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What is Business Management?

If you want to work in management in the fields of mining or manufacturing, then North Dakota is the place for you. The population is relatively small, but the opportunity to find management work, in those two areas especially, are plentiful. But, considering every business needs a management team, there are opportunities in pretty much any industry that captures your interest.

A business manager is the person who is in charge of the daily operations of a business. In smaller organizations, the business manager might be the owner of the business, while, in larger establishments, the owner often hires someone to handle day-to-day business activities. A business manager may be required to handle all aspects of the business, such as hiring and payroll as well as scheduling, or, in a larger company, they may have staff underneath them that each handle a different aspect of the business. In this case, these people report back to the manager. There really is no typical day for a business manager, things move rapidly, so the only constant is knowing that things are going to change. But a good business manager has the wherewithal to see at least some of the changes coming and plan for them.

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Online Business Management Education in North Dakota

It’s not impossible to get into business management without a formal education, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have one. In some industries, a two-year degree is sufficient but, in others, more education might be required to advance into upper management positions. This truly varies by industry, so investigating the educational levels of the management teams in an industry that interests you is a good first step.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), business managers make an annual average salary of $78,000 and the demand for managers is expected to increase through 2029. For those who think a career as a business management professional in North Dakota is something they might be interested in, this is a good time to get the education needed to move toward that goal. Below you will find information regarding education, a general guide to becoming an administrator, and some of the various careers a person who wants to become a business manager might pursue.

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There are a variety of degree options for anyone interested in becoming a business professional in North Dakota. Below is a general guideline of what courses each level will cover and some other basics.

Online Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

An associate degree in business is an excellent starting point and is most certainly better than having no formal education. Students study introductory concepts of business and receive an overall idea of how businesses operate in different industries as well as experience the issues those that manage them may face.

Course examples for a 2-year degree program include:

  • Principles of Business
  • Personal Finance
  • Business Communication
  • Business Applications
  • Operations Management
  • Marketing
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Corporate Finance
  • And More

Associate degrees typically take two years to complete, which includes around 60 credit hours. If you attend a program that has a transfer agreement with a four-year school, then you could begin a bachelor’s degree with two years already completed. This can save you money and help you to find a job while you complete the rest of your education.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

A bachelor’s degree in business administration is the starting point for many who wish to become a business manager. Many programs allow students to choose a specialization for their business degree, so a student who is interested in working in accounting can specialize in accounting and someone who wants to work in marketing can specialize in advertising or marketing. Along with the courses included in the specialization, students will receive a decent amount of general business education.

Some of the courses a student might take include:

  • Accounting I & II
  • Financial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Business Ethics
  • Micro and Macroeconomics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operations Management
  • And More

Two of North Dakota’s most popular industries are mining and manufacturing.

For students who want to enter either of these industries, they might take the following courses:

  • Cost Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Public Relations
  • Industrial Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Factory Management

Bachelor’s degrees consist of a minimum of eight semesters and take four to six years to complete. Some specializations may require a special project to be completed. However, those who have already completed an associate degree may be able to transfer many credits toward their new program, which can save as much as two years of expensive education.

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Online Master's Degree in Business Management (MS)

For those who aspire to hold a senior management position with a company, after earning a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in business administration, aka an MBA, is the next step. You can start a managerial career with a bachelor’s degree, but senior managers are often required to have additional education in order to manage both people and an organization effectively. MBA programs pick up where an undergraduate level program ends by adding additional critical thinking, analytical, and statistical courses.

Some of the courses a student will study at the graduate level include:

  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Decision Modeling
  • Strategic Management
  • Managerial Marketing
  • Data Visualization
  • Managing Organizational Change
  • And More

A graduate degree can take between three and five years to complete, depending on whether or not you are able to take classes full-time while continuing to work. For successful completion, either a capstone project or a comprehensive examination is often required.

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Online PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

A doctorate in business is a degree for someone who either wants to set themselves up as a subject matter expert or explore academia as an additional career. This terminal degree will not only qualify a person for the highest levels of management in an organization, but it will also make a person attractive to colleges and universities who are always looking for experienced businesspeople to teach the next generation.

