What is Business Management?
For many, achieving a managerial position is a dream come true. Whether it’s a department management position, an executive management position, or somewhere in between, working in management can be challenging and rewarding. Management positions exist in every industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for management personnel is expected to increase at a rate faster than the average. It’s hard to determine how many persons are employed as managers in Rhode Island considering all industries have managers of various stages as well as different terms to describe management positions. For example, manager, supervisor, director, and team lead are all considered management positions.
Business managers wear a lot of hats, but the most important and most obvious role is making sure that the work gets done. Most business managers oversee a company’s staff and daily operations, ensure that work responsibilities are assigned correctly, and that all requirements are being met. Managers might also oversee a business’ budget, make hiring decisions, and take on accounting duties. In larger companies, managers are assigned to different areas of the business. For example, there could be one manager who oversees employees, another one that handles human resource issues, and a third that ensures all departments have the materials and supplies needed to function properly. Business managers are good communicators and need to be comfortable talking to employees as well as upper management since they are often the go-between for the two groups.
Online Business Management Education in Rhode Island
A management career requires several different skill sets above and beyond the knowledge of the industry itself. For example, excellent people skills are required because communicating with subordinates, other members of management, and upper management is a daily occurrence. Also, as a supervisor, an adequate education is often required by employers. Most companies prefer that their managers have more education and experience than those they will be overseeing. Managers in marketing and sales often works as part of a sales or marketing team, so having the skills to succeed in sales or marketing, along with the ability to manage and lead, are usually both required in those departments. But, as mentioned, managers exist in every industry. If a person wants to move from being an employee to a manager, there are steps they’ll need to take. Some of these steps are detailed below, but they will vary depending on the industry and the type of management position a person wants to obtain.
There are several levels of education you can attain in business administration or business management. The level you choose to pursue depends on several factors, from financial to overall ultimate goals. For instance, a person who wants to work in a field and decide if it’s the right career for them might get an associate degree, while someone who wishes to be a CEO for a finance firm is probably going to get a four-year degree and possibly an MBA. Below is a breakdown for each degree and what you could anticipate studying while you are in school.
Online Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)
An online associate degree in business management is the beginning level for anyone who wants to pursue a management position. In some organizations, this degree would be enough to enter the management field. However, for those who want to work at a corporate level this degree could be enough to land entry level position at the company. To advance further, additional education would be required. In a two-year program, students will get a base education and a variety of business courses.
some of those courses include:
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Managing and Leading in Business
- Principles of Finance
- Business Law
- Applied Marketing Strategies
- Principles of Management
- And More
These classes are in addition to the general education courses required to finish a two-year degree. Associate degrees generally take four semesters to complete, and most students finish in two to three years.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)
Most people who get a four-year degree in business management have a specialization. These are additional courses taken on top of the general business administration core curriculum, which includes classes in accounting, management, and marketing. Here is an example of what your curriculum might look like if you aim to earn a bachelor’s in business management.
- Business Ethics
- Organizational Behavior
- Project Management
- Change Management
- Business Simulation
- Principles of Financial and Managerial Accounting
- Principles of Economics
- Managing in a Global Business Environment
- Values-Based Leadership
- Business Communication
- And More
With an online four-year degree, graduates can apply for a variety of positions depending on their specialization. But the degree is enough to get an entry-level or even lower-level supervisory position in most companies.
Online Master's Degree in Business Management (MS)
A Master’s in Business Management, aka an MBA, is practically a requirement for anyone who is seeking high-level management positions in a corporation or larger company. In fact, it can be enough to be the last degree you ever earn, even if you want to make your way into the C-suites. These programs are designed specifically to assist students with attaining the knowledge needed to effectively manage a company, employees, or both. These programs generally take three to five years to complete and may require either a master’s thesis or a comprehensive exam after you finish all coursework.
Those enrolled in these programs will likely study core courses such as the following.
- Accounting for Managerial Decisions
- Managerial Economics
- Information and Technology Management
- Managing Across Cultures
- Strategic Management
- Decision Models
On top of core courses, you’ll be able to choose electives that can support a specialization within a particular field. These are often focused on certain departments within business, such as human resources or marketing. With an MBA and several years of work experience a person could be tapped for middle- and upper-level management positions.
