If higher education can help you get a better job, can a job help prepare you for a Master’s degree in Operations Management? While there is controversy these days as to how necessary a college degree is for some career arcs, the better educated someone is in business, the better they’ll do both with future jobs and pay scales. Studies have shown that MBA holders in the work force can expect to see an immediate increase in earnings upon graduation, with earnings increasing steadily beyond that over time. So the benefits of acquiring a MBA are far from over, particularly if one wants to work as an operations manager, a position much in demand in a number of business fields. Obviously, studying hard is going to make you a star in your masters program. But work experience can also be very useful in acquiring this degree. Below are a few examples that prove, “It’s not just what you know, but what you’ve done”.

Resource: Top 10 Online Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Degree Programs 2016

1. Warehouse Operations

A great job to get you ready for graduate operations management study is warehouse management. Two big factors emphasized in your studies here will be supply chains and logistics, both very important in the successful day to day operations of a warehouse.

2. Store Buyer

Another course of study as you prepare for that MBA in operations management will be the analysis of buying and retail trends. Working as a buyer will provide real life experience here, providing insight into the mindset of consumers, which will provide useful in making executive decisions about moving money and resources in the future.

3. Risk Manager

As risk management study gets a special emphasis in MBA studies, having worked in these field for a business or bank will give you a step up as you prepare for your masters studies in operation management. Risk management is a constant factor in an operation manager’s position, and even low level hands-on exposure to it can prove invaluable both in studies and work ahead.

4. Data Analyst

Data analysts must not only look at large amounts of raw information, but be able to interpret it correctly and make decisions based on this, including doing some forecasting. Having previous practical experience in these areas will definitely give you a head start in that quest for a masters degree in operation management. Analysis and interpretation will be a big part of your studies here.

5. Environmental Program Manager

“Green” is the big thing in everything from government to construction to business these days, and those who have worked in one of the “sustainability” fields will have gained valuable experience in a number of areas, including policy writing, flow study, public relations, logistics, and decision analysis. 78% of those who graduate with an undergraduate degree in this field will go on to work in private industry, and those numbers are expected to increase as we progress through this century.

Are there other jobs that can prepare you for a masters degree in operation management? Working as a procurement officer or a engineer can provide some useful skills to apply to studies here, as does that internship for the senator. Remember, your goal here is to learn how to master logistics and supply management, so in considering post under-graduate degree jobs, look for ones that will further your future education, not just future employment positions.