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What is Business Management?

Business management professionals are generally charged with a number of key responsibilities at the companies and organizations they work for. Their top priorities tend to be supervising employees, but they oversee a variety of other essential activities as well. It’s somewhat difficult to pinpoint exactly what their daily tasks and responsibilities will be, however, as business management professionals may hold many different types of positions across almost any industry. The most common employer expectations include hiring, training, and evaluating workers, as well as ensuring financial goals are met by developing and implementing budgets, preparing fiscal reports, and verifying policy compliance. Additionally, these professionals often make sure employees have all the resources necessary to remain productive.

Even within the same field, it’s not uncommon for job descriptions to differ from company to company. Employer size and preference are also significant factors. As a result, academic programs tend to focus instruction on developing skills that can be applied in numerous settings such as analytics, leadership, and research.

It’s also important to realize that almost every industry depends on and utilizes the expertise of business managers. This can make it relatively easier to find employment in a wide variety of fields and often allows professionals to choose work that aligns well with their personal interests and/or passions. While business management skills are useful in almost any professional context,

some of the most prominent career paths include:

  • 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 enjoy completing tasks and solving problems.

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Business Management Education in Kansas

Are you considering enrolling in a business management degree program in Kansas? Business-related degrees are extremely popular in the United States as they tend to prepare graduates for a wide variety of career types. They also emphasize the development of skills that can be easily transferred to other professions, making students particularly versatile. As a result, individuals with this type of degree rarely have trouble qualifying for employment.

Every college and university is different, but most strive to offer business management programs that are designed develop student skills in business, management, finance, leadership, and marketing. As familiarity with these concepts is useful in nearly any industry, a degree of this kind at any level prepares graduates for success in a wide variety of workplaces.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in management occupations is expected to increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations and will account for the addition of roughly 906,500 new positions in the field. Most of this growth is expected to be driven by the formation of new organizations, as well as the expansion of existing entities. Some industries will see more growth than others, such as computer and information systems, finance, lodging, and social and community service.

Prospective business management professionals can also expect decent pay. The median annual wage for management occupation was $109,760 nationwide in May 2020. At the time, this was the highest wage of all major occupational groups assessed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those involved in computer and information systems, engineering, advertising, finance, sales, and natural sciences are likely to make the highest salaries.

Kansas is primarily an agricultural state, but professional and business services is the state’s third largest industry. This sector accounts for $18.1 billion in revenue each year. Additionally, several other leading industries in Kansas rely on business management professionals for success such as manufacturing, real estate, wholesale, retail, transportation, information, and construction. Based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas employed 11,260 project management specialists and business operations specialists in May of 2020. This is more than most states. While this is not as high as many larger states, it still indicates good prospects for business management graduates.

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With demand for business management professionals definitely present in Kansas, many colleges and universities offer relevant academic programs. While online learning gives students the ability to study from anywhere in the world where internet access is available, it’s important to realize that local institutions generally offer the most appropriate educations. This means that anyone planning to work in Kansas as business management professionals should opt to pursue academic programs in the area. Not only do these schools tend to be more familiar with the local employment market and employer needs, but many also have pre-established relationships with companies and organizations looking for qualified job candidates.

Most employers expect business management professionals to possess, at minimum, bachelor’s degrees for entry-level jobs in this field. Prospective students can, however, choose from academic programs at every level - associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral. Each type of degree has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the program that will best help you reach your unique career goals.

Associate Business Management Degree (AS)

An associate degree in business management may be useful to students who plan to seek entry-level administrative positions in the field. The most common employment opportunities likely to be available to graduates include administrative assistant, executive assistant, food service manager, bookkeeper, office manager, human resources employee, and office clerk. There will be little opportunity for career advancement at this level, however. While an associate degree can provide strong foundational knowledge, additional education will be necessary for those seeking promotions or higher-paying employment.

Alternatively, associate degrees can be used to jumpstart academic careers. Students can often enroll in associate degree programs at community colleges, which tend to charge lower tuition rates. Graduates can then transfer the credits they earned to more renowned four-year institutions later when beginning work toward bachelor’s degrees.

Most associate degrees in business management consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Program specifics vary, but most curriculums are a combination of general education and introductory business courses. Examples include economics, accounting, and communication.

Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most management occupations require candidate have bachelor’s degrees. Graduates will be qualified for a wide variety of employment opportunities, including entry-level jobs as financial analysts, human resource specialists, and management consultants. After gaining some experience in the workplace, those with this degree type will also qualify for many 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. Program specifics vary, but most curriculums are designed to help students develop skills that are valuable in almost any setting and can be easily transferrable to other professions.

While bachelor’s degrees are sufficient to find reasonable employment in the field, many graduate still choose to pursue additional education. Earning a master’s degree can lead to many exciting career opportunities. Prospective students should expect to provide a minimum grade point average and GRE scores.

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

Those who plan to pursue high-level leadership positions in the field are likely to need master’s degrees in business management. Graduates at this level are often considered experts in management and leadership, which make them valuable assets to most potential employers. Some of the most common employment opportunities include training and development manager, top executive, public relations and fundraising manager, human resource manager, information technology manager, financial manager, industrial production manager, and management analyst. Professionals with this level of academic achievement also tend to promote faster and earn more money.

