Should I Earn a Management Degree?

Management Degree Overview

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A management degree is a type of business degree awarded to students who have completed a college, university, or business school program with an emphasis on management. Business management is the art of supervising and controlling people and operations in business settings. 

Types of Management Degrees

There are four different levels of education to pursue in the management field. Each degree takes a different amount of time to complete, and each level of degree may not be available at every school. For example, community colleges usually award an associate's degree but do not typically award more advanced degrees like doctorates. Business schools, on the other hand, may award advanced degrees only, and offer no associate's or bachelor's programs for undergrads whatsoever.

  • Associate's Degree: An associate's degree in management can be earned from a 2-year college, a 4-year college or university, or a business school. Most associate's programs in management take two years to complete. The curriculum generally includes instruction in general education topics such as English, math, and science, in addition to courses in business, finance, communications, and leadership.
  • Bachelor's Degree: Like an associate's degree, a bachelor's is undergraduate level. Any 4-year college or university offers a bachelor's programs in management, as do some business schools. The curriculum includes general education courses as well as comprehensive instruction in management, leadership, business operations, and related topics.
  • Master's Degree: A master's in management can be earned from many colleges, universities, and business schools. One of the most popular graduate programs is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in management. Most master's programs lasts two years, but some programs can be completed in as little as half the time. A master's degree program in management generally consists of intense study in many diverse topics and may require students to complete an internship.
  • Doctorate: The highest academic degree available, a doctorate is not offered by every school. Nonetheless, many U.S. universities and business schools provide doctorate programs in management. These programs often focus on research, though some programs are geared toward students interested in a professional doctorate.

Best Management Degree Programs

Many fantastic schools offer strong degree programs in nonprofit management, human resources management, and other related majors. Some of the most well known universities specialize in business education, particularly those offering bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in management. Among the best management schools in the U.S. are Harvard University, Tuck School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, and Stanford School of Business.

What Can I Do with a Management Degree?

There are many different career levels for management graduates. As an assistant manager, you collaborate with the rest of the management team to cover several responsibilities, including overseeing entry-level employees. A mid-level management position usually reports directly to executive management, and directs a greater amount of personnel, including assistant managers. The highest levels are executive management, those who are charged with supervising all of the employees within a business. They are also responsible for supervising business operations and vendors.

Many positions exist within these three levels, and job titles are usually related to a manager's responsibility or concentration. Specialties include sales management, risk management, healthcare management, and operations management. Other examples would be a manager who oversees hiring and employment practices, known as a human resources manager; an accounting manager, responsible for financial operations; and a production manager who supervises creation and assembly of products.