What drives people to advance their careers? Just as the competition for management and senior level jobs is consistently strong, degrees in business management remain popular year after year. There are many advantages to this degree path. When you major in management, you are taking a direct step to a high-level supervisory job. Often, these positions come with career prestige, high wages and the satisfaction of fleshing out the leadership skills you always knew you had.
Be the Boss
If you’re too ambitious to settle for a business role as someone else’s underling, there’s a good chance you’re already planning your climb up the corporate ladder to a leadership position. There are many reasons individuals may feel the drive to become a boss. For some business professionals, it may be merely a matter of prestige and influence or a thirst to prove themselves. Others have less self-serving reasons, like to make a difference in the direction of a struggling company or to inspire their colleagues to become their best selves. You may find that management fits your temperament, either because you naturally have a take-charge personality or because waiting for others to make decisions leaves you feeling impatient.
Studying management in college, whether at the undergraduate or the graduate level, can put you on the path to a leadership position. Not only do management programs expose you to different leadership styles and strategies that you can apply to real workplace situations, but they also demonstrate to a current or prospective employer that you are dedicated to reaching your dream of a management role.
Studying management isn’t all that you need to make the leap to a leadership role – you will need years of work experience and possibly other credentials, as well – but earning a management degree can prepare you for a number of leadership positions in business.
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Reach Your Full Earning Potential
It’s no secret that more senior-level business professionals make the most money. The median annual wage for management positions as a whole is $102,590, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs in business management tend to be some of the best-paying. Advertising and marketing managers make a median salary of $129,380. For financial managers, the median wage is $125,080 per year. Sales managers enjoy a median wage of $121,060, often dependent on commissions or bonuses. The median wage for human resources managers is $110,120.
Companies in other industries also need their business operations managed effectively. Often, experienced workers in these fields prepare for a leadership role by going back to school to earn a graduate degree in management. The $139,220 median wage for computer and information systems managers is the highest median salary among non-C-suite management roles, but it is closely followed by the $137,720 median salary architectural and engineering managers earn.
Chief executives in roles like chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO) have the highest wages in the management occupations, with a median salary of $183,270, but these senior-most jobs are highly competitive.
Develop Your Leadership Skills
Often, the best managers have a personality that naturally lends itself to leadership roles as well as the knowledge and practical experience to take those skills to the next level. If you find that you gravitate toward taking charge and delegating tasks, then it’s likely that you are already a good leader – and that you’re willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone to become a great one.
When you earn a degree in management, you will learn about managing projects, supervising employees, hiring and training workers and overseeing an organization’s operations and systems. Studies in economics, finance, accounting and business law and ethics are also typical in management degree programs. Through your coursework, you learn about management principles, employee relationship-building and the development and implementation of business policies and strategies so that you can handle challenges that arise in your projects and campaigns as well as conflicts that arise in the workplace. Cultivating and practicing these skills is sure to help you become a better leader in the workplace and beyond.
Not all leaders fill managerial roles at established companies. Some leaders go out and start their own businesses or nonprofit organizations. Students in some programs may have the option to take specialized courses in entrepreneurship and small business management.