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What is Business Management?

Are you considering enrollment in a business management degree program in South Dakota? Business and business related majors are some of the most popular areas of study among higher education students in the United States. Academic curriculums vary, but most institutions strive to cover many topics pertinent to the field including management, finance, leadership, and marketing. Graduates tend to possess a wide variety of knowledge and skills than can be applied to many different careers and industries. As a result, they are often seen as highly qualified and enjoy numerous professional opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in business and financial occupations is expected to increase by 8% from 2020 to 2030. This is about as fast as the average for all occupations and will account for an additional 750,800 new positions in the field. The biggest factors contributing this this development are globalization and a continually growing economy. Additionally, increasing business use of data and market research in order to understand customers and product demand will lead to higher demand for experts in the field.

Business managers can generally find work in almost any industry. As a result, expectations and responsibilities for these professionals can vary wildly. In many cases, however, they are hired by companies, agencies, or organizations to supervise other employees and oversee various essential daily activities. Tasks assigned to these individuals often relate to hiring, training, and evaluating workers. They may also be expected to develop and implement budgets, prepare fiscal reports, and verify policy compliance, as well as ensure other employees have access to needed resources.

Professionals with business management knowledge and experience are utilized by almost every industry, making employment opportunities plentiful. Job specifics can differ significantly from company to company, however, making it essential to carefully read position descriptions prior to submitting applications. Notably, those who choose this career path frequently have opportunities to select employment that aligns with their personal interests and passions.

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Online Business Management Education in South Dakota

Employment in management occupations is also expected to increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030. This will account for an additional 906,800 new positions in the field. Much of the projected growth for these professions is likely to result from the continued creation of new businesses and organizations, as well as the expansion of those currently in existence.

Notably, some professions in these sectors are expected to experience higher increases than others. The employment for financial managers, for example, is projected to increase by 17% by 2030. Data also indicates that medical and health service manager occupations will experience a 32% rise in job availability. Some of the fastest-growing industries include computer and information systems, finance, lodging, and social and community service.

Professional and business services is the eighth largest industry in South Dakota. It accounts for $3.1 billion of the state’s revenue each year. Additionally, many companies and organizations in other sectors benefit from hiring business management graduates such as finance, real estate, education services, healthcare, manufacturing, wholesale, and retail. As of May 2021, South Dakota employed 22,810 people in business and financial operations and another 13,200 management professionals. The annual mean wage for these jobs ranges between $70,220 and $109,420, which is significantly higher than the state’s annual mean wage of $46,810 for all occupations.

While education requirements vary depending on the intended occupation, most business management professionals obtain degrees of some kind. Online learning makes it easy to attend classes and complete coursework from nearly anywhere in the world with internet access, but prospective students who plan to seek employment in South Dakota should strongly consider enrolling with schools within the state. These colleges and universities often provide more targeted and regionally appropriate education. Additionally, local institutions tend to understand the needs and expectations of employers in the area, adjusting their curriculums accordingly. It’s also common for schools to establish relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can lead to valuable internship and employment opportunities.

Some of the industries that commonly hire business managers include:

  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Global Business
  • Entrepreneurship

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College and university programs in business management typically encourage students to develop skills in a wide variety of areas, many of which can be transferred to other professions. This allows graduates to thrive in almost any work environment. Particularly helpful subjects often covered include analytics, leadership, and research.

The mass majority of jobs in this field require some level of higher education. As a result, most business management professionals possess academic degrees of some kind. Generally, more education earned results in better employment prospects becoming available. While many enroll in bachelor’s degrees, colleges and universities often offer relevant programs at the associate, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well. Additionally, some schools have professional certificate programs available to undergraduate and/or graduate students. Prospective students should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each degree type carefully in order to select the options best suited to meet their ultimate career goals.

Online Associate Degree in Business Management (AS)

An online Associate of Science in Business Management generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students two years to complete. Program specifics vary but, as with other undergraduate degrees, students can expect to take both general education and major-specific classes. This provides those enrolled with a basic introduction to higher education and the business field. Some key topics likely to be covered include economics, accounting, and communication.

