Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Why So Few Operations Management Majors?

A_Balding_LoserA_Balding_Loser - Posts: 50 Junior Member
edited June 2008 in Business Major
I'm kinda becoming obsessed with this stufff, like whether or not I made the right choice. I find the material really interesting, but I only know of a few other people in OM, the rest are all accounting, finance, and econ for the most part.

Did I pick a lousy major or something? I find it challenging and interesting, and I heard the job outlook is really good right now.

Can anyone fill me in?
Post edited by A_Balding_Loser on
«134

Replies to: Why So Few Operations Management Majors?

  • naurunauru Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    If you're happy with the material and the outlook, then why not stick with it? Way too many people simply follow whatever the herd is doing; do your own thing and excel at it, and you'll probably end up in better shape than most of your herd-following peers.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    The fact that many people do not want to go into operations means that those who do can enjoy higher wages (than they would if it was a "highly desireable" line of work).

    If you enjoy it, who cares if others enjoy it or not. More CEOs of fortune 500s come from the operations side of the business than from marketing or finance.
  • sf606508sf606508 Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    if you like it, go ahead and do it. one is best at what one is interested in.
    but yes, it if not as lucrative as some other fields of business.

    your Wal-Mart local manager, for example, is a part of Operations Management. so is basically every middle manager in middle America. it is a job where (for the most part of your 20's at least) you get paid a decent wage doing a decent job for a decent company. it ain't Wall Street and never will be.

    however, it might be a dramatically different picture if you are doing overseas operations management. the stipends can be quite lucrative.
  • A_Balding_LoserA_Balding_Loser - Posts: 50 Junior Member
    its hard for me to understand why operations isn't attractive, I mean, you get to be involved in the process of MAKING something. its so much more tangible than accounting or finance. and i wouldn't consider it a soft skill, i mean, there's quite a bit of math and statistics, just as much as finance in my experience. would you guys agree? i guess when you hear the word "management" in a title, you kinda get a little suspect about it.

    anyway, like you said, I guess its just about people having the impression that they'll make the most money in finance and accounting. I would agree, they probably have the POTENTIAL to earn a lot in those parts of the business, but I've also heard that there are very few positions in accounting and finance where a person is really making the BIG bucks. most people don't end up on wall street or in a big 4 firm.

    It kind of makes me cringe to think of myself as a manager at Walmart though, I hope that's not how things work out for me. I kinda thought most people in operations end up in manufacturing? I hope I do, I mean, I know they work in the service industry as well, but manufacturing is what interests me more.
  • sf606508sf606508 Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    sure, manufacturing is very tangible, and you do get a sense of accomplishment from making real stuff.

    my rough and unenlightened impression is that manufacturing is on the decline, and they haven't been able to recruit kids from top schools for a long time now. but unfortunately some people would claim that working for say, John Deere is not much better than working for Wal-Mart. in fact, Carnegie Mellon is seen as particularly a school where the kids are willing to work in industry and industry can actually get kids, to give an example.

    you get the wrong impression about finance. the structure is the industry is sharply segregated and recruitment follows the same pattern. a lesser school with a business program tends to place strongly into accounting precisely because it cannot place into the more lucrative fields of banking and consulting, essential Ivy, Little Ivy, and other T20 schools' preserves.
  • sf606508sf606508 Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    it's really quite easy to understand. take this anecdote:
    if you get an offer from both Goldman Sachs and General Electric, which would you pick?
    If you get an offer from both PriceWaterhouseCoopers and say, Otis Elevators, where would you go?

    not saying one should choose one over the other, just saying that one could understand how most people would make the choice if given the options.
  • A_Balding_LoserA_Balding_Loser - Posts: 50 Junior Member
    yea, i understand, I agree

    thanks for the feedback
  • redhare317redhare317 Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    There's nothing wrong with operations management. In fact, it was probably one of my favorite classes (and the most difficult), combining the quantitative elements of stats and industrial engineering with qualitative elements of strategy. It's just not considered very glamorous. Managing a supply chain, conducting quality control, placing orders to maintain safety stock inventory, doing process analysis for a manufacturing plant, etc. may be interesting topics to learn in class but are not what most people think of when they want to do business. I guess there's a negative "factory" image in people's minds. However, if you like it, you should definitely consider it.
  • A_Balding_LoserA_Balding_Loser - Posts: 50 Junior Member
    yea, i think they really give kids the impression that its all about working in a factory, id definitely agree with that.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    if you get an offer from both Goldman Sachs and General Electric, which would you pick?
    If you get an offer from both PriceWaterhouseCoopers and say, Otis Elevators, where would you go?

    Ok, but what if you get an offer from both Goldman Sachs and McKinsey? McKinsey does work in operations. What if you get an offer from PWC and Booze Allen Hamilton? There are very lucrative consulting jobs in the realm of operations.
    my rough and unenlightened impression is that manufacturing is on the decline,

    Given the current state of the global economy, distribution is more important than ever. That is operations.
  • sf606508sf606508 Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    Booze Allen and McKinsey aren't operations, Vector, they are operations consulting. they do not, do not, manage the actual operation of a particular business. they simply draw up plans and provide advice as to the nature and methods of the said operation. they would never get involved with actual management: that would be a gross waste of resources as those are all Ivy Leaguers and to lock them up with a particular industry would be under-utilizing the smartest brains in the country and putting them to mundane, repetitive management tasks in industry. consulting, like i-banking and corporate law, are one-off jobs where you get on a project for a few weeks or months and then move on. real management operations of the sort indicated by the OP, as in working in the industry, is as far from it as it gets.

    i am not attacking operations: i am simply stating the facts to someone who seems to have a fairly shaky grasp of the actual economics of the business job market. you seem to want to turn this into some sort of moral debate. it isn't. the fact is, i know plenty of rich bankers and rich corporate lawyers and rich consultants: i have yet to meet any middle manager driving a maserati or a range rover.
  • naurunauru Registered User Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    I'm sure there are plenty of middle managers who could afford a range rover--that is, if they actually wanted something so hideous in their driveway.

    As for the Maserati, that's a different story entirely.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    Booze Allen and McKinsey aren't operations, Vector, they are operations consulting.

    This is a contradictory statement if I've ever seen one.
    they simply draw up plans and provide advice as to the nature and methods of the said operation.

    *** do you think operations is ?
    real management operations of the sort indicated by the OP, as in working in the industry, is as far from it as it gets.

    The OP indicated nothing of the sort. He said that he was obsessed with operations and wondered why more people didn't major in OM. You won't get any more operations expertise than you would doing strategy consulting in operations. Obviously, these jobs are not as easy to come by but that is no different than any top job.
    i have yet to meet any middle manager driving a maserati

    Actually, I have. BTW, not everyone that works for a large fortune 500 stays in middle management. Furthermore, most people in accounting/finance end up in typical corporate finance jobs which are no different than what you are referring to.

    Regardless, one doesn't have to go into middle management to have a successful career in operations. One can go into operations consulting.
  • A_Balding_LoserA_Balding_Loser - Posts: 50 Junior Member
    yeah, that's kinda what I thought too, that an operations management degree doesn't simply mean you become an operations manager. honestly, consulting is one of the things I would like to try to get into eventually, but I know I'll probably need a masters degree in that (I'd like to do OR).

    Thanks for the replies, and thanks for looking out Vector.

    Feel free if anyone has anything else.
  • zoolanderzoolander Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    what is difference between operation management and operation research
«134
This discussion has been closed.