What is Business Management?
A business manager is a professional who oversees operations in their firm. There are many different sorts of managers. Some manage teams of people, such as a restaurant manager, while others may hardly interact with people in the course of their jobs. Supply chain managers or IT professionals may fall under this heading.
Business managers can thus be found working in many different environments. Some work on construction sites where they are outside for much of their day. Most tend to work inside and often at a desk, but then restaurant managers need to interact with their staff and often with customers, too. Upper-level managers do tend to stay put at a desk where they evaluate reports from other managers and help them achieve even more.
Since every sort of business needs a manager, a student of business management should study their profession, but should also decide which industry most intrigues them. While lots of businesses offer management training programs, it will be helpful to have special knowledge of, or experience in, a specific field.
Online Business Management Education in Michigan
It may come as no surprise that Michigan's economy is dominated by manufacturing. After all, this is the state that gave birth to the automobile industry, assembly line production, and much more. The state's economy is also dominated by industries such as professional and business services, real estate, education, social services, healthcare, and wholesale trade. The state's top ten industries also includes retail, transportation, and recreation. Though the state's top industries are diverse, they all have at least one key element in common. They all require management at multiple levels if they are to function effectively.
Given that Michigan is the birthplace of assembly line production, it could be said that the state, at one point, revolutionized operations management and supply chain management, on top of the personnel issues related to operating an assembly line. That spirit of innovation and progress continues to this day. Michigan's managers are all trained to look to the future in order to keep the state's economy thriving.
To help with this, Michigan's colleges and universities all pitch in to produce some of the nation's best managerial talent. These institutions recruit their faculty from the local area - degreed professionals who understand what it takes to make a Michigan enterprise thrive. They can relay stories from automobile plants or warehouses that inspire students with real-world applications that impact where their families live.
Michigan management students can also thrive in other economies, of course. Whether they graduate with an associate management degree, a bachelor’s business degree, or an MBA from University of Michigan, they’ll have the best training available. They can carry the principles of management from their alma mater into the wider world, where they can build businesses and help them thrive like never before.
Online Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)
A two-year online degree from a local community college can be exactly the right formula for success, at least in the short term. There are also online associate business management degree options that bring the best education to a nearby laptop. An associate business management degree makes sense for many reasons.
One of the chief reasons to pursue an associate management degree is employment. With a two-year degree, many businesses will take on a graduate for their management training program. For those who are already working, they may earn a promotion once they have graduated.
Yet another reason is the cost. Community college tuition rates are far below that of four-year institutions. For those who intend to complete a bachelor’s business degree later, their two years in community college will drastically cut their long-term debt. They will also have completed the core liberal arts curriculum required by a four-year institution.
Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)
A bachelor’s business management degree is perhaps the best way to launch a career. These days, employers are favoring this degree level more for their entry-level positions, including their management trainee programs. This is because a four-year degree allows students the opportunity to dive deeper into the subject of management and may even provide access to specialized classes. Some business schools offer management degrees that focus on construction management, for example.
Students in a four-year bachelor’s business management degree program may also be able to gain valuable experience along the way to their diplomas. Many seek out internship programs that provide chances for students to gain experience in the field, while also helping them build a professional network. There are also co-op programs where students work for a term in a participating business and then return to school for the next term. This way, students earn a bit of money and experience while working through their degree. A co-op program may prolong the process, but graduates are often retained by the firm. Given this tremendous benefit, a co-op program just makes sense.
Online Master's Degree in Business Management (MS)
Online MBA degree programs are still in demand from many students looking to combine their specialty and business. Since they began to rise in prominence during the 1980s, they have become de facto requirements for upper-level management positions. In fact, it's hard to find any C-level manager who does not have their MBA.
To meet the demand for the MBA degree, schools are now offering accelerated MBA programs. In these programs, students are able to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in a mere five years. These programs are quite intensive, however, so students likely won't be able to hold a job during those years. However, given the fact that they will be eminently hirable upon graduation, this may be an easy trade-off.
For those who pursue some other field for their bachelor’s degree, there are other options. MBA programs will acknowledge business experience along with a student's academic transcript. Further, the variety of MBA concentration fields is so broad that most any field can accompany one's advanced business education.
