Management Majors Guide

What Does it Mean to Study Management?

By and large, individuals in managerial positions are responsible for pulling people and a project together using the knowledge of the principles of organization. However, these professionals are also typically required to understand the need for division of labor and allocation of resources and the necessity of a formal hierarchy in larger organizations.

Fortunately, careers in management are on the rise as more and more organizations realize they need qualified professionals to steer the proverbial ship. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for operations specialties managers could increase 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, which compares to the 5 percent general job growth expected across all industries combined over this time.

Types of Management Degrees and Specialties Degrees

Management degree programs can help students develop effective interpersonal skills while they foster decision-making and entrepreneurial thinking and become familiarized with diverse business environments. The skills you can develop in this program can be applied to areas such as personnel management, organizational behavior, production, international and small business, healthcare, government agencies, financial institutions, telecommunications, hospitality, and education.

Associate Degree in Management

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a management degree at the bachelor’s level, consider a management associates degree.

Factors prospective students should consider

This degree typically takes only two years to complete, and you may be able to complete your studies at a local community college.

Type of courses and clinical experiences offered

Courses you can expect to take may include topics like business management and analysis, customer service management, and human resources.

Skills students can learn

The management associate degree can help you learn important skills you can use to properly manage an office and its inner workings. Not only can you learn important leadership skills, you can also dive deeply into topics like finance, accounting, and organizational management.

Jobs related to this degree

Management associate degree could lead to jobs such as:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Customer Service Associate
  • Assistant Store Manager

Bachelor’s Degree in Management

Most candidates for management positions get started with a bachelor’s degree, although you can start working toward this degree with a management associate degree at first. Either way, a standard bachelor’s degree in management can typically take you four years to complete in total, during which you’ll learn what it takes for an organization to thrive.

Type of courses and clinical experiences offered

Coursework in this program is designed to teach students the theory and practice of management, as well as how to apply these theories to real-world scenarios. During this time, you may be expected to take courses in general management, project management, finance, accounting and more.

Skills students can learn

Skills you may need to master during a management bachelor degree program include how to effectively communicate, how to lead during times of stress and hardship, and strategies for dealing with workplace diversity and change.

Jobs related to this degree level

Careers for management majors at a bachelor’s level include:

  • Project Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Sales Manager

Applied Management Degrees

An applied management degree bypasses any extra coursework that doesn’t directly relate to the management function. It has a more intense, career-specific focus and is appropriate for those who already hold a degree or professional credentials and need to enhance their knowledge in order to move into management positions. It says to your organization that you are committed to fulfilling the official duties of managing projects, finances and people. If you’re not already working at a management level, it shows that your goal is to get there; if you are a manager, it shows that you want to be the best you can be at your position by adding to the skills that got you there in the first place.

At the bachelor’s level, an applied management degree offers courses in the key functional areas of management so that you can advance into supervisory positions. During this type of degree program, you can expect to take courses in key areas that include financial decision making, managerial accounting, organizational behavior, and servant leadership, among others.

Jobs you can qualify for after completing this degree program include:

  • General Manager
  • Sales Director
  • Manager Analyst

Organizational Management Degrees

Organizational management is another popular specialization offered by colleges with management majors. This field of study is dedicated to fostering new ways of leading and working with organizational change and transitions. For that reason, students in this program learn about virtual work teams and work design as well as employee and team development within corporations, for-profit and nonprofit agencies, education, and government.

It’s likely you’ll need to choose a subspecialty for your organizational management degree program, such as information technology or human resources. Skills you can hone during this program including developing your own personal leadership style, building an effective team, and expert communication. Courses you can expect to take include accounting, finance, business law, organizational development and more.

An organizational management degree can lead to a variety of careers, including:

  • Project Management
  • Public Administration
  • Sports & Recreation Management

Online or Campus-Based Management Programs?

While you can always pursue a management major at a brick-and-mortar school, more and more colleges with management majors are offering an online version of their programs. With online or distance-based education, you can complete the same courses and learn the same skills as you can with the on-campus equivalent.

While attending a physical campus can be beneficial for some students, online management degrees can be especially helpful for students who don’t live near a physical campus or need to work full-time during the day. Online course can be taken in the evening or on weekends, making this type of program considerably easier to fit into your everyday life.