Online PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)
For those who wish to be considered subject matter experts or who want to pursue a career in academia, a doctorate degree in business is a good choice. These programs are specialized to suit the ultimate goals of the student, but touch on all aspects of business, especially the management and analytical portions of running a business. The degree generally takes seven years to complete and includes a dissertation that must be defended to a panel. Those who pursue this degree will study the following areas in greater depth, though even at this level you may have the option to choose a specialization, which may mold your coursework toward a specific field of interest.
- Human Development (in an organization)
- Organizational Leadership
- Operational Management
- Information Systems
Become a Business Manager in Rhode Island
The process to become a business management professional in Rhode Island is pretty linear. The first thing a person should do is choose the industry they want to pursue. As mentioned previously, management positions exist in every industry, so a person should target an industry and area of interest for the short term while they gain the education and experience in their chosen industry. While attending school, if possible, the student should either work or intern in their chosen field. For example, someone interested in real estate should pursue a degree program that will train them to work in real estate and taking the courses needed to pass the real estate licensing exam, as well as working under the tutelage of real estate agents and brokers. Someone interested in marketing should take pertinent classes and create a portfolio of work while they are in school or working as an intern.
Once a person has completed their education from a highly rated college in Rhode Island, it’s a matter of working in the field and accumulating the experience needed to eventually move into management. Only in some fields, such as real estate, are there licensure requirements. Many business fields have no license requirements, though certifications could do wonders for your resume and career opportunities. This is also a good time to narrow your career goals. For those working in real estate, this could be the time to decide what area in which they want to manage. For example, they could choose to work toward becoming a real estate agency manager, a commercial or residential real estate manager, or start their own real estate agency. Each area often has its own specific requirements to work in management, so finding out what the requirements are and working toward meeting those requirements is ideal. When an opportunity presents itself, you want to be ready.
Another option to become a business management professional in Rhode Island is to become a business owner. As a business owner, a person becomes a manager by default. As the business grows, the owner might have to hire someone to handle the daily office administrative tasks, which creates a new management position. However, every state has their own requirements for new businesses, such as the requirement that they register with the state and file special tax forms every year. You need to make sure that you follow all of these requirements if you are hoping to run your own business in the state.
Careers for Business Management Graduates
- Sales Manager
Sales managers run sales departments. They hire the sales force, either train or set up training for new employees, and set the metrics that the sales teams need to meet. They review each salesperson’s performance and offer ways to improve performance. Sales managers usually report to general managers or the owner of the business.
- Director of Operations
Corporations, especially those in manufacturing, often have different departments that make up the organization. The director of operations is put in charge of the general operations of a business. In the case of a manufacturing company, that's usually the day-to-day operations of the manufacturing plant itself. The director of operations would be in charge of making sure there are enough employees to complete the job safely, they have oversight of the operation budget, and they would be in charge of making sure that what's being manufactured is done in a safe, timely, and profitable fashion. The director of operations reports to either the CEO or the chief financial officer. Most directors of operations have at least a bachelor’s degree, if not a graduate degree.
- Accounting Manager
Accounting supervisors manage other accountants. They usually have CPAs and either an MBA or a master’s degree in accounting management. An organization with an accounting supervisor typically has several accounting departments and the accounting supervisor oversees all those departments. Each department usually has a manager, and they report to the supervisor.
- Regional Manager, Services Company
Regional managers oversee a region of stores or field workers within an organization. A region is made up of several locations within a geographical area. Many regional managers are former location managers and regional managers report to district managers.
- Administrative Assistant
An administrative assistant offers support to senior level management. This position is not a management position, but they do work closely with senior levels of management and can move into management after gaining experience in their industry. They may maintain schedules of all senior management appointments, take care of travel arrangements, organize and implement company projects, and perform a variety of other tasks. A person in this position must be highly organized, an effective communicator, and be willing to work with practically everyone in the organization.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts help organizations mitigate risks while maximizing profits. They research potential investment opportunities and collaborations and determine if a company should pursue the opportunity. Analysts have excellent research skills and understand the idea of risk versus reward. They typically answer to upper management such as the VP or Finance or VP of Operations.