Online PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)
A PhD in business management is not highly sought by the business community. However, that may be changing. Since MBAs are so common in the business world, those with a PhD may find that they have an edge. This is becoming truer in certain fields, such as high technology. However, a computer scientist, for instance, may be better off earning an MBA in a dual-MBA program where their second master’s is in computing. Then a PhD in computer science will be icing on the cake.
A PhD in business management can also be helpful for those who are intrigued by the field itself. They can build a career in academia where they can seek out a tenure track position that offers them the ability to pursue their research passion. Their research may also be useful for private firms who are known to hire academics as consultants.
Become a Business Manager in Michigan
There are many ways to become a business management professional in Michigan. Some join companies as entry-level workers and then gain a management position as the result of hard work and determination. Others may first go to school for a degree and then use their academic credentials to gain a position in management.
Budding management professionals can be easy to spot as early as grade school. They tend to have leadership skills as well as certain abilities in their classwork. While many management professionals have strong mathematical skills, others find their strong suit in writing and the humanities. After all, many managers spend the bulk of their time relying on communication and other soft skills rather than following numbers on a spreadsheet. However, both sorts of skill are highly valued in the business community, so students who desire a management career should strive for a well-rounded education.
This sort of education starts in an undergraduate program for business students. Those who are interested in management should start by taking introductory management courses and deciding whether they'd prefer a general management degree or something more specialized. Some undergraduate programs offer management degrees in areas such as sports management, construction management, or operations management. The possible specialties are endless, so it's a good idea to review what various schools have to offer.
First, students should evaluate what sort of industry most appeals to them. Many students may not have a particular draw to any one industry. That's okay, especially since high school students don't yet have much experience in the working world. Regardless of whether a student has a specific industry in mind, they should seek out a program that is fully accredited, affordable, and which meets their individual criteria. Business students should know that the top accrediting bodies are AACSB, ACBSP, and IACBE. An undergraduate business management degree from a program with credentials from one of those agencies will carry weight nationwide. Such a well accredited degree will also help students enter the very best MBA program.
Online Careers for Business Management Graduates
- Sales Manager:
Sales managers are often first salespeople who make the transition into management. These professionals motivate their sales teams to achieve greater sales and usually earn a bonus payment when their team meets or exceeds goals. This position doesn't necessarily require a bachelor’s business management degree, but it doesn't hurt to have some formal academic training. More often than not, a sales manager needs experience selling products in a specific industry.
- Financial Analyst:
Financial analysts evaluate companies to determine their financial health and worth. Those who land analyst positions with investment banks generally join a two-year program where they work very hard for a low salary but a very high bonus. Upon completing the two-year program, analysts move on to an MBA program. When they return to investment banking they enter as Associates and then progress on to a VP spot, and finally become Directors.
- Account Manager:
This job title is usually found in marketing firms and advertising agencies. An account manager often seeks out new clients and then acts as a liaison between the rest of the marketing team and the client for the duration of a marketing campaign. They need to have a full working knowledge of the marketing process including media buying, copywriting, and market analysis.
- Operations Manager:
Operations managers oversee a firm's operations by designing and controlling the process of production and services. The physical aspect of very part of the business is in their hands. Even a law firm may need an operations manager to oversee the copy machines, office supplies, and other aspects of the office's physical plant. Operations managers may start as office managers, but they can also be in charge of manufacturing facilities.
- Benefits Specialist:
This job is for those in the human resources field. A benefits professional evaluates the needs of their firm's employees and then finds the best benefits packages for them. This may involve negotiations with insurers or other benefits providers. A benefits specialist can often move between various industries since the focus of their management is generally financial.
- Director of Operations:
This position is often what operations managers aspire to. They will likely be found in manufacturing operations or other firms that are involved in complex processes. This position may also require an MBA with a concentration in operations management.
- Non-Profit Manager:
These management professionals are not so different from those in the for-profit sector. However, a non-profit manager may need to do extra tasks when it comes to helping their organization earn grants or court donations. Some may assume that non-profit managers aren't well paid, but that is not necessarily so.
- Management Information System Specialist:
This job is relatively new and has evolved in response to the growing dependence on computers. An MIS specialist effectively sits between the IT department and regular management. They evaluate the business need for technology and then report to the IT department with their recommendations. Some MIS specialists may find that they have more strength on the business end of things while others may prefer the IT side.