Published on June 11, 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 Iowa.

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What is Operations Management?


Operations management is a key aspect of any business, ensuring that processes run smoothly and efficiently to meet the organization's goals. In Iowa, operations management plays a crucial role in the state's economy, supporting a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and retail.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020 there were approximately 12,320 operations managers employed in Iowa. These professionals oversee production of goods and services, manage staff, monitor budgets, and ensure overall organizational efficiency within their organizations. Operations managers in Iowa work across several environments, from factories and warehouses to hospitals and office buildings. They are charged with overseeing processes to optimize productivity while fulfilling customer demands.

Iowa will experience an increasing need for operations managers over time as businesses expand and evolve, thanks to technology advancement and global competition. Skilled operations managers who can adapt quickly to ever-evolving environments will only become more valuable as time progresses.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in operations management in Iowa, there are several educational opportunities available to help you get started. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in operations management or related fields, providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this challenging and rewarding profession.

 

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Online Operations Management Education in Iowa


An operations manager is a crucial role in any organization, responsible for overseeing the production of goods and services. They are in charge of managing the day-to-day activities of a company to ensure smooth operations and efficient workflow.

Operations managers collaborate closely with department heads from production, sales, and finance to coordinate activities and achieve organizational goals. Their role typically involves decision-making processes, problem solving processes, and resolving any issues which may arise during operations. Aspiring operations managers typically require at least a bachelor's degree in business administration or related field. Some employers may prefer applicants with prior work experience in operations management roles.

Operation managers play an essential role in ensuring the smooth functioning of a company's operations and contributing to their success so, if you possess strong organizational and leadership abilities, pursuing a career as an operations manager could be just the thing for you.

Online Associate Degree in Operations Management (AS)

Earning an associate degree in operations management can unlock many doors for students seeking to break into the fast-paced field of supply chain and logistics. This foundational program equips students with essential inventory management, quality control, process improvement skills that set them on a path toward success in various industries. With an emphasis on practical knowledge and hands-on experience gained during these programs, graduates leave well prepared to excel as operations coordinator or production planners in entry-level roles.

An associate degree in operations management provides a firm foundation for further study or specialization. Students can utilize their foundational knowledge to pursue higher degrees like bachelor's and master's programs more quickly and increase their expertise while climbing the corporate ladder more swiftly. Its combination of theoretical principles with real world application equips graduates with tools needed for successfully managing modern business operations.

Online Bachelors Degree in Operations Management (BS)

Pursuing a bachelor's of operations management can provide access to many opportunities in Iowa. These degrees are designed to equip graduates with the skills needed to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and drive organizational success. Students will explore various aspects of operations management essential for businesses to operate smoothly; supply chain management, quality control, and project management are just a few areas covered during one of these programs.

One key advantage of studying operations management is the potential for career advancement. Graduates often land positions such as operations manager, logistics coordinator, or production supervisor. This is especially true for students who complete programs with a combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience gained via internships or practical projects that give students confidence in meeting real world challenges with ease and expertise. With industries continuing to adapt and transform due to changing market conditions, professionals with strong foundations in operations management play a crucial role in driving innovation and sustainable business practices.

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Online Masters Degree in Operations Management (MS)

An operations management master's degree provides students with a thorough education on both the strategic and practical elements of successfully directing processes within an organization. Graduates leave this advanced degree equipped with skills needed to maximize efficiency, streamline operations, and drive continuous improvement across industries. Students gain invaluable expertise that employers highly seek after when recruiting talent.

Master's degrees in operations management open doors to diverse career options across sectors like consulting, manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare. Graduates gain the skills needed to lead operational teams and make data-driven decisions that have a positive result on their organization's overall success. Furthermore, these programs offer both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience that equip students to tackle real world problems confidently and creatively.

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Online PhD Degree in Operations Management (PhD)

PhD in operations management represents the pinnacle of academic achievement for those passionate about improving processes and increasing organizational efficiency. This advanced degree delves into research methodologies, advanced analytics, and strategic decision-making within operations management. Graduates of these programs will likely go on to become thought leaders in fields like supply chain management, logistics, and process improvement.

Pursuing a PhD in this field offers students an exceptional opportunity to provide real-world solutions for real business challenges faced by businesses today. Through rigorous coursework and dissertation research, they gain expertise that can be applied across industries. Furthermore, developing critical thinking and analytical skills at this level prepares individuals for roles that demand high-level problem-solving capabilities and strategic leadership qualities.

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Online Operations Management Certifications

Operations management certifications have become an invaluable asset in today's highly competitive job market. By earning one, professionals gain the opportunity to further enhance their skills and knowledge in key areas like supply chain management, project management, and process optimization.

By earning such certifications they demonstrate their dedication and expertise in this important field.
APICS' Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification teaches professionals to optimize supply chain processes for organizational success and drive organizational performance. The Project Management Institute's Project Management Professional (PMP) credential demonstrates proficiency at efficiently overseeing complex projects. There are plenty of options available for those who wish to prove they have the skills to succeed in the field.

Operations management certifications offer many career advantages and will demonstrate your dedication to ongoing professional development. From advancement within your current organization or exploring different roles in operations management, earning certification can give you a competitive edge and help set you apart from other candidates.

Become an Operations Manager in Iowa


Operations managers are responsible for overseeing the production of goods and services within an organization, as well as managing the overall efficiency of the business. Here are some steps to help you become an operations manager in Iowa.

  • Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

    Most operations managers possess at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, operations management, or a related field. Consider enrolling at one of Iowa's universities or colleges to acquire the knowledge and capabilities needed for this career path.

  • Step 2: Gain Work Experience

    To become an operations manager, experience is vital. You might first work as a production supervisor or logistics coordinator to gain hands-on knowledge in managing daily operations.

  • Step 3: Develop Leadership Skills

    Operations managers are charged with overseeing and leading their employees, so developing strong leadership abilities such as communication and motivating/inspiring others is crucial to being successful in this role.

  • Step 4: Pursue Additional Education or Certifications

    You can expand your skillset as an operations manager by seeking additional education or certifications such as Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and Certified Professional in Operations Management (CPIM). Certification programs like these could prove highly advantageous when looking to advance your career.

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


Graduates with a bachelor of operations management degree have many career options open to them including becoming operations managers or supply chain analysts, logistics coordinators, or production planners in different industries.

Individuals holding this degree may find opportunities in consulting firms or start their own business ventures where they can use their skills in operations management to optimize operational strategies. Employers seek candidates with these credentials for driving innovation and improving organizational performance - ultimately opening doors to rewarding careers that make an impactful contribution towards businesses' success.

Potential Careers for Operations Management Graduates


Project Manager:

Project managers play an indispensable role in operations management. From overseeing projects from their initial inception through completion, project managers play a pivotal role in ensuring efficiency and success within organizations. Their expertise lies not only in planning and executing projects but also managing resources, timelines, stakeholders, and achieving desired results.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, management, or a related field
  • Proven experience as a project manager or a similar role
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Ability to work well under pressure and manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Proficiency in project management tools and software

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 Iowa is $85,770
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Logistician:

Logisticians are unsung heroes of the supply chain, orchestrating goods and services with precision to ensure seamless operations. Their expertise lies in optimizing transportation routes, managing inventory levels, and working closely with stakeholders to meet delivery deadlines - crucial tasks in today's fast-paced global market where logisticians play an essential role in increasing efficiency while decreasing costs for businesses.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business, logistics, or a related field
  • Proven experience in logistics management or supply chain operations
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Proficiency in logistics software and Microsoft Office applications

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for logisticians in the US in 2022 was $77,520
  • The median annual wage for logisticians in Iowa is $76,930

Business Analyst:

Business analysts play an integral role in modern organizations, acting as an intermediary between operational processes and strategic decision-making. Their expertise lies in analyzing data, recognizing trends, and offering insights that fuel business growth. Iowa companies looking to remain competitive in ever-evolving markets increasingly depend on skilled business analysts for assistance.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, economics, finance, or related field
  • Proven experience in data analysis, business process improvement, or project management
  • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in data visualization tools such as Tableau or Power BI is a plus

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 Iowa is $89,390
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General and Operations Manager:

General and operations managers are an essential part of any organization, responsible for overseeing daily operations, setting strategic goals, ensuring efficient performance, and emphasizing leadership and problem-solving skills to drive success and growth in any company. In Iowa specifically, businesses are increasing the demand for experienced managers that can navigate complex challenges effectively and drive operational excellence within their organizations.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field
  • Proven experience in operations management or a related role
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Proficiency in data analysis and strategic planning
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and work under pressure

Estimated Salary

  • The mean 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 Iowa is $91,000
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Computer and Information Systems Manager:

As a computer and information systems manager, your primary duty will be overseeing computer systems and IT infrastructure. Leading a team of IT specialists controlling the organizations computer systems, networks, software applications, and more will be your responsibility as you guide their journey toward excellence.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field
  • Proven experience in IT management or a similar role
  • Strong leadership and communication skills
  • In-depth knowledge of network security protocols and best practices
  • Proficiency in project management tools and methodologies
  • Relevant certifications such as CISSP or PMP are a plus

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 Iowa is $133,270

Human Resources Manager:

Human resources managers play an integral part in any organization, acting as intermediaries between employees and management. Beyond simply hiring, HR managers play an invaluable role in creating an environment conducive to employee development and satisfaction. Their responsibilities may include overseeing compliance with labor laws and handling conflict resolution and performance evaluation.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in human resources or related field (Master's degree preferred)
  • Proven experience as an HR Manager or a similar role
  • In-depth knowledge of labor laws and HR best practices
  • Strong leadership and communication skills
  • Ability to multitask, prioritize, and manage time effectively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to build strong relationships with employees at all levels
  • Certification in Human Resources (e.g., SHRM-CP or PHR) is a plus

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 Iowa is $119,350
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Purchasing Manager:

Purchasing managers play an essential role in ensuring businesses run efficiently by overseeing the procurement of goods and services. In Iowa, this position requires individuals with strong negotiation skills, attention to detail, strategic thinking abilities, and strong supplier relationships that play an integral part in optimizing costs while guaranteeing timely product deliveries.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, supply chain management, or a related field
  • Proven experience as a purchasing manager or in a similar role
  • Strong negotiation skills and ability to build effective supplier relationships
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Proficiency in procurement software and Microsoft Office applications
  • Knowledge of supply chain management principles and best practices
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for purchasing managers in the US in 2022 was $131,350
  • The mean annual wage for purchasing managers in Iowa is $106,620
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