Published on June 7, 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 Illinois.

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What is Operations Management?

Operations management is a crucial aspect of any business, ensuring that resources are efficiently used to meet the organization's goals and objectives. In Illinois, operations management roles are an integral part of many industries including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, there were an estimated 678,790 management positions in Illinois at an annual median wage of $109,090. Operations managers play an essential role in overseeing production of goods and services while monitoring budgets to maximize efficiency in processes.

Illinois offers operations managers an abundance of employment opportunities across a range of industries such as supply chain management and manufacturing. Furthermore, with technology's increasing prominence in operations management roles, there may be opportunities for those with expertise in data analytics, technology integration, or process optimization to contribute to operations management teams.

Operations management in Illinois offers a promising career path for individuals interested in overseeing processes and maximizing efficiency within organizations. With a strong foundation in business acumen, problem-solving skills, and a keen eye for detail, operations managers can play a critical role in driving success for their employers.


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Online Operations Management Education in Illinois

An operations manager is the backbone of any organization, responsible for overseeing the seamless functioning of various operational activities. They play a key role in streamlining processes, managing resources efficiently, and ensuring optimal productivity levels. From supply chain management to quality control, an operations manager must possess strong leadership skills and strategic thinking abilities to drive the success of the business.

One crucial aspect of an operations manager's role involves identifying bottlenecks in operations and implementing solutions to enhance efficiency. They are constantly analyzing data and monitoring performance metrics to make informed decisions that lead to improved processes. Moreover, excellent communication skills are vital for an operations manager as they often collaborate with different teams across the organization to align goals and ensure smooth coordination.

In today's fast-paced business environment, being adaptable and solutions-oriented are essential characteristics for an operations manager. They must be able to anticipate challenges, think proactively, and implement agile strategies to address evolving market demands effectively. The ability to multitask and prioritize tasks while maintaining a keen eye on detail sets apart a successful operations manager who can navigate complex operational landscapes with finesse.

Online Associate Degree in Operations Management (AS)

An associate degree in operations management provides you with the foundational knowledge in the principles of operations such as supply chain management, project management, and quality control. These degrees typically take two years to complete and can serve as a steppingstone toward a bachelor’s degree or prepare for entry-level positions in the field.

Moreover, an associate degree in operations management may offer practical experience through internships and real-world projects. This hands-on learning approach allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to actual business scenarios, preparing them for the challenges they may face in their careers. Additionally, these programs emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills, essential qualities for effective operations managers who need to make quick decisions and troubleshoot issues in fast-paced environments.

Online Bachelors Degree in Operations Management (BS)

Earning a bachelor’s degree in operations management opens doors of opportunity for those intrigued by managing business operations. These specialized programs equip students with the knowledge and abilities required to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and lead organizations toward success. From supply chain management to quality control systems management, graduates will be well equipped for any challenges associated with overseeing complex operational systems.

Operations management stands out from its counterparts due to its focus on strategic decision-making and problem solving. Through coursework in project management and lean production techniques, students gain the skills needed to analyze data, optimize workflows, make informed decisions that impact an organization's overall performance, and make strategic decisions with precision in mind. They study business analytics, big data, revenue management, operations strategy, business intelligence, information systems management, and more. Graduates leave these programs equipped to excel across numerous industries where efficiency and precision are valued equally.

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Online Masters Degree in Operations Management (MS)

With global supply chains becoming more complex and the demand for efficient business operations increasing, pursuing a master's in operations management may be an advantageous move for aspiring professionals in this field. These specialized degrees equip individuals with advanced techniques for optimizing processes, managing resources effectively, and increasing overall efficiency within organizations - typically covering topics like supply chain management, quality control, project management, and strategic planning in its curriculum.

Acquiring a Master of Operations Management will not only broaden one's knowledge, but it will also open multiple career possibilities across industries. Graduates are equipped to streamline operations, increase productivity, and drive innovation within companies. Furthermore, its focus on data analysis and technology integration equips graduates to tackle real-world challenges as they adapt rapidly changing business landscapes. By investing in this advanced degree, individuals can stand out as valuable assets on today's job market as companies prioritize operational excellence for sustainable growth.

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Online PhD Degree in Operations Management (PhD)

Embarking on a journey toward a PhD in operations management is a deep dive into the intricate web of strategies and processes that drive efficient business operations. These advanced degrees equip individuals with specialized knowledge in optimizing productivity, enhancing quality control, and streamlining supply chains. Beyond the theoretical framework lies a realm where real-world applications intersect with innovative solutions to complex operational challenges.

Those pursuing a PhD in operations management often find themselves at the forefront of research that not only shapes industry practices but also contributes significantly to organizational success. From the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to the development of sustainable practices, these scholars play a pivotal role in driving continuous improvement within various sectors. Ultimately, obtaining a PhD in operations management opens doors to leadership positions where one can steer businesses towards heightened efficiency and competitive advantage through informed decision-making rooted in data-driven insights.

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Online Operations Management Certifications

Operations management certifications are essential for professionals looking to enhance their skills and advance in their career opportunities. Certifications such as the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) or the Six Sigma Green Belt demonstrate expertise in critical areas of operations management. These credentials not only validate one's knowledge but also open opportunities for higher-paying jobs and increased responsibilities within organizations.

Moreover, obtaining a certification in operations management showcases a commitment to continuous improvement and staying updated with industry best practices. It equips individuals with the tools and techniques needed to optimize processes, reduce costs, and boost efficiency within a company. As businesses evolve and become more complex, certified operations managers are sought after for their ability to drive innovation, streamline operations, and deliver results that contribute to overall organizational success.

