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What is Business Management?

A business manager is a professional who works for an organization in either the for-profit or non-profit sector. Managers may also work for government agencies. No matter their industry or organization, a business manager is tasked with maintaining budgets, organizing inventories, and achieving maximum efficiency. They are often required to manage employees by writing work schedules, maintaining payroll budgets, and motivating their team.

There are often multiple layers of management in a given company or organization. In a single retail location, there may be several managers who run the day-to-day operations who then answer to a general manager who oversees the store as a whole. Then there may be regional managers who answer to top management at corporate headquarters.

Every manager at any level is responsible for the team they lead. Whether that is a front-line manager who manages a small IT department, a regional manager who oversees multiple offices or operations, or a manager at corporate headquarters who oversees nationwide operations, they all must answer for every aspect of the team(s) they manage.

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Business Management Education in Hawaii

Hawaii's business community is a rich and diverse landscape that far exceeds lei production and fancy resorts. Their top industries include real estate rentals and leasing services, tourism related services, business services, and construction. The island state is also heavily involved in agriculture, shipping, finance, and more.

With such a wide range of business management needs, it's no wonder that the state's colleges and universities have built strong business administration schools to support the state. Students in Hawaii's public and private schools are provided the very best opportunities to learn and thrive in the economy. In fact, they are vital to the state's long-term success.

However, it's impossible to deny that Hawaii is still rather small in terms of landmass, population, and even the number of colleges and universities. That does not deter its citizens, however. Since the state is part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), students have access to affordable educational opportunities on the mainland. Qualifying students can work on their bachelor’s degrees in public colleges and universities at schools such as Berkeley, University of Washington, Western Oregon University, University of Colorado, and any public institution in the western states. Though travel expenses are a consideration, students can attend those public universities at in-state tuition rates.

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Hawaiian students can also seek out business management degrees online. Without having to move away from paradise, they can virtually attend business schools in snowy Chicago, landlocked Iowa, or elsewhere. It may even be possible to find online business management degree programs that support the WUE tuition program. Since each school and program has different stipulations for the WUE, it's vital that students investigate how the WUE program is applied. If they choose, Hawaii's online students can surely fit in a full or part-time job where they can begin to apply their business management knowledge and skills.

Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

Launching a career with an associate business management degree is a terrific idea. Not only are students steeped in the fundamentals of business management, but they also complete the core requirements for a full bachelor’s degree. All of this comes at a discount relative to larger four-year colleges and universities. Furthermore, since community colleges tend to be smaller than their four-year counterparts, associate degree students enjoy smaller class sizes and more favorable student-to-faculty ratios.

With an associate business management degree, students can surely land an entry-level position with a Hawaiian company. Many larger firms also have management training programs that love to take students who are already knowledgeable in areas such as accounting, management, and business communications. Later on, those with an associate degree can use their community college transcripts to enroll in a four-year college or university. If they've accrued experience in management, they can then make more informed decisions as to the course of their remaining education.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

A four-year bachelor’s business management degree is a terrific way to launch a business career in Hawaii. Depending on their school's program, students can often choose between degrees in subjects such as human resources management, insurance, finance, supply chain management, or management. Each of these major concentration areas can help a student start a career with an entry-level position in business management.

Even students who prefer to major in a field such as information technology, engineering, or mathematics may benefit from a minor degree concentration in a business field. That's because they are highly likely to work in a business environment and they may eventually be promoted into a management position. Those who have an academic background in business management are sure to have an edge when it comes to hiring and promotions. Further, an undergraduate minor or major in business management is sure to help any professional apply for and eventually enroll in an MBA program.

Master's Degree in Business Management (MS or MC)

An MBA is the gold standard for business excellence. When a student earns a master’s business management degree (MBA), they prove to the business community that they are experts in the field of business management. Though the degree only takes around two years for full-time students, the coursework is intensive and thorough.

During the first year of a typical MBA degree program, students immerse themselves in an overview of business coursework. Their course choices are structured to enable a broad-based education in business fundamentals. However, the second year of an MBA allows students to immerse themselves in the concentration they choose. Business management students might focus on a specific area such as information technology, supply chain management, healthcare administration, marketing, or management. Each program is sure to have their own twist on each concentration area, so students should investigate course offerings prior to enrollment.

PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

In the past, businesses didn't seek out PhD holders quite like they do today. The degree was often seen as too intellectual and not focused enough on the bottom line of business. However, as technology has dominated the business community, a PhD is increasingly valued. However, doctorate degree candidates should be careful to focus their coursework and research on topics that are deemed valuable by the business management community.

For instance, a PhD who specializes in a data science may be especially valuable to those in finance, economics, or even marketing. They may even be hired specifically to conduct research into big data or to discover new trends in the market. This degree is also valuable for those in supply chain management. These business management professionals may not be what we typically think when we think of a manager, but they are nevertheless involved in management, if not day-to-day administration of business operations.

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Become a Business Manager in Hawaii

For those who wish to become business management professionals in Hawaii, there are many different options available. Since business management isn't the sort of career that requires any specific degree, some may start working in management straight out of high school and then spend their time working up the corporate ladder rather than attending college.

Along the way, those who choose this non-academic route to success may still wish to pursue academic training. Certain skills, such as accounting for instance, are often best learned in a formal academic environment that only a college or university can provide. However, those who are working full-time may prefer to take accounting courses online. Professionals may also want to learn more about management from an academic standpoint so that their real-world experience can be informed by what academics have discovered through rigorous research and study. For those who decide to take outside coursework, it may be valuable to earn a certificate along the way. This way, they can add a bona fide credential to their resume rather than a random string of courses. Business managers like to see a record of completion and success.

Others may prefer to pursue an associate or bachelor’s business management degree from a Hawaiian college or university. Either degree will look terrific on a resume, especially the bachelor’s business management degree. This is because a full bachelor’s business degree indicates four years of dedicated study. A four-year business management degree also allows students the opportunity to earn a well-rounded education that includes coursework in other fields, including a minor concentration. Some management students may choose a minor concentration, such as accounting, but it can also be useful to study economics, computer science, statistics, sociology, or information technology, among many other possible options.

Those who opt for a four-year degree can also complete internships along the way. An internship will give students a sense of what life is like in the trenches of business management. These experiential learning courses can also help students hone their long-term goals while also introducing them to a business network.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

  • Sales Manager:
    These management professionals generally have spent several years in the field selling products for their firm. They then move into management, where they are rewarded based on how well their team performs. These managers need to be strong leaders and effective motivators so that their sales team is able to close the sales they need to make quotas.
  • Financial Analyst:
    This position is often the first stop on the way to a career in corporate finance. Analysts enter a corporate finance firm for a two-year intensive program where they crunch numbers around the clock. At the end of their tenure, financial analysts in this sector typically enroll in an MBA program and then re-enter the industry at the associate level.
  • Account Manager:
    These management professionals are tasked with managing accounts for their firm. They act as a liaison between the client and the firm. In advertising, they might communicate the client's needs to the creative teams. In software sales, they may field questions from clients and make sure that they everything is working well.
  • Operations Manager:
    These professionals work for a variety of firms and monitor the operations of the firm. In a manufacturing facility, for instance, they might make sure that all of the assembly machinery is operational and stocked with any supplies it needs. They also seek to maximize efficiency in the company through improving various protocols, upgrading technology, and other efforts.

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  • Benefits Specialist:
    Human resources departments perform many functions vital to the operation of a firm. They oversee and schedule training sessions, help with hiring, and even help with terminations. The benefits specialists help the department by finding the best benefits packages for their firm's employees. Depending on the firm, these benefits packages can include healthcare benefits, corporate vehicles, stock option plans, and even bonuses.
  • Regional Manager, Services Company:
    These management professionals typically oversee multiple locations in a larger area. Depending on the number of locations a company has, the region can be a group of states or just one city that is saturated with locations. These managers make sure their locations are operating up to expected quotas and they then report to the management above them, often at the corporate level.
  • Management Information System Specialist:
    This is the perfect position for professionals who both love business and technology. MIS workers analyze their firm's business needs and then seek technology solutions for them. They are effectively the bridge between IT and the wider business world. Thus, they need to have communication skills that enable them to speak to both sides of the equation. With enough tenure, these professionals may end up as CIO or CTO of their company.
  • Project Manager:
    These professionals typically work with consulting firms. They deploy teams of accountants, technology wizards, and more to address specific issues their client faces. Thus, they need to be able to act as a liaison between the consulting team and the client. They are often called to organize other parts of a project such as billing, budgeting, and even travel concerns.

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