Is a Management Degree Right for Me?

Managers are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 706,900 new management positions will become available by 2028. A management degree can lead to careers in administrative services, advertising, and promotion, architecture and engineering, human resources, finance, food service, sales and more. The career options with a management degree are plentiful if you have the right skills and qualifications. In fact, there is virtually no career field where a management degree is not applicable. In entrepreneurship, even when there is only a company of one, good management skills can make the difference between success and failure.

Are You Management Material?

Dr. Timothy Pettit, academic program director of National University’s Bachelor of Arts in Management, maintains that there are specific qualities one must possess to be successful in a management position. Students who are interested in the bachelor of management degree should assess their comfortability with the following skills:

Do you have people skills?

Being in a management position requires a strong focus on people skills. As a manager or entrepreneur, you’ll have constant interaction with customers, vendors and your workplace team to keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. “You’ve got to be able to listen [to and] motivate people. Some need a firmer hand; other people need to be encouraged; others need to have incentives. That’s what we focus on in the courses: how to identify the person and the situation and then use the right tactics of the management skills for that particular situation,” Dr. Pettit says.

Are you able to understand basic quantitative processes?

Compared to the BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), in the management degree, there is somewhat less of a focus on the mathematical side of business and greater emphasis on how to effectively lead a team. “You’re not going to be crunching numbers all day. This is not the math-focused degree,” says Dr. Pettit. However, there must be some level of understanding of the quantitative methods. Dr. Pettit continues, “[You need to] be able to understand the revenue impact, the cost impact, and what the profitability is going to be.” Many of these skills will be learned in the process improvement course that looks at assembling data, assessing current methods and improving the process.

Do you have a critical eye?

As a manager, the objective is to not only ensure that the business is running smoothly but also to scrutinize current business models and aim to refine them. “You’re always looking to make things better. How can I build a team, and how can we make the organization better?” Dr. Pettit says. This ability to take a holistic view ensures that a manager can not only assess the current management of organizations but can be tasked also with how to improve the business as a whole.

Are you comfortable with leadership?

In management, there are different levels of leadership. Beginning with entry-level management (supervisors, department managers, sales managers) and advancing to upper-level management (vice president and chief executive officer), there are many leadership roles a manager may perform. From leading a team to leading a company, management careers all include some form of oversight of other employees.

Are you interested in strategic planning?

Managers are not only tasked with looking at how the business runs, but also what comes next. A successful member of management has to look at the big picture and assess what possibilities a company has to grow in the short and long run.

If you’ve answered “yes” to many of these questions, then a Bachelor of Management degree may be right for you.

BA in Management vs. BA in Business Administration

At National University, the Bachelor of Management and the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree look similar on paper and may leave prospective students unsure about which path is correct for them. The management degree focuses on leadership skills, working efficiently to improve global business protocols, organizational management, and strategizing skills to revolutionize the business model. On the other hand, the BBA program looks at the ethical and legal methods of business while integrating finance and economics.

Dr. Timothy Pettit always asks prospective students their career expectations to determine which degree is right for them. “Do you like working out front with your people who are getting the job done? Or do you like working in the back crunching the numbers and doing the paperwork to make the business run smoothly?” Dr. Pettit says. “The management degree is the person who is out front. You’re out there on the manufacturing floor, talking to your people, you’re watching things. Management by walking around. It’s all about the interaction with people.”

If you are the type of person who is interested in customer interaction, cooperating with a team, and the management of organizations the Bachelor of Management degree may be the right choice for you. To learn more, please visit our program page where you can also request additional information.