Both the undergraduate and graduate programs for operations management typically include classes in decision analysis, statistics, probability, and logistics. In addition to that, students learn about information technology, manufacturing, supply chain management, and inventory and quality control. It is possible for these degrees to lead to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
As we all know in operations management, not all suppliers are created equal. The same can be said for colleges that teach operations management. A degree obtained from specific universities is going to mean a great deal more than a degree from other colleges. This is a list of the best colleges for operations management in 2015, in no particular order.
Northwestern University in Evanston, IL
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was ranked sixth for production and operations management in 2011 by U.S. News & World Report. Even though it has since lost a little to some of the other schools on this list, the cross-disciplinary topics in organizational behavior, management, marketing, and finance prepare students for careers in general management or consulting.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA
This university is widely considered to be the number one college for operations management. It is just across the Charles River from downtown Boston and offers social science, management, humanities, and architecture programs. With a fall acceptance rate of 8.2 percent, this private research university can be difficult to get into.
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC
At UNC, the Kenan-Flagler Business School is consistently ranked amongst the best undergraduate, graduate and operations management programs by Bloomberg Businessweek. The graduate school focuses on global supply chain management, focusing on courses in product development, international business, decision models, and operations and product management. There are various events, competitions, and workshops hosted each year by the Global Supply Chain Club to raise awareness for operations management careers.
Purdue University–West Lafayette in West Lafayette, IN
The admissions at Purdue are considered selective and it follows a traditional semester-based academic calendar. The Krannert School of Management was ranked in the top 50 by both Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek and it is considered one of the better schools for operational management education.
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa
This private institution is the only school in the nation that was founded by Andrew Carnegie, a renowned philanthropist and industrialist. The Tepper School of Business was the first that introduced a mini-system system. Rather than breaking down into a fall and spring semester, it boils down to four quarters of 6.5 weeks.
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
The Ross School of Business was established in 1924 and it has an academic staff of 199. It is consistently listed in the top 10 for business schools, for both its undergraduate and graduate degrees. In fact, it took the number two spot for the U.S News and World Report last year.
The Tauber Institute for Global Operations offers a multidisciplinary program that integrates engineering and business. It is possible to develop operations management skills here by taking elective courses in engineering, working on team projects, and participating in a leadership program.
University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
This private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia was originally founded by Benjamin Franklin. The Wharton School of Business consistently ranks in the top three in undergraduate and graduate programs, even ranking number two on CNN’s Worldwide MBA list. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is the best business school in the country for graduate and undergraduate students.
These are some of the best colleges for operations management in 2015. While not every good option is obviously included in this list, it should give you some suggestions on where to start looking.
To learn more about a career in operations management and what really happens in that field, see Interviews with Masters of Operations Management
Christopher M. Diggs