What Is the Educational Background of an Operations Manager?

Education Level

The educational background and training of an operations manager varies greatly from industry to industry, and from company to company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an operations manager often has a bachelor's degree at minimum, and many go on to pursue master's degrees in business. Depending on the organization, though, a college education may be less important than having experience, particularly in some industries, and operations managers come up through the ranks instead of through diploma programs.


A person in college seeking a career as an operations manager may pursue a degree in business administration, management or accounting. Coursework includes statistics and mathematical models pertaining to supply chain management, as well as basic, intermediate and advanced accounting. Courses dealing with consumer psychology, marketing, and organizational behavior also prepare students for a career in operations management. Some schools focus on leadership skills and relationship building as a way to emphasize "soft" skill sets required for navigating the corporate and business environment as an operations manager.

Advanced Studies

Some employers may require an operations manager to have a master's degree in finance or business administration. Students pursuing a master's degree may opt to focus on a particular industry or field, such as telecommunications or manufacturing. Many master's programs require students to have work experience. In such a case, an operations manager seeking to advance his career would benefit from pursuing a master's degree to further enhance his skills and raise his credentials within his company.


There are voluntary certifications available to an operations manager seeking to further build his credentials. The Certified Manager designation offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers is one such certification. Candidates complete the program online over nine months, and must pass three exams. The institute determines eligibility using a point system based on education and work experience.


According to employment and wage Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2010, operations managers earned a median salary of $94,400 with a median salary range of less than $47,280 to over $142,030. Experience, responsibilities and region attribute to differences in pay for operations managers with those in the Northeast earning above their counterparts in other parts of the country. However, having an advanced degree and certifications certainly makes an argument for a higher salary.


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