What to Study if You’re Interested in Manufacturing

Manufacturing refers to the creation and production of goods. Everything from cars to computers to prescription medications is manufactured.

Individuals interested in a career in manufacturing can consider multiple options. Your academic path will determine whether you combine ingredients, work with custom computer software programs, or oversee business operations.

A master of business administration (MBA) degree can prepare you for a leadership role.

If you’re interested in manufacturing but prefer to work in an office instead of a factory, earning an undergraduate degree and a masters in business administration will provide you with the education you need to pursue several manufacturing roles. An MBA program covers critical subjects such as managerial economics, management of operations, managing across cultures, and financial management. Management of operations covers product design, resource management, and scheduling, ensuring graduates who complete this coursework know how to oversee all stages of production and manage expenses. To qualify for admission to an MBA degree program, you must have a bachelor’s degree and relevant professional experience. It’s common for MBA students to study business administration, engineering, or economics before applying to business school.

MBA program graduates may opt to become logistics managers or purchasing managers. Logistics managers oversee the production and distribution of supplies and products. They ensure the supply chain operates effectively to ensure quotas are met, and orders are filled. They may identify a different way to send or receive products to reduce expenses or prevent shipping delays. Purchasing managers evaluate supplies and suppliers to determine the best suppliers to use. For example, a purchasing manager may review new computers and select a suitable computer manufacturer to supply their company’s computers. They review financial documents to find ways to save money on operating costs without compromising product quality.

Business analytics programs prepare graduates to become production schedulers.

Business analytics courses and programs combine computer programming, business intelligence, and data analytics. The program or course objectives involve equipping graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to analyze data effectively and identify patterns. Data patterns help analysts determine what’s affecting operating costs or production schedules. Analysts use data to identify ways to adjust production to achieve production objectives.

Production schedulers set production targets and create schedules to ensure production goals are met. Google “business cases for manufacturing analytics” to learn how analytics are transforming manufacturing operations. Manufacturing analytics enable production managers to access and utilize all relevant data that can be used to reduce downtime, increase revenues, and increase efficiency. Individuals interested in business analytics may opt to complete a business analytics program or take courses in business analytics while earning their MBA or another degree, such as an industrial design or engineering degree. Individuals with an undergraduate or graduate degree may opt to take a business analytics certificate program to prepare for this type of manufacturing career.

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Manufacturing companies need human resource managers.

Human resource professionals are associated with hiring and terminating employees, but they perform a wide range of tasks that ensure companies operate effectively. Human resource managers create training protocols, secure benefit plans for employees, mediate disputes, allocate staff to utilize their skills and credentials, and ensure the company complies with regulations.

Human resource managers need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or education. Applicants must have a master’s degree to qualify for some positions.

Industrial designers work for manufacturing companies.

Industrial designers are skilled professionals with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or industrial design. They need strong analytical skills, as well as computer skills and artistic abilities. Their work involves creating design plans for new products. Industrial designers identify the product’s purpose and the consumers the product will appeal to. Industrial designers produce prototypes and outline the production process.

There are multiple roles in manufacturing companies. Those interested in a manufacturing career can pursue an undergraduate degree to equip them with the credentials needed to become an industrial designer or a human resource manager. There are also several opportunities for individuals who have an MBA or training in analytics.

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