These are individuals who develop company policies, handle various departments of an organization or one specific department, and decide on the best possible utilization of resources to carry out business operations.
In short, an operations manager is largely responsible for the smooth functioning and the success of an organization. As lucrative as this management position is, getting there is equally challenging.
Your Guide to Becoming an Operations Manager
The job of an operations manager is not meant for everyone, and to become an operations manager, you must display skill along with a very good academic record. The course that you should follow to pursue this position is as follows.
Step 1: Get a Bachelor's Degree
Start by attaining a bachelor's degree preferably in finance, accounting, or business administration (most preferred). This however, is not the only path to becoming one, and you may pursue a course in a field of your choice, such as visual merchandising for instance, and then move on to a business degree.
Step 2: Get an Internship
The road to becoming someone as important as an operations manager is long. After you have pursued your course, choose your industry (if you have completed a course such as business administration or finance).
Apply for an internship in the chosen field. This introduces you to the environment you will be working in. By understanding the intricacies of this environment, you will find it easier to perform jobs at higher levels in the organization.
Step 3: Get a Master's Degree
An MBA (Master's of Business Administration) is what gives potential candidates for this job an edge over others. As mentioned earlier, some students may pursue a course of their choice, and then pursue an MBA.
This makes sense as they understand the basics of the field they wish to be in, and are now capable of handling important operations in the field after suitable training and experience. An MBA equips you to take up management positions, and with your experience, you will be ready for the position.
Alternately, there are master's degrees in operations management which are equally beneficial for those of you who are sure about entering this field. An MBA is generic in the sense that you may pursue other management positions by taking it up. It also equips you with a larger number of skills that will help your job as an operations manager.
Other Important Skills Needed
Apart from the educational requirements, you are also required to possess some very important skills to be effective at your job. While some of these skills are taught to you in the course of your education, others you will develop through your work experience. Some of these are:
- Excellent communication skills to deal with employees, colleagues, vendors, and clients
- Leadership skills
- Analytical and critical thinking skills
- Problem solving and decision-making skills
- Strong business judgment
- Motivational skills
- Organizational and time management skills
- Technological and industry-related skills
You have to work hard in order to get to any management position, and the case is no different for an operations manager. Build a strong network in the course of your education, internship, and other work experience to accelerate your journey to this position. Good luck!