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What is Business Management?

Business management professionals are typically employed by companies, agencies, or organizations. They are often responsible for supervising employees and overseeing various essential activities that must be performed. Business managers are an essential component of every industry, which means that employment options tend to be plentiful and available in a wide variety of fields. As a result, professionals of this type can generally find work that aligns well with their personal interests and/or passions.

Because business management professionals can hold many different types of positions across numerous industries, daily tasks, expectations, and responsibilities can vary wildly. Employer size and preference are often significant factors impacting job descriptions, with specifics frequently differing from company to company. Some of the most common responsibilities, regardless of job title, include hiring, training, and evaluating workers. These professionals also often develop and implement budgets, prepare fiscal reports, and verify policy compliance to ensure the financial goals of their employers are being met. Additionally, they may confirm that employees have easy access to all the resources they need to be productive.

To ensure graduates are prepared for the majority of work environments, most academic programs focus instruction on developing important and relevant skills that may be applicable to many different settings. Key examples include analytics, leadership, and research.

While these skills can be useful in almost any profession, they are particularly helpful when pursuing careers in:

  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Global Business
  • Entrepreneurship

The most successful business management professionals possess great interpersonal, speaking, writing, communication, customer-service, and leadership skills. Good candidates may also be good at and enjoy completing tasks and solving problems.

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Business Management Education in Indiana

Are you considering the possibility of enrolling in a business management degree program in Indiana? As some of the most popular degrees in the United States, business-related majors can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. The business field is particularly versatile field and graduates generally have little-to-no difficulty finding jobs.

While colleges and universities structure business management programs differently, most focus on providing students with opportunities to develop relevant and easily transferrable skills related to business, management, finance, leadership, and marketing. This tends to make degrees of this kind highly valuable, as the resulting knowledge and abilities can be applied to almost any workplace.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in management occupations is expected to increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030. This change is expected to account for the addition of approximately 906,800 new positions in the field. Some industries are likely to grow more than others during this time. Employment opportunities in computer and information systems, finance, lodging, and social and community service industries are particularly promising, with job availability increasing much faster than other occupations. Financial managers can expect to see 17% job growth, while medical and health service managers can anticipate a 32% increase. Business and financial occupations are also expected to grow 8% by 2030, with logisticians, market research analysts, financial examiners, event planners, and fundraisers seeing the largest gains.

Overall, job outlook for business management professions is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for qualified managers capable of overseeing business operations will remain as new organizations are formed and existing ones continue to expand.

Professional and business services make up the fourth largest industry in Indiana. These account for $31.7 billion in revenue each year. Notably, however, most of the sectors in the state benefit from employing highly trained and knowledgeable business professionals. Further, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana employed 128,580 business and financial operations workers in May of 2020. The annual mean wage for these positions in the same year was $68,590, which is higher than the national median.

There is a clear and persistent need for business management professionals in Indiana. As a result, it’s generally easy to find colleges and universities offering relevant academic programs in the field. It is worth noting that local institutions tend to provide the most applicable instruction for those who intend to work in the state. While online learning makes it possible to earn a degree anywhere in the nation, schools in Indiana will be more familiar with the local regulations and employer needs. In fact, many have pre-established relationships with companies and organizations in the area that can lead to more employment opportunities for graduates.

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The majority of business management professionals possess bachelor’s degrees. While job requirements can vary, this is frequently the minimum education requirement set by employers in the field and it is generally sufficient to qualify graduates for entry-level employment. There are, however, academic programs available at every level - associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral. Each degree program has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to base your final decision on your ultimate academic and career goals.

Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

Associate degrees in business management are most appropriate for those seeking entry-level administrative positions. These programs typically provide strong foundational knowledge related to business. This type of degree is generally sufficient to qualify graduates for employment as administrative assistants, executive assistants, food service managers, bookkeepers, office managers, human resources employees, and office clerks.

It’s important to note, however, that an associate degree alone does not prepare graduates for advancement opportunities. Most professionals involved in the business field opt to earn bachelor’s degrees. While an associate degree can get your foot in the door, additional education will be necessary for those seeking promotions or higher-paying employment. Still, associate degrees can be used to jumpstart academic careers. In fact, it’s fairly common for students to attend a less-expensive community college for two years and then transfer the credits earned to a bachelor’s degree program later.

Most associate degrees in business management consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Every program is different, but most place instructional focus on general education classes and the introduction of various business-related topics such as economics, accounting, and communication.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most management occupations require candidates to have bachelor’s degrees. Graduates from business management bachelor’s programs are generally qualified for a wide variety of entry-level employment opportunities such as work as a financial analyst, human resource specialist, or management consultant. Additional education and/or experience in the workplace is usually necessary to achieve more advanced, supervisory positions.

Most bachelor degree programs in business management consist of 120 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Every curriculum is different, but most are designed to help students develop various easily transferrable that employers will value in almost any setting.

Many graduates do choose to pursue master’s degrees after earning bachelor’s degrees. Doing this can be highly beneficial, especially to those who want to promote and earn higher salaries. Most graduate schools expect prospective students to have a minimum grade point average and to provide GRE scores.

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

Master’s degrees in business management are not necessary for many employment opportunities in the field but are beneficial for those interested in attaining high-level leadership positions. Programs are designed to develop experts in management and leadership, making graduates incredibly valuable to potential employers. Individuals with master’s degrees are also more competitive in the job market, as they are qualified to take on supervisory roles with more responsibilities. Professionals with graduate degrees tend to promote faster and earn higher salaries.