Become an Operations Manager in Illinois

Operations managers play a crucial role in overseeing and optimizing the day-to-day operations of a company, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Here are some steps you can take to become an operations manager in Illinois.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

    Employers typically prefer candidates who hold a bachelor's degree in business administration, management, or another related field, which will equip you with a solid knowledge base on business principles and management strategies that will ensure success in this role.

  • Step 2: Gain Relevant Work Experience

    To become an operations manager, you will require many years of experience in related fields such as operations management, supply chain management, or project management. Consider beginning in entry-level positions before progressing toward more senior ones for optimal experience acquisition.

  • Step 3: Develop Strong Leadership Skills

    Operations managers are charged with overseeing a team of employees and making sure everyone works toward a common goal. Mastering effective communication, problem-solving, and decision making abilities will enable you to succeed in this position.

  • Step 4: Consider Obtaining a Certification

    Certification in operations management may not always be necessary, but earning them can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field. Organizations like the Association for Operations Management (APICS) offer certifications, which will increase your qualifications as an operations manager and make you a more attractive candidate for employment opportunities.

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

With a bachelor's in operations management, the career possibilities are diverse and exciting. Graduates of these programs are equipped with the skills to effectively manage processes, resources, and employees within an organization. Many alumni go on to pursue careers as operations managers, overseeing production planning, quality control, and supply chain management.

In addition to traditional managerial roles, individuals with a background in operations management can also explore opportunities in consulting firms or start their own business ventures. The analytical and problem-solving skills gained through these degree programs make graduates valuable assets in various industries ranging from manufacturing to healthcare. Ultimately, a bachelor's in operations management opens the door to a dynamic and challenging field where success is driven by efficiency and strategic thinking.

Potential Careers for Operations Management Graduates

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers are accountable for overseeing every step in the supply chain process, from raw material sourcing to delivery of finished products to customers. Their focus should be to increase efficiency while simultaneously cutting costs and guaranteeing timely deliveries of goods to their target markets.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven experience in supply chain management, preferably in a managerial role
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and negotiation abilities
  • Proficiency in supply chain management software and tools
  • Knowledge of industry best practices and trends in supply chain management

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for logisticians in the US in 2022 was $77,520
  • The mean annual wage for logisticians in Illinois is $71,180
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Operations Analyst

Operations analysts play an essential role in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations. By conducting data analyses, identifying trends, and making strategic recommendations - they help optimize processes while driving continuous improvement. They create reports, forecast forecasts, monitor key performance indicators to support decision making across an organizational levels, and support decision making strategies.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, finance, or a related field
  • Proven experience in operations analysis or a similar role
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to interpret data and draw meaningful conclusions
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Proficiency in data analysis tools and software
  • Attention to detail and a strong problem-solving mindset

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for operations research analysts in the US in 2022 was $85,720
  • The mean annual wage for operations research analysts in Illinois is $99,480

Chief Executive

A chief executive is the highest-ranking executive within an organization, responsible for providing strategic direction to ensure overall company success and growth. They must make major corporate decisions while effectively managing resources while representing it before external stakeholders.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Proven experience as a chief executive or in a similar leadership role
  • Strong understanding of business operations, financial management, and corporate governance
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and decision-making skills
  • Ability to inspire and motivate a diverse team towards achieving common goals
  • Strategic thinker with a track record of driving organizational growth and profitability
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in business administration or a related field (MBA preferred)

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 Illinois is $268,560

Facilities Manager

Facilities managers are accountable for overseeing the care and upkeep of a company's facilities - such as buildings, grounds, equipment, and utilities - to support organizational operations. Their duties involve keeping these spaces clean, safe, and well-kept so are a benefit to organizational operations.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in facilities management, engineering, business administration, or a related field
  • Proven experience in facilities management or a related role
  • Strong knowledge of building systems, codes, and regulations
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with internal stakeholders and external vendors
  • Problem-solving skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Certification in facilities management or a related field is a plus

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for administrative services and facilities managers in the US in 2022 was $101,870
  • The mean annual wage for facilities managers in Illinois is $100,930

Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Manager

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers play a vital role in the operation of supply chains. Their main responsibilities involve overseeing the efficient movement of goods from point A to B at an economical cost. One unique aspect of their role lies in adapting quickly to emerging trends and technologies in logistics - such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics - that impact how goods are transported and stored. This requires staying ahead of the curve for maximum performance from transportation functions.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in logistics, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven experience in transportation, storage, or distribution management
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and leadership abilities
  • Knowledge of transportation regulations and industry best practices

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers in the US in 2022 was $ 108,910
  • The mean annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers in Illinois is $109,700

Purchasing Manager

The role of the purchasing manager in an organization involves overseeing its procurement process and overseeing vendor relationships to ensure it obtains high-quality goods at cost-effective prices. To be effective in this role, one requires strategic thinking skills, negotiation expertise, and a firm grasp on supply chain management.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven experience in procurement, sourcing, or supply chain management
  • Strong negotiation skills and ability to build effective vendor relationships
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Knowledge of purchasing software and tools
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents in the US in 2022 was $75,120
  • The mean annual wage for purchasing managers in Illinois is $146,070

Sales Manager

Sales managers play an intricate role within any organization's salesforce and require multiple skills to be effective. Aside from closing deals, a successful sales manager needs to excel in strategic planning, team leadership, and data analysis. They will oversee sales teams and set clear goals for long-term revenue growth strategies, helping the company reach organizational objectives.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing, or a related field
  • Proven experience in sales management, with a track record of achieving sales targets
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to motivate and inspire a team
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Analytical mindset with the ability to interpret sales data and make data-driven decisions
  • Knowledge of CRM software and sales tools
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and adapt to changing priorities

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 Illinois is $151,100
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