Zicklin undergraduate Operations Management curriculum

FAQ

We hope you find the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) helpful in planning your major or minor study in Operations Management at the Zicklin School of Business. Please contact the OM area faculty advisor if you have a question that isn’t answered here or elsewhere in these web pages.

How does the BBA in Operations Management set itself apart from other majors? 

At the heart of every business is operations, the people responsible for execution and making business happen.  The BBA in Operations Management (OPM) teaches students how to think critically about how to run and improve business operations across a wide variety of industries.  The coursework places special emphasis on business process analysis, business and digital transformation, inventory and supply chain management, project management, spreadsheet modeling, and consulting.  And so the hallmark of the OPM program is the way it develops the students’ quantitative reasoning and decision-modeling skills, and gives a useful perspective for future leadership roles.

What can one do with a BBA in Operations Management? What career paths do OPM majors usually pursue?

Graduates go on to a wide variety of roles in every sector including (but not limited to) financial services and banking, healthcare, technology, small startups, logistics companies, energy companies, consumer products, retail & luxury, city and state government, food and beverage, hospitality, entertainment and media, real estate and construction, and consulting.

There are many opportunities for those interested in pursuing Operations Management careers.  Examples of managerial positions our graduates pursue include:

  • procurement manager,
  • supply chain manager,
  • hospital administrator,
  • warehouse manager,
  • materials manager,
  • project manager.

Graduates often find success in operations analyst positions.  Some examples are:

  • systems analyst,
  • business process analyst,
  • production control analyst,
  • quality assurance analyst,
  • performance improvement analyst.

Some operations management graduates pursue consulting roles, such as:

  • Lean improvement consultant, 
  • Operations Management consultant. 

The OPM major prepares graduates for early successes starting out, and further into the future (as they obtain progressively more rank and responsibility).  Some students leverage their quantitative skills in masters degree programs in operations management, data science, operations engineering, financial engineering, and related fields. 

How do I choose between the two OPM tracks? What are the main differences between the two? 

Of the 8 classes (24 credits) in the OPM major, the two tracks differ in the 3 elective courses that a student chooses. The Operations Management and Consulting track is intended for students who seek career trajectories involving more visible leadership roles, through in-depth study of how projects are managed, and processes are transformed.  This track also sets up motivated students for optional professional certifications.  The other track in Operations Management and Analytics is intended for students who wish to develop a more technical skillset in data analytics, as such skills are strongly in demand today’s job marketplace. 

In summary, we recommend the consulting track for students who aspire to more leadership-oriented roles in project management and process improvement; the analytics track for students who want a more technical path.

Do the OPM tracks have “a lot of math”? 

The OPM major requires strong quantitative reasoning skills; on par with, say, in the BBA in Finance.  In fact, the OPM major is an excellent alternative to Finance for students with strong quant skills who want a different career path.  In particular, the 3 required 3000-level courses will build upon a student’s solid foundation in precalculus, probability, and statistics (students who are weak in these prerequisite areas will need to work much harder than other students in these classes).  The Operations Management and Consulting track has a required class in Lean and Six Sigma, which leverages a student’s background in statistics.  The project management class requires strong decision-modeling spreadsheet skills.  The course offerings in the Operations Management and Analytics track are similarly technical.   

Why is one of the tracks called Operations Management and Consulting but all OPM majors are required to take the consulting capstone (OPM 4551)?

We feel the consulting skillset is essential for any OPM graduate in any industry.  Like the consulting capstone in our MBA program, this class teaches important skills in problem solving, teamwork, and communication that are critical to all OPM majors.  Moreover, since operations management professionals are often the driving force behind change, they function as consultants whether inside their own firms or in external client-facing roles. And so again, management consulting skillset is important. 

We named the track Operations Management and Consulting because the knowledge areas that it emphasizes (project management, lean and six sigma business transformation, etc.) are skills that anyone who transforms business need, again, whether leading the change inside their own firms or externally.  The track is a natural fit for those aspiring to careers in management consulting, but it is more generally suitable for anyone interested in business transformation. 

Which courses are most predictive of success in the OPM major?

In general, students with strong quantitative skills and process/systems-thinking skills do best in the OPM major.  We find that the courses most predictive of success are business statistics (STA 2000), calculus or QNT 2020, and/or the core finance class (FIN 3000).

OPM 4500 and OPM 4551 each have 3 prerequisites.  Can I wave some of these to graduate sooner? 

No. The department does not waive prerequisites under any circumstances.  We urge students to plan their path through the OPM major carefully and early.

Can I complete the OM major enrolling only in evening courses?

The course offerings are designed to provide students with flexibility. However, it is not possible to offer every course in the evening every semester. Therefore, we advise students to plan their schedules accordingly.

Are OPM courses offered in the summer session?

Class offerings during the summer may be limited. Few OPM major courses are offered during the summer, and there may be limited seats in those that are. Students are encouraged to plan accordingly by taking major courses in the regular semester when they are offered, and taking other Business core courses in the summer if desired. Two sample plans to complete the OM major (a regular four-semester plan and an intensive two-semester plan) can be found here.

If you have further questions, please contact the OM area faculty advisor.

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