Is Management a Good College Major?

In the current day and age, there are numerous amounts of fields that you can enter in your pursuit of happiness, financial glory, and a career that truly stimulates you. There is however one field that stands out among the rest as having the best combination of all three. That field is management.

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Management Overview

The field of management is one of the best areas of business to get into due to the fact that education requirements are easy to obtain with most jobs starting at bachelor’s degree level and not requiring graduate or post graduate education for most positions. Salaries are exceptionally high in every sector and scale very quickly. Employment opportunities are plenty and will continue to grow rapidly in the future. The required skills are nowhere near as technical as in most other fields such as engineering or computer science, and the growth potential is absolutely huge.

Education Requirements for Management Major

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Education requirements for a degree in management are easy to obtain. The most common degree is just Bachelor’s in Management. This, believe it or not, will get you farther in your career than pursuing a graduate’s degree or even a post-graduate education.

According to the Employment Projections report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a government website that is part of the United States Department of Labor. 70 percent of all the management jobs require only a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of experience in the field. 22 percent required a graduate degree with five years or more experience in the field. Only 8 percent required a post-graduate degree again with five years or more in the field.

The majority of jobs are centered on a bachelor’s degree so there is no absolute need to go into graduate or post-graduate school. Just get your degree and start making money.

Salaries in the Field

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In order to properly talk about management salaries, give the most credible numbers and obtain the most accurate overview, I am going to use four different sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, Payscale and U.S. News & World Report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government agency part of the United States Department of Labor. Their numbers come from occupational employment and job openings data collected in 2014 to predict job projections, salaries and requirements from 2014 through 2024. Glassdoor is a business community website where large data on job salaries are generated based on user input (i.e. each individual putting down how much money they earned while working for any specific company). Payscale is a statistic agency that collects job data to give an estimate of how much each occupation is worth and how much you should get paid. Lastly U.S. News & World Report is a website that collects education, job and salary data to give accurate ranking of occupations in comparison to others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average management salary can start anywhere between $40,000 to $70,000. The lower end jobs associated with positions such as business analyst, financial analyst, and sales representative; while the higher end salaries of $70,000 revolve around account management, human resource management and sales management.

Furthermore, according to a report from Payscale, a statistical agency that collects and analyzes data associated with jobs, the median business manager salary in the United States is $57,430. The salaries range from $36,000 all the way up to $100,533 while also including a bonus, which can range from $255.32 up to $20,213 Profit sharing and commission can also be added to each individual salary but that is highly based on each company. Profit sharing can range from $0 – $17,271 and commission $1,221 – $41,031 per year.

Overall the total pay for managers when combining all other factors can be between $33,584 and $102,224 starting out. Lastly, according to U.S. News & World Report of best ranking jobs in 2016, 3 out of 10 top paying jobs in U.S. have to do with management.

Special Tip

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Also as another alternative, if you go into retail, a bachelor’s degree or even an associate’s degree is not required at all to become a manager. Obviously it would help but it is not necessary. What you would need to do is start as a normal associate, work for six months and then start vigorously searching for and applying for management positions within any other branches of the store you work for in your district.

The turnover rate of management positions in retail is average of six months. So if you work for companies like Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples or Home Depot, stay there for six months and then look for management position openings in either your store or any of the other nearby stores in your district and you will be sure to find one. In my experience working for Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, and Home Depot, that is always the case.

According to Glassdoor most associate manager salaries (entry level management position start between $25,000 – $35,000. While a full department manger’s salary can scale up to $50,000 to $60,000 (especially in electronics stores such as Best Buy since they deal with bigger sales than most others retailers).

Then with more than five years of experience, you can become a Store Manager, who’s salaries range from $82,233 to $96,830 a year according to Glassdoor and this is not even counting the cash bonus or stock bonus that you get based on performance. So the money is definitely there even if you do not want to pursue any degree whatsoever because your determination and work experience are the main factors that will drive you to the top.

Odds of Getting Hired with a Management Major

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Employment opportunities are some of the highest because the skills that are acquired in the field of management can be applied in virtually any industry such as manufacturing, technical service, health care and social assistance, finance, insurance, public administration, educational services, information technology, retail trade, administrative and whole sale. Tanza

Loudenback, who is a Your Money reporter for the Business Insider, wrote in her article The 20 best jobs in business for 2016 about the subject. Loudenback states that, “It’s a great time to be a job-seeker. The US economy is humming adding a total of 2.7 million jobs in 2015, and the potential for job growth in 2016 is bright as well.” Out of those 2.7 million new jobs, at least 675,000 will have to do with management so the opportunities of employment are only going to continue to grow.

4 Required Skills

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In management, there are numerous amounts of skills that are quintessential in order to succeed. Of those numerous, there are four that stand out the most. Developing a strategic perspective, showing humility, driving higher performance in shorter amount of time and helping others grow are the key factors. Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman who are the founders of Zenger/Folkman, a leadership development consultancy, wrote on this subject in their research article, The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level for the Harvard Business Review. Zenger and Folkman state that,

“With middle managers, problem solving moves ahead of everything else. Then for senior management, communicating powerfully and prolifically moves to the number two spot. Only for top executives does a new competency enter the mix, as the ability to develop a strategic perspective (which had been moving steadily up the lower ranks) moves into the number five position.”

