How to Become a Business Manager in Iowa

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What is Business Management?


Population-wise, Iowa is a small state, with only three million people living in the state. Even so, its residents work hard and bring billions of dollars into the state coffers each year.

Within the agriculture sector, they raise livestock, chicken, and beef cattle, as well as producing eggs. Food processing and manufacturing plants are also big employers, allowing residents to earn a good living and support other parts of the economy. Popcorn and cereal are also big employers in the state.

Business managers are involved in all of the work that these industries do each year. In fact, employment in management occupations was trending upward as of May, 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

The employment of general and operations managers stands at 122,000, an increase of 1.7% over previous estimates. Marketing managers had an employment increase of 3.3% in recent years; administrative services and facilities managers showed a 2.9% increase and public relations and fundraising managers showed a strong increase of 6.3%. However, advertising and promotions managers netted one of the largest increases at 25.1%. With increases in management this high, a business management major should be able to find a job soon after graduation.


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Business Management Education in Iowa


Managers are important because they decide the direction of entire companies. One of the most important business management skills is delegation. Skillful business managers know they need to focus on the most important tasks on their list. Therefore, they delegate many tasks to other employees.

From the smallest to the largest, here are the top ten industries in Iowa:

  • Transportation and warehousing ($6.0 billion)
  • Construction ($7.7 billion)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing/hunting ($8.5 billion)
  • Retail ($9.9 billion)
  • Wholesale trade ($11.4 billion)
  • Professional/business services ($12.7 billion)
  • Educational services, healthcare, and social assistance ($14.4 billion)
  • Real estate, rental, and leasing ($19.5 billion)
  • Finance and insurance ($25.9 billion)
  • Manufacturing ($33.6 billion)

The second most important skill of a business manager is communication. Aside from written and spoken language, business managers should become comfortable with top-down and bottom-up communication. This helps them to delegate tasks to those beneath them and direct requests to those in higher management positions.

Time management is another important skill of a business manager. They can only stretch themselves and employees time so far. They need to prioritize projects and tasks. And, finally, business managers should be gaining 21st century skills. These include agility and managing change.

As to the specific tasks a business manager might do, this depends on the industry in which they find themselves. A manager in agriculture is going to have a very different day than one in manufacturing or finance.

Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

Some of Iowa’s community colleges offer associate degrees in business management, which may be taught as part of a business administration degree. Students who meet admission requirements can graduate within 18 months to two years. However, it’s important to understand that an associate degree will likely not get you far in management. Most management positions require a bachelor’s degree or a lot of experience.

Even so, because an associate program of study in business, which may cover human resources management or management theory, does focus on business processes, they may be prepared to manage a small company without any further education. Students may also take accounting, organization and production, quantitative methods, purchasing, logistics, marketing, and business decision-making courses during their program, adding to their business skill.

After graduation, students may be able to enter positions such as operations manager or manager-trainee in either government or private positions.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BBM)

At this stage of their college careers, students who graduate from the best business management schools in Iowa may be more attractive to employers than those who have only completed an associate degree.

Undergraduate students at this level should be ready to move into more advanced classes such as accounting, business economics, statistics, management, marketing, entrepreneurship, organization and business communication, they may move into some of the following classes. If they choose to specialize, they may take courses such as investment in new opportunities, operations management, entertainment entrepreneurship, management theory and practice, and organizational behavior.

Depending on their learning experience, potential careers may include those in healthcare management, entrepreneurship, business analytics, B2B sales, non-profit leadership, human resources, event planning, property management, project management, and others.

Master's Degree in Business Management (MBM)

Graduates of a Master of Science in Management program from a college of business may look forward to working as tech consultants, academic sales managers, sub-contract managers, and sales development representatives, among other positions

Students who want a Master of Business Administration and a business management concentration to enhance their management education may find an appropriate degree wither within the state or choose to attend an MBA program in Applied Leadership and Decision-Making in nearby Wisconsin.

For students who are interested in focusing on one area of business management, concentrations can enhance their college experience and future prospects. These include management information systems and technology, real estate, international business, strategy, leadership and management, health and life sciences, law and finance, and many more.

PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

Earning a PhD degree in Business Administration can boost a graduate’s career, allowing them to become professors and teach in their specialization or general business courses.

