Pros and Cons of Becoming a Development Operations Manager
Operations managers oversee the daily operations of an organization. Check out the following pros and cons to decide if a development operations manager career is right for you.
|Pros of Becoming an Operations Manager|
|Provides a lot of freedom*|
|Opportunities to lead large teams and head important projects*|
|Good pay ($97,270 per year as of May 2014)*|
|Job opportunities in many different industries*|
|Cons of Becoming an Operations Manager|
|Lots of responsibility*|
|High prestige and pay creates strong competition for available positions*|
|Pressure to get things done efficiently and on time*|
|Could require long hours*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Essential Career Info
Operations managers and business development managers can sometimes be different positions: operations managers oversee the daily operations of an organization, while business development managers are in charge of making new business contacts and increasing an organization's customer base.
Operations managers oversee the day-to-day tasks for businesses. Many operations mangers are trained to handle daily protocols in a specific field; for example, you could work as an engineering operations manager, although you would need training in both business and engineering to get this job. In smaller organizations, operations managers may take on additional management responsibilities, such as human resources management, sales or account management. If you are in a job that focuses on business development, you might also head sales efforts, serve as a liaison for clients or provide high-level customer service. The following are a few examples of other possible job duties:
- Overseeing manufacturing processes
- Coordinating departmental communication
- Planning advertising campaigns
- Calculating staffing requirements
- Purchasing merchandise for resale
- Reviewing financial reports
- Developing budgets
- Measuring productivity
According to the BLS, top executives such as operations managers earned a median annual salary of about $97,270 per year; those at the top of the pay scale made $149,660 or more, while those at the bottom earned $45,130 or less in 2014(www.bls.gov). The highest-paying industries for top executives include commodity exchanges, financial investment, and securities contracts brokerage and mediation.
The BLS reported an expected employment growth rate of 11% for high-level managers between 2012 and 2022. This equal-to-average job growth will be fed by the expansion and formation of organizations and will vary depending on the specific industry and the rate of growth for industries in general.
The minimum educational requirement for most operations management positions is a bachelor's degree in business administration (BBA). A BBA degree program takes about four years to complete and includes fundamental business courses such as operations management, supply chain management, business law, professional writing and economics. Other areas of study could include business finance, marketing, leadership and accounting. Additionally, operations management positions are not entry-level positions; you typically need a lot of experience in a field to secure these jobs.
Operations managers are usually excellent communicators and adept leaders, since motivating teams of employees is often crucial to a business's success. Most managers have a degree in business and therefore have an understanding of most fundamental business concepts even if they are outside their area of expertise; such skills could include human resources management, accounting and marketing. Excellent analytical skills and the ability to negotiate could also contribute to your success in this career.
Operations managers are commonly needed in companies seeking a combination of technical and business expertise. You could work as an operations manager in a software engineering firm, for example, combining business and computer programming expertise. Take a look at the following job openings to get a feel for what employers might be looking for:
- A business development manager is needed at a well-known technology company to serve as a point of contact for potential clients. You can get this job with a bachelor's degree in either business or technology, although a master's degree is preferred.
- An operations manager is needed at a medical products company to lead a team of six employees and manage financial risk. The minimum requirement for this position is a bachelor's degree and five years of experience.
- A distributor development operations manager is needed to develop route-to-market strategies for a company in New Jersey.
How to Stand Out
Although a bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement for operations management positions, a master's degree is often preferred. You could pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA); MBA degree programs are 2-3 years in length and prepare you for executive or upper-level management positions. Alternatively, you could join a professional organization. For example, you could become a member of the American Management Association (AMA).
If you want to be a high-level executive in a more creative position, consider working as a marketing manager. In this position, you could oversee a business's advertising campaigns and supervise its creative staff. You need a bachelor's degree to get this job, and it pays about $108,000 per year.
Administrative Service Manager
If you want to work as a business manager but don't want to go to school for four years, consider working as an administrative service manager, a job you can get with an associate's degree or high school diploma. This job pays about $78,000 per year.