Strategic Perspective

Developing a strategic perspective is the bread and butter of any manager. Managers are constantly working with employees under their wing and in order for them to succeed, a good manager has to know what kind of strategy will work with that person. What will motivate and inspire each individual to do their very best.

This varies from person to person so having good relationships, remembering what other people are passionate about and what they care about the most is critical. When the time comes to motivate a specific individual, if you do not know what really gets them going, then you will have minimal results.

Humility

Having humility is another important skill for a manager to have because people respect someone that can show compassion and actually understand the flaws of each individual (including themselves) and help those individuals over come them. This is primarily illustrated in an interview of David Gordon who is the president of The Cheesecake Factory by Fortune magazine where Gordon states that

“it’s about humility—truly accepting that I don’t actually know it all and I make mistakes. I am willing to speak up and share my experiences — good and bad — so that others can learn from them. “

As Gordon says, having humility and accepting that you are not perfect is one of the best skills to have because it is better to be grounded in reality in order to get the highest results rather than floating in wonderland pretending that you know everything until you reach the tipping point.

Productivity Skill (work less, produce more)

Managers should also know how to get their employees to work less while producing more; that is after all one of the biggest goals of management in every field. Being able to increase performance over a shorter period of time is critical to most managers starting out because they are weighed more on employee performance than any other aspect. Dr. Johannes Buhl, who is a researcher for the Research Group Sustainable Production And Consumption at the Wuppertal Institute, writes on this topic in the academic journal: Springer. Buhl states,

“In our study, we analyzed the widely promoted benefits of reducing working time in terms of environmental, social and life satisfaction aspects. The literature on working hours within the scope of degrowth policies suggests reducing working hours to tackle environmentally unfriendly consumption patterns and job-related stress and to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance.”

What Buhl discusses critical because if managers can find a way to reduce the amount of time that employees work while increasing their results, they would not only be meeting every quota set out for them, but they would also be increasing the overall happiness of their employees, which is something that every successful manager is striving to do. In turn, if you can balance employee productivity with happiness, you would be the role model of the ideal manager.

Helping Others Grow

The last very important skill to consider is being good at helping others grow because if that is one area where you are lacking, you may have some difficult times ahead. Monique Valcour, who is a management academic, coach and consultant writes on this subject in her article, If You’re Not Helping People Develop, You’re Not Management Material, for the Harvard Business Review. Valcour states, that,

“Good managers attract candidates, drive performance, engagement and retention, and play a key role in maximizing employees’ contribution to the firm. Poor managers, by contrast, are a drag on all of the above. They cost your firm a ton of money in turnover costs and missed opportunities for employee contribution, and they do more damage than you realize.”

What Valcour states could not be more true. One of the biggest skills required for management is the ambition (or even the hunger) to help others succeed, to drive their performance to the top to not only meet expectations but also go above and beyond what was asked. The desire to help people reach their full potential and contribute to the firm as much as possible has to be planted deep in your center core if you want to become a successful manger in your field.

Growth Potential

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The growth potential in management is huge due the fact that management is divided into two main levels of hierarchy. The first level is associated with doing work that is based more on immediate results in the employees who were able to attain or exceed expectations under the guidance of the said manager. The second level is associated with planning strategy in the long run and seeing the bigger picture of the company as a whole.

Therefore there are numerous ways to grow in management and it is very exciting as well because the work you initially start out doing, changes as you climb higher up the corporate ladder. Douglas A. Ready, who is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Linda A. Hill, who is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor Business Administration at Harvard Business School both write on this issue in their Harvard Business Review article, Are You a High Potential. They argue that in order to be grow the fastest, you have to have high potential,

“High potentials consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances. While achieving these superior levels of performance, they exhibit behaviors that reflect their companies’ culture and values in an exemplary manner. Moreover, they show a strong capacity to grow and succeed throughout their careers within an organization—more quickly and effectively than their peer groups do.”

So it is not a matter of lacking management opportunities in the market, rather a lack of high potential, iron determination to go above and beyond in achievement and reflecting the company’s underlining culture that would prevent an individual from growing. But if you embrace these aspects then the sky is your limit.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the field of management truly is one of the best areas to delve into. The fact that education requirements are so low makes it extremely easy to start getting experience in this career. By working six or more months in most retailers you can land yourself a job in management without any degree. While getting yourself a bachelor’s degree in the management will propel you even further and in most cases a master’s or a doctorate’s degree is simply not necessary.

Salaries for management are good weather you are working for retail without a degree or on the corporate level with your degree. Management jobs are not only good but can also scale up exponentially with experience and the right skills such as creating a strategic perspective, showing humility, driving higher performance in shorter amount of time and helping others grow above and beyond. Employment opportunities are ample and will only increase in the coming years as predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The required skills for management are not as technical as in most other fields; focusing more on people and goal oriented abilities rather than methodical ones.

All of these aspects make management an exceptionally enticing field to enter. With enough determination, perseverance and focus, management can truly become one of the best careers that you will ever embark on in your life.

Do you have any thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below and start a conversation.

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