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Program lengths can vary, but many master’s degrees in business management range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework. Full-time students generally complete requirements within one to one-and-a-half years and student learning focuses on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform work as training and development managers, top executives, public relations and fundraising managers, human resource managers, information technology managers, financial managers, industrial production managers, and management analysts.

Alternatively, prospective students can choose to pursue master’s degrees in business administration (MBA). Both options will qualify graduates for roles as supervisors, but MBA programs place greater emphasis on the technical aspects of planning and execution.

PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

A doctoral degree is the highest level of education available in the field. Prospective students can choose to pursue either a PhD in business or a doctorate in business administration (DBA). Both of these options consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. In both cases, students will need to complete a significant amount of independent research and write dissertations before graduating.

Those interested in research and independent study may find the PhD in business most useful. Graduates typically find employment in academia as professors of business or take on research-intensive jobs.

A DBA, on the other hand, is better suited for professionals interested in obtaining upper management and executive positions at companies or organizations. These programs are meant to enhance theoretical knowledge related to business and business management.

Both types of doctoral degree have the potential of leading to some of the best employment opportunities in the business field. Graduates often find jobs as top executives, postsecondary business professors, postsecondary education administrators, and economists.

Become a Business Manager in Indiana

Aspiring business management professionals in Indiana should focus on identifying their ultimate career goals first. Having a clear path in mind will ensure that you enroll in the most appropriate academic program for your intended profession.

The field, however, is quite fluid. Because the knowledge and skills attained from this type of degree can be applied to many different industries, it’s generally easy to adjust course as needed. This is particularly helpful to those exploring various facets of business for the first time. Additionally, most colleges and universities give students opportunities to select concentrations that can focus their instruction on key subjects even further.

Some of the most common options include:

  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Human Resources
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Marketing
  • Global Business
  • Entrepreneurship

After obtaining the necessary degree(s), many business management professionals choose to pursue one or more certifications and/or licensures. While the profession rarely calls for formal licensure, obtaining credentials can drastically improve job and salary potential. Not only does being certified in a specific area make you more competitive, but it allows you to further specialize in areas of interest. It’s worth noting, however, that some employers do require candidates earn particular certifications prior to being hired.

One of the most popular credentials for business management professionals is the certified business manager (CBM) designation. The certification is offered through various institutions with specialized accreditation, as well as some MBA programs. Those who obtain this optional certification are perceived as possessing elite operational management skills that can be applied to most work settings.

Also, if you intend to start your own business in Indiana, there are several requirements that must be met. Once you have established a good business idea, you will need to pick a company name, develop a comprehensive business plan, secure funding, and decide on a legal entity status. While Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are common in the state, owners can also create sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Each option has slightly different regulations, which can impact the process of registering your business in Indiana. You will also need to acquire federal and tax identification number and obtain the necessary licenses and permits.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

After earning a business management degree in Indiana, you will be qualified to apply for a wide variety of positions. Salaries and responsibilities will vary for all options.

  • Project Manager
    Project managers are responsible for overseeing projects assigned to them by the organizations they work for. This typically entails generating goals and timelines for completion, as well as dispensing important information to team members involved in the process. They may also manage related budgets and resources and coordinate, document, and assign tasks to others as needed. According to PayScale, project managers make an average base salary of $75,000 per year.
  • Administrative Assistant
    Administrative assistants are responsible for helping other professionals at the companies where they work. Daily obligations vary, but they typically entail completing personal tasks for individuals, running errands, and fulfilling other tasks as assigned. These professionals must be able to perform a wide variety of secretarial duties including accounting, data entry, billing, inventory, correspondence, and record-keeping. According to PayScale, administrative assistants make an average base hourly rate of $16.25, or approximately $40,150 per year.

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  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers are responsible for creating advertising or merchandising sales campaigns for their company or client companies. To achieve this, they often collaborate with product managers, monitor program performance, and develop market research studies. Depending on their positions, these professionals may be responsible for a single product, a complete brand, or an entire company. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,600 per year.
  • Human Resources Manager
    Human resources managers are responsible for overseeing employee policies, procedures, and compliance regulations for the companies and organizations they work for. This generally entails verifying that all employment activities follow local, state, and federal laws, as well as managing employee benefits and initiative programs. According to PayScale, human resources managers make an average base salary of $68,750 per year.
  • Customer Service Associate
    Customer service associates are responsible for assisting customers with issues and inquiries. They are often the first point on contact for the companies or organizations they work for, providing troubleshooting and technical assistance over the phone and in person. According to PayScale, customer service associates make an average base hourly rate of $12.08, or approximately $42,150 per year.
  • Financial Analyst
    Financial analysts are responsible for studying marketplace trends, demographics, and other economic factors for corporations and businesses. This generally requires maintaining a thorough understanding of company resource investments and projecting how these investments will impact growth over time. These professionals often offer their employers advice regarding bonds and splitting stocks based on their findings. According to PayScale, financial analysts make an average base salary of $61,950 per year.
  • Director of Operations
    Directors of operations are responsible for managing employee productivity at their organization. They achieve this by making necessary purchases to maintain production, as well as coordinating closely with vendors and sellers. These professionals also regularly utilize good negotiation skills. According to PayScale, directors of operations make an average base salary of $93,000 per year.

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