There are some excellent short- and long-term career opportunities within operations management in 2015. However, those who leave school are unlikely to roll right into a position of significant authority. Especially if we consider the new economy, chances are that you will have to prove yourself in a number of different positions before you get a chance to move up.
Trust is built up gradually
When it comes to employing high-level line managers, companies have to be able to trust their judgment. This is not something that happens overnight. This means that years of experience might be needed before a company is able to move someone in that position.
Moving up rapidly is possible
Yet it does not mean that movement in operations management is stagnant – on the contrary. If your performance is strong, chances are that you will be moving forward quickly in an operations function. If you believe that you want to make line operations management a career, if that is where you want to be later on in life, you have a chance to do so. The only thing that you need to do is obtain opportunities to educate and better yourself almost directly out of school.
If you enroll into a job in operations management, you have a great opportunity to learn more about the industry itself and the specific company that you are working for at the time. Having this type of experience early in your professional career will likely lead to increased responsibilities in the future.
Remember that operations management is not just limited to managing a production line in a factory. Organizations are developing organically, the supply chains are not only becoming global, but they are becoming more and more complex. Because of that, there are additional jobs available in supply chain management. These would provide you with an opportunity to develop your business acumen and build a professional portfolio while still working in the industry that you are passionate about. Some of the other positions include:
- Support activities in the services/financial industry
- Manufacturing strategy
- Strategic planning
- Business process improvement or reengineering
- Supply chain management
- Inventory planning and control
- Distribution and logistics planning
- Operations strategy
- Internal auditing groups
- Operations management consulting
Operations is also a perfect place to get started within a company and allows you to see the inner workings of an organization in such a manner that it can lead to more generalized management positions in the future. This is why those with a history in operations management often find that it might be easier to get a position in upper management.
Those who are just starting out will have to be willing to accept entry-level assignments, often in manufacturing facilities. This is done in order to build credibility, it allows for advancement into future positions down the road. This is one of the reasons that it is always beneficial to have an internship that gets someone’s foot in the door.
More ways to get where you want to go
As you can see, you can become involved in operations management in several ways. Just because you have a specific goal in mind or a specific position that you want to chase after, there are several ways to get where you want to go.
Remember that these are just a selection of the possible career opportunities within operations management. You might find that you have a different way towards where you want to go. To learn more about a career in operations management and determine your possible career opportunities, make sure to check out “Interviews with Masters of Operations Management.”