instrumental leaders within their organizations.

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Online PhD Degree in Operations Management (PhD)

Earning a PhD in operations management is a transformative journey that equips individuals with advanced knowledge and skills to tackle the complex challenges of modern operations. These rigorous programs delve deep into cutting-edge research and analytical techniques, empowering students to contribute significantly to the field. With a focus on optimization, supply chain management, and process improvement, these programs cultivate thought leaders who can revolutionize the way organizations operate.

Moreover, pursuing a PhD in operations management opens doors to diverse career opportunities both within and beyond traditional academia. Graduates can explore roles in consulting, technology firms, healthcare systems, and government agencies where their expertise in optimizing processes and maximizing efficiency is highly sought after. As businesses continue to navigate globalization and technological advancements, a PhD in this field offers a unique advantage by fostering innovative problem-solving skills essential for shaping the future of operations across various industries.

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Online Operations Management Certifications

Operations management certifications are becoming increasingly valuable in today’s competitive job market. With businesses constantly seeking ways to optimize their operations, professionals with the right certifications can set themselves apart and demonstrate their expertise in this critical field. Certifications like Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) offer comprehensive training in various aspects of operations management including supply chain optimization, project planning, and inventory control.

These certifications not only enhance an individual’s knowledge but also validate their skills to potential employers. Moreover, they provide a structured approach to solving complex operational challenges and staying updated with industry best practices. As technology continues to transform the way businesses operate, obtaining these certifications can empower operations managers to navigate digital transformation effectively and drive innovation within their organizations.

Become an Operations Manager in California


Operations managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of a company and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. If you're interested in becoming an operations manager in California, here are some steps you can take to achieve your goal.

  • Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

    Although not always necessary to become an operations manager, having earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, operations management, or another related field will greatly improve your chances of securing one. Look for accredited universities or colleges in California offering appropriate programs.

  • Step 2: Gain Experience in Operations

    For an effective operations manager, having an in-depth knowledge of operational aspects is paramount. Look for opportunities to gain experience through internships, entry-level jobs, or volunteering opportunities where you can learn and implement operational strategies.

  • Step 3: Develop Leadership Skills

    As an operations manager, your primary responsibility will be leading and directing teams. You should hone your leadership abilities by accepting leadership roles on work or community-related projects; look for ways to manage teams efficiently while delegating tasks properly and communicating clearly with colleagues and subcontractors alike.

  • Step 4: Acquire Industry Knowledge

    No matter the industry you want to enter, it's essential that you gain a thorough knowledge of its specific operational requirements and challenges. Stay abreast of industry trends and attend relevant conferences, workshops, professional networks, associations, etc. to broaden your horizons and stay current.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Operations Management?


With a bachelor's in operations management, graduates have a vast array of career opportunities at their fingertips. One potential path is becoming an operations manager, responsible for overseeing the efficiency and productivity of an organization's processes. This role involves strategic planning, resource allocation, and continuous process improvement to ensure smooth operations across various functions within the company.

Furthermore, a bachelor's in this field can open doors to roles in supply chain management, logistics coordination, and quality control. Graduates may find themselves optimizing production schedules, managing inventory levels, and ensuring timely delivery of goods and services. They can also explore opportunities in project management or consulting, leveraging their expertise to streamline operations and drive organizational success across industries.

Ultimately, a degree in operations management equips individuals with the skills to become influential leaders who are adept at managing complex systems and driving operational excellence within organizations. Whether it's overseeing day-to-day operations or strategizing for long-term growth and sustainability, the possibilities with this degree are diverse and rewarding.

