This program is also available to be completed online
Organizations are complex entities and are always in need of managers and supervisors who can work well in environments that require solid people skills and a clear perspective of the demands in the particular industry. As organizations are forced to adapt to changing economic, legal, political, and social forces, they must have effective leadership to develop and carry out strategic plans. A well-trained and highly visible management team can provide the most sustainable competitive advantage for today's organization.
The ongoing attention paid to human resources within an organization requires managers who are attentive to human needs and still able to focus on strategic goals. Positions in management are typically demanding, exciting, and rewarding to those willing to commit time and energy to ongoing growth.
A variety of possible job titles exist in the management area. Examples include Department or Section Manager, Project Manager, Management Trainee, Human Resources Assistant/Clerk, Personnel Recruiter, Staff Coordinator/Trainer, Customer Service Supervisor, Assistant Store Manager, Office Supervisor/Manager, Information Assistant, and Executive Assistant.
Career opportunities in the business and management field exist across a wide variety of industries. Individuals with an interest and training in management may begin their careers by coordinating team projects or special tasks. Once they have demonstrated their ability, they may accept positions that involve planning work schedules and goals, organizing daily activities and staffing needs, coordinating and monitoring resources, leading and motivating teams or individuals, and providing leadership in activities related to company performance standards. Effective managers are vital to an organization, and promotions to mid and upper level management are frequent in certain industries.
Occupations in management can be found in production and manufacturing, human resources, retailing, service, non-profit, finance, quality control, international activities, and all levels of administration. Individuals with a strong interest in entrepreneurship may consider self-employment as a business owner and/or operator.
For more information on specific occupations in the management field, visit www.bls.gov/oco/oco1001.htm.
Those students who do not complete a bachelor's degree in accounting can still find many opportunities in the accounting field working in the accounting departments of larger organizations as wells as bookkeeping for smaller businesses.
Specific Work Activities
A manager's day is typically built around a variety of work tasks and people issues. Most managers are involved in extensive meetings throughout the day, and may participate in activities and meetings offsite as well.
Daily work may include:
Planning and coordinating projects
Supervising/leading staff and delegating tasks
Reviewing status reports
Monitoring department budgets
Negotiating with other organizations or vendors
Coordinating day-to-day human resource activities, such as hiring and training personnel, conducting performance appraisals, and scheduling
Communicating with other management and staff throughout the organization.
Managers and supervisors must typically have solid skills in their technical areas, in addition to strong conceptual and people skills. They must be able to assess situations, make firm decisions, handle unlimited interruptions, and remain calm when faced with a crisis. Individuals interested in management must also remain current on issues that affect their industry, and will often be expected to participate in advanced skill-based training throughout their careers.
Positions in management can be found in a variety of settings. Though there can be substantial rewards to a career in management, the challenges must be considered as well. Managers traditionally are faced with balancing demanding organizational needs and family/personal responsibilities. They may encounter lack of support for their projects or departments, may receive little or no recognition for their achievements, and may have insufficient resources to effectively complete their tasks. They may also find that company politics or poor leadership play a substantial role in their workplace.
Managers may also find that they have ample resources at their disposal, full support of company leadership, and extensive opportunities to broaden their skills. Organizations that are successful today are typically ones that recognize and support efficient management at all levels throughout their company.
Physical Work Conditions
Most management positions are indoors, though this will vary by industry. Managers often have a private or semi-private work area or office near their department or team. Many organizations recognize the stress that comes with management positions, and have an employee lounge or library where a manager can briefly retreat.
Individuals in management or management-trainee positions are typically held to very high standards of performance. Work must be completed on time regardless of outside circumstances or interruptions. Because managers are typically responsible for teams or groups of staff, they must consistently work to keep those employees motivated to complete assignments. Managers, especially those with limited experience, are expected to be receptive to feedback on a regular basis and are expected to remain current on issues that affect their industry.
Managers often work extensive hours and may travel to other worksites or corporate locations; limited part time opportunities exist. New managers are often expected to spend time in all facilities as a training exercise, and can expect to be re-assigned as necessary throughout the company. Though it varies by industry, management is also expected to remain current on industry trends, and will typically be expected to attend workshops, conferences, and advanced training programs as they continue their careers.
Wages and Projections
Between 2000 and 2010, jobs in business management and administrative services are expected to grow by 42 percent, ranking occupations in this pathway among the fastest growing in the industry. Many of these occupations require at least a bachelor's degree.
Wages vary extensively by area of the country, by employer, and by skill level.
Wages can vary from $30,000 for an entry-level position to $90,000 and greater for upper level management (these positions typically require extensive experience and/or advanced degrees).
Most managers receive benefit packages, with additional benefits varying by level. Management in mid to upper level positions will typically have substantial benefit packages that can be equal in value to their salary (these positions typically require extensive experience and/or advanced degrees).
Individuals interested in advancement opportunities in management may be assigned to a management training program within their organization. These programs will vary based on an individual's experience and education, and may be accelerated for those with college degrees. Promotional opportunities are typically based on individual commitment and willingness to contribute hours and energy to their assigned responsibilities. The ability to transfer within the company may also be a requirement for advancement.
Managers with a strong set of industry skills and demonstrated leadership can be promoted to mid-level and upper management. Downsizing in the past decade has resulted in fewer mid-level management positions, though new opportunities are created as managers retire or change occupations. Except for top management, positions are often filled within the organizations, so greater opportunities may exist if an individual remains on a management track within their company.
Career opportunities exist for managers and supervisors across all industries. Potential employers include corporations, non-profit organizations, small businesses, and numerous opportunities abroad. Examples of industries that have management and supervisory positions include retail, education, manufacturing, production, and a variety of service-based organizations.
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