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Some courses available in a doctorate program could include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Ethics
  • Finance
  • Human Development (in an organization)
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operational Management
  • Organizational Leadership

Along with the coursework, a doctorate degree candidate must usually also complete and then successfully defend a dissertation. The process usually takes between five and seven years to complete.

Become a Business Manager in North Dakota

There is no one way to become a business management professional in North Dakota. Some know from a young age what they want to do, while others struggle to find their path. But, considering every industry needs managers, finding a career as a manager doesn’t have to be a struggle. To make it easier though, you might want to consider the following ideas to help find your way.

  • Choose an Industry
    Many people might not know what they want to do, but most have things they are interested in. To find a possible suitable career, investigate your areas of interest and see if you can turn those interests into a viable career. For example, if you are interested in cooking, a career as a chef or in restaurant management could be an option. If you are interested in working in education, you could become a school principal or a dean at a college. Explore your interests and see where that takes you.
  • Get Your Education
    Once you have narrowed down your interests, you should get an education in that particular area. Or you could pursue a general business degree and gain specialized knowledge while working in the industry. You could work part-time in the industry while you attend college or you could seek out internships in that area. Or if you’re a non-traditional student, you could already be working in your chosen industry and therefore only need the traditional education to pair with your experience.
  • Start Working
    Provided you haven’t already started working in your chosen area, once you have completed your education, it’s time to search for a job. Hopefully, while you were attending school you made some contacts or at least did some research on the major players in your chosen career. You’ll want to reach out to them and apply for any positions they have that fit what you are seeking career-wise. Since business management is a pretty wide-open field, even if you can’t find a suitable position in your top choice area, you should be able to find a position in another area of interest.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

Careers in business management can vary greatly. Factors, such as what industry you are in, can mean that a job title might require completely different skill sets. For example, an account manager in an industrial setting might have completely different responsibilities from an account manager working in the financial industry. This is why choosing a specific industry can be important. That said, below are a few examples of the types of positions a person with a background in business management could pursue.

  • Sales Manager
    A sales manager is tasked with overseeing the sales operations for a business. These positions are most common in industries where sales are a major part of operations such as business to consumer sales, business to business sales, manufacturing of goods, insurance, and retail. These people will often have a group of salespeople under them, and they are responsible for the daily operations in the sales department.
  • Administrative Assistant
    An administrative assistant helps an organization run affectively. They coordinate schedules of upper management, greet and communicate with guests and other staff members while they await meetings with managers, and ensure that the general needs of the organization are met. The position requires excellent communication skills, and they should feel comfortable working with a variety of people of all organizational levels.
  • Financial Analyst
    A financial analyst examines and analyzes data, then presents it to management so they can use it to make financial decisions for the business. The analyst might have a staff of other analysts underneath them or be the head of an actuary or underwriting team. The key to this position is being able to recognize and determine the level of risk for a business proposition. Some management duties, such as hiring, might also be part of a financial analyst’s duties. General requirements include a four-year degree in finance and either an MBA or a master’s degree in finance or accounting.

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  • Account Manager
    Account manager is a catchall term for a person who works directly with clients. How this position operates depends on both the industry and part of the organization in which they work. But the one constant is that these managers are in charge of meeting client needs, which it’s through direct sales, marketing presentations, or customer service duties. As the name suggests, the manager often has a team of other account executives that report directly to them, and they in turn report to upper management.
  • Benefits Specialist
    Benefit specialists head up the department for companies that offer benefits such as healthcare or other protection services to their employees. The position requires the person to have intimate knowledge about the particular benefits being offered. These people might also be in charge of a team of specialists in the department. Specialists tend to have degrees in human resources or business and an advanced degree in business or human resources. They will find the best deals for the company as they consider health plans and other benefits – this may mean saving the company some money or finding even better healthcare plans for their employees.

Other career options for a business management professional include:

  • Operations Manager
  • Director of Operations
  • Account Executive
  • Accounting Supervisor
  • Regional Manager, Services Company
  • Management Information System Specialist
  • Project Manager
  • HR Manager
  • C-suite Executive
  • Non-Profit Manager
  • Customer Service Associate
  • Business Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
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