In companies large and small, ranging from manufacturers to service providers, business managers play a key role in contributing to an organization’s profitability and viability. The role of a business manager can vary widely depending on the industry and size of the organization. As a company’s needs change, its business managers may be required to take on additional responsibilities. The wide range of business skills needed in this profession can be acquired through a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in management.
Job Outlook for Business Managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of general and operations managers is expected to remain steady in coming years. The number of job openings in any given field will depend on the overall growth within that industry, so the best opportunities will likely be in high-growth fields such as healthcare and information technology. The prestige and high pay of business manager jobs often results in strong competition. Professionals with advanced education and relevant experience should enjoy the best opportunities.
Business managers typically:
- Assist companies in reaching goals and objectives related to sales, productivity, profitability and industry penetration, among other areas
- Supervise a single department
- Direct the overall operations of privately owned businesses, publicly held corporations and nonprofit institutions in a broad range of industries
- Analyze data
- Make crucial business decisions
- Hire, train and evaluate employees
- Ensure that a company is on track to meet financial goals
- Develop and implement budgets
- Prepare reports for senior management
- Ensure the department complies with company polices
- Ensure workers have the resources to complete their work
- Assess the performance of the department or company against goals and plans
- Perform human resource activities such as performance evaluations, hiring and discipline
- Motivate workers through incentives and positive feedback
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Larger organizations often require business managers to formulate policy, plan for resource needs, set overall direction and implement strategies. A manager might direct a team or group of leaders who oversee the scheduling and output of employees. In a smaller organization, the manager may perform those duties. Additionally, in smaller firms, business managers may be responsible for day-to-day tasks like purchasing, hiring, training and quality control.
Business managers can specialize in a variety of areas, including: finance, accounting, auditing, tax and budgeting; purchasing; personnel; sales, marketing and public relations; research, operations analysis, data processing, mathematics, statistics and economics; and production.
Most business managers work in comfortable offices and generally have support staff. Those employed by firms with multiple locations may be required to pay regular visits to various local, regional or international offices, and many business managers travel to attend conferences and meetings. Some business managers may have opportunities for temporary or permanent job transfers to different offices around the country or overseas. Most professionals in this role put in at least a 40-hour week. Flexible hours and overtime are often required to meet business demands, but in return, business managers typically enjoy high salaries and excellent benefits.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), general and operations managers had an average annual salary of $122,090 in 2016. Recent bachelor’s graduates will generally start out toward the lower end of the range; those who attain further experience and advanced education may be eligible for executive-level positions at the top of the pay scale.
Typically, several factors play a role in determining an individual’s employment prospects and potential salary, including regional market conditions, as well as experience and education.
Education and Training
Most business managers hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business administration, but education and experience required by employers can vary by size and industry. Smaller companies are more likely to hire bachelor’s graduates and allow them to work their way up, while national or international firms may require candidates to hold an advanced degree, such as an MBA, or have extensive managerial experience.
The first step to a successful business manager career can be a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in management. Coursework typically includes principles of accounting, applied decision methods for business, finance for managers and business ethics.
Employers can be confident that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in management are able to:
- Apply organizational theories to solve various business issues
- Practice sound decision-making
- Identify and avoid potential problems using quantitative techniques
- Demonstrate management skills such as leadership, planning and organization
- Leverage advanced skills and knowledge to succeed as a business manager
Embarking on the Path to a Business Manager Career
Are you a natural leader who enjoys solving complex problems? A career as a business manager may be a great fit. You’ll need the ability to work independently and think critically, as well as an understanding of complex financial data, and excellent written and oral communication skills. If you possess these essential attributes, enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in management can put you on the path to a successful business manager career.