Financial Aid for Management Students

Like other degree programs, an on-campus or online management degree can qualify for various types of financial aid. You’ll want to start the process by filling out a FAFSA form, or a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form can help schools determine which types of aid you’re eligible for and how much. You’ll also use this form to apply for student loans if you need to borrow funds to pay for school.

Scholarships are also available for various management majors, including the Chuck Peacock Memorial Scholarship, which awards up to $1,000 per year to students attending an accredited management program in specific fields. A 2.5 GPA is required to apply. This is just one example of a scholarship that may be available to you, but there are plenty of others. Make sure to search for scholarships, grants, and other types of aid that might make sense for your management major and school of choice.

What Can You Do With a College Degree in Management?

If you’re still deciding on which specialty or management degree to pursue, it can help to know which careers you might qualify for. The following table highlights some of the top management major jobs with management degree salary details, future job opening statistics, and other details to help in your search.

A management degree can be applied to virtually every industry and organization, and each one will have its own “wish list” for potential employees. Deciding on a career in management starts with selecting your area of specialization, and then obtaining whatever education, credentials and experience are necessary within that field.

Total Employment
Annual Mean Wage
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers307,280$106,550
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers307,280$106,550
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants542,690$62,920
Customer Service Representatives2,919,230$37,320
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive2,038,340$39,180

General and operations managers

Oversee the operations of all kinds of companies. Their duties can include supervising daily operations, formulating company policy, and managing the use of materials and human resources. In some organizations, these managers’ jobs may overlap with the duties of CEOs.

A management analyst or consultant

Is often hired on a contract basis by organizations which are experiencing major changes in operations. For example, if a company undergoes rapid growth, a merger, or downsizing, they can benefit by having an outside expert come in to work with the current management team.

A management consultant

Analyzes the status of an organization, examines their goals and resources, and then devises and presents solutions to any outstanding problems. They may also be asked to help implement any changes, such as staff layoffs and restructuring programs. Attention to detail, understanding of sound business practices, tact and compassion, presentation skills, good judgment, time management skills and creativity can be put to good use in this career.

Since management consultants often work with minimal supervision, they need to be self-motivated and disciplined. About 33% of management analysts work alone, while others are employed by large international organizations, in computer and data processing firms, and for all levels of government. Their efforts are particularly useful to organizations that are conducting international business.

Project managers

In computer and information technology compile requirements, budgets, and schedules for their company’s IT projects. They manage projects from beginning to end, working with internal and external clients, consultants, vendors, and computer specialists. Strong technical knowledge is essential for computer and information systems managers, who must understand and guide subordinates, yet also explain details in non-technical terms to senior management and potential customers.

Strong growth is expected in this type of management position due to constant developments in information technology and the growth of electronic commerce. Traditional companies hire analysts to design intranets or company websites, or establish online businesses. The volatility of the computer and data processing services industry forces the most successful management analysts to have knowledge of traditional business practices as well as software applications, system integration, and web site management skills. Earnings for computer and information systems managers vary by specialty and level of responsibility.

Management Certification and Licensure

Because management degrees cover such a broad range of interest areas, there is no single certification or license required after obtaining your management degree.

An example of a function-specific credential is the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation bestowed to members of the Institute of Management Consultants USA. To apply you need at least five years’ experience in the consulting field and a bachelor’s degree. The CMC certification is internationally bestowed and recognized by any of the 35 national institutes that are members of ICMCI (International Council of Management Consulting Institutes).

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) confers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation upon applicants in the accounting field who complete a bachelor’s degree or attain a minimum score on specified graduate school entrance exams.

Article Sources


  1. Administrative Services Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-28, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed February 14, 2020.
  2. Bachelor of Science in Applied Management, Grand Canyon University. Accessed February 14, 2020.
  3. Bachelor of Science In Management, University of Phoenix. Accessed February 14, 2020.
  4. Organizational Management Degree, Ashford University. Accessed February 14, 2020.
  5. What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Business Management? Rasmussen College. Accessed February 14, 2020.
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