This type of degree is a good choice for prospective students interested in obtaining entry-level employment quickly. Graduates possess foundational knowledge related to many basic business concepts, which is generally enough to qualify them for jobs as administrative assistants, executive assistants, food service managers, bookkeepers, office managers, human resources employees, and office clerks.

It's important to realize, however, that associate degrees do not always satisfy employer education requirements. This is especially true for mid-to-upper-level positions, which often necessitate more advanced academic credentials and experience. Roles with supervisory components, in particular, require more education. Graduates may also find they have fewer employment opportunities and/or earn less money than those with advanced degrees.

Associate degrees in business management do, however, often serve as great foundation for further education. Not only do they prepare students for continued learning, but the credits earned from accredited community colleges can actually count towards bachelor’s degree programs. It’s fairly common for colleges and universities to accept between 60 and 90 credit hours of coursework from other institutions. This means students transferring in can enter as juniors instead of freshmen and may only require two more years of education before graduation.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business Management (BS)

An online Bachelor of Science in Business Management generally consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. As an undergraduate degree, students can expect to take both liberal arts general education and major-specific classes. Programs typically provide a broad introduction to the field, while focusing efforts on skills-development in areas that will be most helpful in typical business settings.

This type of degree is ideal for individuals who plan to seek entry-to-mid level employment but are willing to study for four years before joining the workforce. Graduates often pursue employment as financial analysts, human resource specialists, and management consultants. Notably, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the majority of management occupations in the United States require candidates to have bachelor’s degrees.

Graduates can also choose to enroll in further education programs. Those interested in graduate school will need to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score standards at their gaining institution.

Online Master's Degree in Business Management (MS or MA)

An online Master of Science in Business Managementgenerally consists of 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students one to two years to complete. Graduate programs do not require any more general liberal arts classes, although some do have set prerequisites necessary for admittance. Instead, curriculums focus solely on content related to the major and concentration chosen. Students can expect to explore many of the same topics but in greater depth. Instruction is meant to help further develop and hone the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the field.

Prospective students may also benefit from enrolling in master of business administration (MBA) degree programs. These typically emphasize the technical aspects of planning and execution in business, but can be ideal for those interested in pursuing supervisory positions.

While neither of these degrees is required for entry-level employment, many employers give preference to candidates who possess them. In fact, graduates tend to be significantly more competitive and are often considered for top leadership roles in the field. Some common employment opportunities include training and development managers, top executives, public relations and fundraising managers, human resource managers, information technology managers, financial managers, industrial production managers, and management analysts. Professionals with master’s degrees often promote faster and earn higher salaries.

Online PhD Degree in Business Management (PhD)

Doctorates of business administration (DBAs) and related PhD programs generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours that take full-time students four to seven years to complete. These are terminal degrees, meaning that they are the highest level of education available in the field. Students can expect to receive in-depth instruction that can be applied to research, instruction, or leadership roles. In addition to coursework, those enrolled often perform independent research before writing and defending written dissertations before a graduation board.

Notably, a PhD in business is most appropriate for research careers, while those seeking upper management and executive occupations should give preference to the DBA. While rarely required for business managers, both can lead to some of the most prestigious opportunities in the field. The most common employment options include top executives, postsecondary business professors, postsecondary education administrators, and economists.

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Become a Business Manager in South Dakota

The first step to becoming a business management professional in South Dakota is establishing your ultimate career goals. As previously mentioned, there are many viable opportunities available to individuals with expertise in this area. After carefully researching the options and selecting your ideal profession, the path forward should become clearer. You can then choose an appropriate degree level and program, as well as pursue opportunities and experiences that will help prepare you for future employment.

If you are still undecided about your preferred occupation, earning an undergraduate degree in business management may help you narrow your focus. Many colleges and universities encourage students to explore various aspects of the field. You can always choose a concentration, or specialty area, after identifying a particular are of interest.