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.

It’s important to realize that master’s degrees in business management are distinct from master’s degrees in business administration (MBA). While both options qualify graduates for supervisory roles, business administration programs place more emphasis on the technical aspects of planning and execution.

PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

Doctoral degrees are the highest level of education available in the field. While rarely required, degrees of this kind are ideal for individuals who intend to pursue employment opportunities as top executives, postsecondary business professors, education administrators, and economists.

Prospective students can choose to pursue either a PhD in business or a doctorate in business administration (DBA). The PhD prepares graduates for work in research and independent study. Graduates typically qualify to positions in academia as professors of business or take on research-intensive jobs. The DBA is more useful for professionals who plan to apply for upper management and executive positions at companies or organizations. These programs enhance students’ theoretical knowledge of business and business management so they are prepared for successful careers.

While all are distinct, most academic programs at this level typically consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Students will be required to complete independent research, as well as written dissertations, prior to graduating.

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Become a Business Manager in Kansas

If you intend to become a business management professional in Kansas, your first step should be identifying your specific career goals. Because a degree in this field can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in a wide variety of positions and industries, it’s important to have clear outcomes in mind. This will help you find and select an academic program that aliens well with your personal and professional aspirations.

You do not need to have your entire career path mapped out prior to enrolling in a program, however. If you are still somewhat unsure of your ultimate goals, a business management degree program may still be optimal. Many key components of the curriculum tend to overlap, making it easy to adjust your plans as you discover more about the field. Most colleges and universities also give students the opportunity to select concentrations to focus instruction on key subjects of interest.

Some of the most common options include:

  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Human Resources
  • Non-profit Management
  • Marketing
  • Global Business
  • Entrepreneurship

Once you have obtained the necessary degree(s), you will have the option of pursuing various certifications and/or licensures. While few business management professions are required to hold formal licensures, choosing to earn one or more credentials can be extremely beneficial. In fact, certifications can drastically improve job and salary potential, as well as increase competitiveness during the hiring process.

Because there is not standard certification required for the profession, professionals are typically free to pursue credentials they are interested in. One of the most popular options is the certified business manager (CBM) designation, which is offered through various institutions with specialized accreditation, as well as some MBA programs. CBMs possess elite operational management skills and are highly regarded in the field.

It’s also important to note, however, that some employers do require candidates have specific certifications. As a result, you should always review job application requirements prior to applying.

Some business management degree graduates may also be interested in starting their own businesses. This will require registering the business with the Kansas Secretary of State,

which requires the following:

  • Business Name and Address
  • Business Structure
  • Resident Agent Name and Address

Business owners will also need to obtain a federal tax ID number from the IRS and may need to acquire common business licenses and permits, depending on the type of company owned. State and local governments require many industries to have permits or licenses in order to operate. It’s also important to check county and local government requirements for permitting, filing, and reporting.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

  • Project Manager
    Project managers are responsible for overseeing projects for the companies and organizations they work for. This typically includes coordinating, documenting, and assigning tasks to the others involved, as well as managing budgets and resources appropriately. These professionals also dispense important information to their teams and coordinate project goals and timelines. According to PayScale, project managers make an average base salary of $75,000 per year.
  • Administrative Assistant
    Administrative assistants are responsible for providing administrative support to others at the companies and organizations where they work. This typically means completing various secretarial duties, which may include tasks related to accounting, data entry, billing, inventory, correspondence, and record-keeping. These professionals may also perform personal tasks for individuals, running errands, and fulfilling other tasks as assigned. According to PayScale, administrative assistants make an average base hourly rate of $16.25, or approximately $40,100 per year.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers are responsible for creating various advertising or merchandising sales campaigns for companies and organizations. This could mean overseeing a single product, a complete brand, or an entire company. These professionals often collaborate with product managers, monitor program performance, and develop market research studies. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,600 per year.

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  • Human Resources Manager
    Human resources managers are responsible for overseeing the policies, procedures, and compliance regulations in relation to the employees working at companies and organization. This typically means managing employee benefits and initiative programs, as well as verifying that all employment activities follow local, state, and federal laws. According to PayScale, human resources managers make an average base salary of $68,700 per year.
  • Customer Service Associate
    Customer service associates are responsible for performing a wide variety of tasks related to assisting customers with issues and inquiries. These professionals are often the first point of contact for the companies or organizations and must know how to provide troubleshooting and technical assistance. According to PayScale, customer service associates make an average base hourly rate of $12.08, or approximately $42,100 per year.
  • Financial Analyst
    Financial analysts are responsible for researching and understanding marketplace trends, demographics, and microeconomic factors for corporations and businesses. They must maintain a thorough understanding of company resource investments and project how investments will impact business growth over time. These professionals also offer advice regarding bonds and splitting stock. 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 the companies or organizations they work for. This typically means coordinating with vendors and sellers, as well as making any necessary purchases to maintain production. These professionals 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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