By Michael Feder
From the smallest startup to a globe-spanning mega-corporation, companies rely on teamwork, communication and synergy to get the job done. A business is much like a team. When that team works together toward a common goal, it can spell a big win. On the other hand, businesses can have difficulty surviving when team members aren’t aligned and coordinated.
Business management is a broad term encompassing the organization and leadership concepts that make companies work well as a team. Important aspects of business management include:
This degree program is similar to and often compared to a degree in business administration. While both degree programs focus on critical business strategies and operations, they differ in scope. Business administration provides a broad overview of standard business functions with a focus on strategic and administrative principles and practices in each functional area of the business. Those looking for a specific approach to supervising both people and operations at a business should pursue business management. However, students should expect courses to cover many of the same topics in both programs, such as human resources, accounting, finance, marketing and business ethics.
Many choose to pursue a business management degree to develop skills to succeed in this field. Of course, the particulars of business management must be suited to the unique needs of each company. That being said, the coursework within an online bachelor’s degree in business management can help students develop the perspective to identify those needs and address them.
Generally speaking, an online Bachelor of Science in Management degree program takes about four years to complete. For those who already have a bachelor’s degree, a Master of Management program takes about 16 months.
How long it takes to get an online bachelor’s degree in business management depends on a number of variables, however. For students who work part time, it may take longer. For students who transfer credit from another institution, or who earn credits for their work or life experience, a business management degree may take less time.
Every business management program is different, but most cover the basics such as leadership, communication and operational planning. Coursework may also cover important skills that directly impact business performance, such as project management, strategic planning and human marketing. That being said, some business management fundamentals are common among programs, such as:
Here are some examples of courses in the University of Phoenix Bachelor of Science in Management degree program, broken down by the skills mentioned above.
MGT/312T: Organizational Behavior for Managers
Every organization is different. That means good business managers deploy different leadership styles for each organization. This course helps students make that determination and lead a team to success.
In this course, students develop behavioral skills to lead a team and understand their team’s unique needs. They learn skills to improve job satisfaction within an organization in order to improve job performance.
OPS/330T: Strategic Operations and Logistics
If management skills include many of the “soft” skills that help managers improve morale and communicate with others, operations cover many of the “hard skills.” Cutting down on expenses, increasing profits, developing efficient workflows — these are some of the main areas this course covers.
In this course, students develop logistics skills and a knowledge of standard operating procedures. This can help them bring a product or service to market at the best value possible by keeping costs low and efficiency high. Students also develop business forecasting skills to determine the needs of an organization looking forward.
FIN/370T - Finance for Business
An efficient operational procedure doesn’t mean much when expenses outpace profits. A major aspect of positive business management and effective strategic planning is an understanding of business finances, which is the subject of this course.
Students develop skills to manage cash flow to effectively budget for future expenses and understand the relationship between time and money when running a business. In addition, they develop a hands-on understanding of tools and methods used in financial decision-making.
Performance management covers what a business manager needs to know about checking on their employees and assessing the quality of their work. At its best, performance management gives employees a clear understanding of what’s expected of them and inspires them to achieve it.
MGT/362T - Change Management and Implementation
In this course, students develop skills to equip their employees with what they need to feel inspired and succeed, particularly during a period of change. Students use project management methodologies to implement these changes throughout an organization, while keeping up team morale, teamwork and performance.
Here are some of the career paths a business management degree can help prepare you for.
A business manager generally oversees a specific department within a business. This can range from work within a marketing team to sales force to a product development unit. As such, business managers may need specific knowledge or skills beyond their business management skills to perform in their assigned department.
As you might have guessed by the title, a general manager usually takes a broader approach than a business manager, who usually oversees a specific department. A general manager is often responsible for developing an overall strategy, implementing policies and being a thought-leader within an organization.
While an operations manager shares a similar, bird’s-eye perspective with a general manager, they’re much more involved with specific processes of producing a product or service. From purchasing raw materials to ensuring that employees have the tools they need, the roles of an operations manager are vital to a company. They generally don’t create the kind of general strategic vision expected of a general or business manager, instead focusing on day-to-day operational management.
A store manager is much like a business manager in that their perspective is generally limited within an organization. Instead of a single department, however, store managers generally oversee a single store or branch. They’re often responsible for training employees, brainstorming promotions or sales ideas, and making sure the store meets health and safety standards. Store managers can be a flexible role, combining thought leadership and people skills with operational management and administration.
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An online business management degree can prepare students with skills for a number of management positions, which can be found in a wide variety of industries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment in management occupations is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for all occupations, resulting in about 883,900 new management jobs over the decade.
An undergraduate business management degree can help students develop skills necessary for management positions. Some businesses may desire candidates who have completed a business management degree program at the master’s level.
The BLS Projected Growth for 2021-2031 is published by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects the BLS' projections of national, not local, conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduate.
At University of Phoenix, an online business management degree ranges from $398 per credit for a bachelor’s degree to $698 per credit for a master’s degree. Students may be able to reduce the cost of tuition if they transfer credits from another institution or submit to earn credits for work and life experience.
In all, a business management degree can help develop skills that are useful for businesses in a number of industries. Though the degree can take up to four years to complete, the time investment may be worth it depending on your career aspirations.
University of Phoenix offers two business management degree programs, aligning with four job outcomes:
Bachelor of Science in Management — In this program, students develop essential business management skills applicable to a wide range of businesses.
Master of Management — For those looking to take their business management skills to the advanced level, this degree program takes about 16 months to complete and can prepare graduates for advanced roles within organizations.
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