A PhD student will gain exposure to empirical examination and knowledge creation practices in these high-level programs. After graduation, a doctoral or PhD degree holder may find a good fit for them in an academic career in one of several business schools in Iowa or nearby states.

Become a Business Manager in Iowa


There are no licensure requirements for business management professionals in Iowa. However, many businesses will require job candidates to have some form of certification, either in specific management techniques or with certain software. Business managers who are considering going through a certificate program are thinking of their professional futures as these recognitions make their resumes look even more attractive.

While business managers may have satisfied university requirements before graduation, they should also know their degrees may not be enough, on their own, for them to be hired. Certifications are coming into play more and more often these days.

Here are some options for business managers to consider earning.

  • Management and Strategy Institute’s Corporate Trainer Certified (CTC)
    These professionals may be the first that new employees meet as they are responsible for all training.
  • Global Association for Quality Management’s Business Management Professional Certification (BMP)
    Business managers who earn BMP certification will find that the certification helps them further develop their management skills. This program walks managers through decision-making and various management approaches.
  • MSI Project Management Certification (PM)
    Through this certification, project managers gain skills needed to lead projects efficiently and function as the leaders of a team. This certification is different because it doesn’t require those taking it to hold a college degree. Nor does it require previous experience.
  • MSI Certified Ethics Associate (CEA)
    This certification course gives managers a solid foundation on the ethical standards that are required in the business environment. Organizations that use ethics programs to guide managers may decrease their vulnerability, reduce potential fines, and improve their reputations. An ethics program may also have a positive effect on the commitment that employees make to their employer.
  • MSI Change Management Specialist (CMS)
    This certification teaches business managers how to implement change in the company environment by expanding buy-in and decreasing resistance.
  • MSI Executive Management Certified (EMC)
    Business managers who want to be effective leaders may find this certification fits their goals. It combines both leadership and management skills, which leads the manager to become more effective in their daily work.

Careers for Business Management Graduates


  • Sales Manager
    Sales managers are key in how well an organization does. Their knowledge, skills, and leadership may mean the difference between the organization’s success or failure. The sales manager is central to achieving an organization’s sales targets and their efforts are often the main way that companies generate revenue.
  • Financial Analyst
    This professional tracks their organization’s financial performance against a previously established plan and various market conditions. From these results, they may also develop a forecast.
  • Account Manager
    Some account managers may focus on making sales. They may also collect and analyze data or take care of client complaints. Other account managers may work as client advocates, teaming up with other departments to ensure that the client’s needs are being met.
  • Operations Manager
    An operations manager may analyze organizational processes and make improvements in weak areas. Overall, their goal is to improve efficiency, productivity, and quality.
  • Account Executive
    The account executive is responsible for creating business plans that enable their organization to reach goals and quotas. They manage the sales cycle from beginning to end. They also find new sales opportunities via networking. Once a new sales opportunity has been found, they ensure they are converted into long-term partnerships.
  • Regional Manager, Services Company

    Regional managers often visit the company’s stores located in a particular geographic area. This may be limited to one county, or it may be as large as several states, depending on the size of the company.

    The regional manager works with management staff to establish and reach performance objectives, and in evaluating and helping the location to optimize its operational performance.

  • Management Information System Specialist
    These professionals plan, direct, and/or coordinate activities in areas such as electronic data processing, systems analysis, computer programming, or information systems. An MIS specialist should be a skilled critical thinker and have excellent reading comprehension. They should also be able to monitor their performance and that of others in their team.
  • Project Manager
    Project management is broad enough that several tasks and different processes may fit within the description. In general, the PM oversees a project from beginning to end. They may also plan the project and create the schedule and timeline. They carry out each phase and manage the budget for the project. The PM may also act as the liaison between all stakeholders and troubleshoot processes that have gone wrong.
  • HR Manager

    A human resources department manager takes responsibility for planning and coordinating the administrative functions of a company. They may also oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new personnel as well as working closely with top company executives on strategic planning.

    Their efforts should put employees’ talents to the best possible use, plan and manage employee benefit programs, supervise specialists and support staffers, take care of staffing issues, and mediate disputes and offer direction on disciplinary procedures.

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