Potential Careers for Operations Management Graduates


Project Manager

A project manager will be responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing a wide range of projects from initiation to completion. They will be required to ensure that all projects are delivered on time, within scope and budget, while meeting quality standards and stakeholder expectations.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven working experience in project management
  • Excellent client-facing and internal communication skills
  • Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multi-tasking abilities
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and project management tools
  • Bachelor's Degree in a related field or equivalent work experience

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for project management specialists in the US in 2022 was $95,370
  • The mean annual wage for project management specialists in California is $119,130
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Sales Manager

A sales manager is the driving force behind a company's revenue generation efforts, overseeing a team of skilled sales professionals and orchestrating strategies to meet and exceed sales targets. This role goes beyond just supervision; it requires a deep understanding of market dynamics, customer needs, and competitor analysis. A successful sales manager not only sets ambitious goals but also equips their team with the resources and support needed to achieve them.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience as a sales manager or in a similar role
  • Strong leadership and motivational skills
  • Excellent communication and negotiation abilities
  • In-depth knowledge of sales strategies and market trends
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field (preferred)

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for sales managers in the US in 2022 was $130,600
  • The mean annual wage for sales managers in California is $148,920

Business Analyst

A business analyst is an essential role within an organization, acting as the bridge between IT and the business to analyze processes, gather requirements, and propose solutions. They play a crucial role in identifying business needs and translating them into IT system requirements to drive efficiency and improve productivity. Business analysts possess a unique skill set that includes problem-solving abilities, strong analytical skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with various stakeholders.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, economics, or a related field
  • Proven experience in data analysis and business process improvement
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Proficiency in using data analysis tools such as Excel, SQL, or other relevant software
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate with stakeholders across the organization

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for management analysts in the US in 2022 was $95,290
  • The mean annual wage for management analysts in California is $103,180
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General and Operations Manager

General and operations managers play a multifaceted and multidimensional role that can be applied across different industries. Not only are they charged with overseeing daily operations, but they are also essential in creating strategies to boost efficiency and productivity within an organization - their leadership plays an essential part in driving positive change for smooth running business operations.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field; Master’s degree preferred
  • Proven experience in a managerial or leadership role, preferably in a similar industry
  • Strong understanding of business operations and financial management
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and problem-solve in a fast-paced environment

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for general and operations managers in the US in 2022 was $122,860
  • The mean annual wage for general and operations managers in California is $148,270
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Computer and Information Systems Manager

A computer and information systems manager is responsible for overseeing the planning, implementation, and maintenance of an organization's computer systems and networks. This role requires a combination of technical expertise and managerial skills to ensure that the organization's technology infrastructure supports its operational needs.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field (Master's degree preferred)
  • Proven experience in IT management, including network administration, system design, and cybersecurity
  • Strong leadership and communication skills to effectively manage a team and collaborate with other departments
  • In-depth knowledge of current technology trends, industry best practices, and regulatory requirements
  • Certification in relevant areas such as CISSP, CompTIA Security+, or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) may be advantageous

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for computer and information systems managers in the US in 2022 was $164,070
  • The mean annual wage for computer and information systems managers in California is $215,130
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Chief Executive

A chief executive is accountable for providing overall strategic leadership and management of their organization, working in close cooperation with both board of directors and other senior executives in formulating policies, plans, and objectives that ensure its success. They oversee all operational activities efficiently while managing resources effectively - representing it to external stakeholders when necessary.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience as a senior executive or CEO in a similar organization
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to inspire and motivate teams toward achieving common goals
  • Excellent strategic planning and decision-making abilities
  • Financial acumen with experience in budgeting, financial analysis, and risk management
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to represent the organization effectively in various settings

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for chief executives in the US in 2022 was $246,440
  • The mean annual wage for chief executives in California is $275,040

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are accountable for overseeing all aspects of human resources within an organization such as recruiting, hiring, training, and developing employees; employee relations management; performance evaluation; and ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in human resources or related field; Master's degree preferred
  • SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification is a plus
  • 5+ years of experience in human resources management
  • Strong knowledge of employment laws and regulations
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for human resources managers in the US in 2022 was $130,000
  • The mean annual wage for human resources managers in California is $169,760
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