Some of the most common specializations are:

  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Human Resources
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Marketing
  • Global Business
  • Entrepreneurship

After obtaining the necessary degree(s), you can choose to pursue one or more certifications and/or licensures. It’s common for management professionals to acquire at least one additional credential to demonstrate competence in a specific area. This can greatly improve employment prospects, especially when competing for upper-management positions. Not all jobs require extra certifications, however.

One of the most popular credentials for business management professionals is the certified business manager (CBM) designation. The certification is offered through various institutions with specialized accreditation, as well as some MBA programs. Those who obtain this optional certification are perceived as possessing elite operational management skills that can be applied to most work settings.

If you plan to start a business in South Dakota, you must first become familiar with all relevant laws and regulations. Generally, the state is considered a great place to be an entrepreneur or small business owner. It has reasonable expectations, a balanced budget, and limited taxes. In fact, South Dakota has no corporate or individual state income tax, zero business inventory tax, and no personal property tax. To take advantage of these benefits, you will need to determine your business formation, register the name with the county Register of Deeds Office, register your business, and obtain an employer identification number (EIN) for federal tax purposes. Depending on the perimeters of your venture, you may still need to apply for a special license or permit. These applications can be submitted online with or without a South Dakota Lottery account.

Careers for Business Management Graduates

A business management degree can qualify you for a wide variety of professional employment opportunities in South Dakota.

While job requirements and salaries vary throughout the state, some of the most common career available to graduates include:

  • Account Executive
  • Account Manager
  • Accounting Supervisor
  • Benefits Specialist
  • Business Analyst
  • C-Suite Executive
  • Management Information System Specialist
  • Non-Profit Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Regional Manager for Services Company
  • Sales Manager
  • Administrative Assistant
    Administrative assistants provide assistance and support to other professionals in their workplace. They perform a wide variety of tasks including running errands, coordinating schedules, managing messages, and completing personal requests. These professionals may also take on responsibilities in accounting, data entry, billing, inventory, correspondence, and record-keeping. According to PayScale, administrative assistants make an average base hourly rate of $16.25, or approximately $40,150 per year.
  • Customer Service Associate
    Customer service associates provide support to customers by answering basic questions and troubleshooting issues. They often help with common technical difficulties, offering advice over the phone. These professionals may also meet with clients in person to address more complex problems. According to PayScale, customer service associates make an average base hourly rate of $12.08, or approximately $42,150 per year.
  • Director of Operations
    Directors of operations oversee workplace productivity for their employers. They ensure employees have all of the necessary tools and resources needed to maintain production deadlines. These professionals may also submit purchase orders, coordinate deliveries, and negotiating with vendors. According to PayScale, directors of operations make an average base salary of $93,000 per year.

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  • Financial Analyst
    Financial analysts analyze marketplace trends, demographics, and microeconomic factors that could impact their employers. They work to maintain a thorough understanding of current investments and shifts in the market, providing financial growth and decline projections accordingly. These professionals often offer advice about company bonds, as well as outlining the potential outcomes related to splitting stocks. According to PayScale, financial analysts make an average base salary of $61,950 per year.
  • Human Resources Manager
    Human resources managers oversee employee policies, procedures, and compliance regulations. They ensure all employment activities follow local, state, and federal laws. These professionals also often manage various employee benefits and initiative programs. According to PayScale, human resources managers make an average base salary of $68,750 per year.
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers design advertising and/or sales campaigns for their employers. They may be assigned projects for single products, whole brands, or entire companies. These professionals work closely with product managers to monitor campaign performance after rollout, often by developing various market research studies. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,600 per year.
  • Project Manager
    Project managers oversee the projects they are assigned, coordinating, documenting, and assigning tasks as needed. They ensure resources are managed properly and that timelines are met. These professionals also dispense important information to team members involved. According to PayScale, project managers make an average base salary of $75,000 per year.

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