Top Degrees for Management Careers


See how these hot degrees could help you prepare to pursue exciting management roles.

By Tony Moton    
Last updated on 06/20/2014

Want to pursue a career in management? Consider going back to school to up your education.

"Going to school shows employers that you are willing to take a risk on yourself and have the desire to move up in today's marketplace," says Dani Babb, a career counselor and online professor.

Are you ready to step up to a management position? We've spotlighted five degree programs that could help you prep to pursue these types of jobs.

Degree #1 - Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

An MBA program could be the right fit for you if you're looking to hone your skills. MBA programs generally work to help students build management skills through course assignments and projects, says Babb, an on-site faculty adviser at CalSouthern's School of Business.

Click to Find the Right MBA Program.

"The MBA preps students to run a company," Babb says. "Whether online or on-ground, you develop communications skills and the confidence to show you have what companies need to make them better."

An undergraduate degree in a business related subject could be good preparation for the MBA, according to the College Board, a non-profit organization committed to excellence and equity in education.

You'll also need to take the GMAT since graduate school admissions committees use GMAT scores to predict your performance in an MBA program.

In this program you might take courses in finance, marketing, accounting, and management, explains the Princeton Review, an organization that offers test preparation programs for all the major admissions exams.

Potential Career Paths: Industrial Production Manager, Property, Real Estate, or Community Association Manager, Top Executive

Degree #2 - Master's in Human Resources Management (HRM)

A master's degree program in human resource management (HRM) is well worth consideration if you already have experience in the field and desire to one day pursue a management position.

Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program.

The Princeton Review says that in this master's program, courses are designed to help prepare students for the problems they might face as a human resources professional.

"You'll learn how to maximize human output in a business environment, from understanding individual behavior to designing effective management structures, training programs, and compensation schemes," states the Princeton Review.

Potential Career Paths: Training and Development Manager, Compensation or Benefits Manager

Degree #3 - Bachelor's in IT & Information Systems

Would you like to use your computer expertise to transition to a leadership position? With a bachelor's degree in the field of information technology (IT), you could greatly improve your chances of moving into a management, Babb says.

Click to Find the Right IT & Information Systems Program.

"A lot of IT professionals don't have degrees, but they have experience," Babb says. "If you have a bachelor's degree in IT, you have more of an advantage to move into management than bachelor's degrees in other fields."

At the bachelor's level, one option is management information systems (MIS), which could teach you about computer databases, computer security, and networks, explains the College Board. Courses generally taken may include managing information systems, ecommerce, emerging technologies, and systems analysis and design. "The degree helps you go on the fast track from dealing with users on the help desk as a computer-support specialist, to administration, and then to management," Babb says.

Potential Career Path: Computer and Information Systems Manager

Degree #4 - Master's in Health Care Administration

If you have experience in the health care field and want the responsibility of managing a facility or department, a master's in health care administration could help you prepare to pursue this role.

Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), reports the degree is "recognized as the essential first step toward an executive and managerial career in most healthcare organizations."

In master's programs, students are generally instructed on how the nation's health care system works, and the challenges that health care organizations face, says the Princeton Review. Courses might include legal aspects of health care, health care marketing, managed care and market structure, and health care information systems, according to the Princeton Review.

Potential Career Paths: Medical and Health Services Manager

Degree #5 - Bachelor's in Business Administration

If you're looking to pursue a job in the world of management - or thinking you might one day want to get your MBA - this degree could be a good stepping stone.

Click to Find the Right Business Administration Program.

In a business administration and management program you may learn how to organize and control's organization's activities, says the College Board. Common courses might include operations management, accounting, economics, and business policy and strategy.

"That brings value to organizations," says Babb, who also works as a business consultant for entrepreneurs.

Skills honed in the degree program include team leadership and team building, according to Babb. "It's a great degree if you want to be in a position of authority and have more control of your career options," Babb says.

Potential Career Paths: Financial Manager

* All potential careers, common duties, and job growth rates listed from the 2014-2015 U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Department of Labor cites the associated degrees as common, required, preferred, or one of a number of degrees acceptable as preparation for the potential career. In some instances, candidates might require further schooling, professional certifications, or experience, before being qualified to pursue the career.

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