Operations management professionals create and employ business practices designed to ensure the company, entity or organization they work for produces products or delivers services in as quick and cost efficient a manner as possible. Individuals with academic degrees in this discipline often seek employment in management and quality control positions. Many such jobs will require applicants hold a masters degree. The following are five prerequisites most accredited American colleges and universities will require potential degree candidates meet prior to beginning the application process to a masters program.
An Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) Degree
All applicants will need to hold a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university. Typically, those pursuing advanced studies have earned an undergraduate degree in management, another business discipline or may have an engineering background. Though a management, business or engineering degree in not a prerequisite for admission, it is recommended potential degree candidates have earned some credits in management or business. Some academic institutions may require those who do not enroll in and successfully complete introductory level management courses. These credits, however, will not likely be credited towards the student’s graduate study tract. Some schools may waive specific course requirements to those applicants who demonstrate comparable work experience.
Relevant Work Experience
Certain schools will require applicants to have been employed in a position relevant to the field. This experience will need to be documented in the form of a current resume. In addition, an applicant might be required to write a job description clearly detailing his or her duties and offer specific explanations as to how this job relates to the operations management industry. In some instances, academic institutions might waive certain course requirements in lieu of relevant work experience.
Proven Record of Academic Success
In addition to a bachelors degree, applicants will need to demonstrate a proficient academic record. Most colleges and universities accepting applicants into graduate study in the operations management discipline will expect an undergraduate cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) to be 3.0. Some schools might admit applicants with a GPA of slightly less. Other institutions will expect potential degree candidates to exceed the 3.0 level. Applicants will also need to submit undergraduate transcripts to the graduate school admissions offices of the institutions for which they are applying.
Display Proficiency on Placement and/or Aptitude Tests
Certain schools may expect applicants to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Admissions Management Test (GMAT). Each individual institution’s graduate admissions office will set a minimum score of which they expect applicants to attain. Foreign students will also likely be required to display their mastery of the English language. This skill is measured through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). As with other placement or aptitude tests, each institution will set forth the minimum expected score of graduate school applicants. If TOEFL is unavailable to certain students, certain schools might also recognize the results of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination.
Author A Statement of Purpose
This is not simply an essay describing why an applicant’s candidacy should be considered, but should also detail what they hope to gain from graduate study and explain how he or she plans to take this knowledge and apply it to the professional world.
Certain academic institutions might also require applicants fulfill the prerequisite of submitting letters of recommendation written by his or her current or former employers, undergraduate Instructors and/or colleagues highlighting why the potential degree candidate deserves the opportunity to study at the graduate level. In some instances, applicants might also be required to own their own laptop computer.