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What Does a Management Degree Look Like?

March 9, 2020

Are you interested in a career in business, but you just can’t decide which major is right for you? With available job growth at an average of 13 to 16 percent every year in business-related majors, it looks like you’re most definitely on the right track! 

If you’re seeking a degree filled with unique, customizable course work in topics that you’re passionate about – read ahead! We sat down with a few of the professors at the Idaho State University College of Business for a deeper look into a degree in management.

What does a Management Degree look like?

At ISU, a degree in management is very flexible and customizable. With emphasis areas in general management, entrepreneurship, human resource management and operations management, students can develop a well-rounded skill set to succeed in nearly any sector of business. 

Although marketing and management are two different disciplines, the two topics go hand in hand when running a business, in fact, at the College of Business both management and marketing are part of what is called the Flexible BBA. According to the Director of Graduate Studies, Kristine McCarty, “with the flexible BBA in management, marketing, finance or economics students can easily double major to expand their knowledge base and make themselves more competitive for career prospects after graduation.” ISU makes achieving a double major in two of these subjects (management, marketing,  finance or economics) very reasonable; it can be done with few to no extra courses, since many of the elective credits count toward both majors.

What Makes Management at ISU Unique?

The College of Business at ISU provides a unique, experiential education that allows students to learn concepts in class and then apply them in a real-world setting. Assistant Professor of Management, Dr. Tyler Burch says that ISU’s culture is centered around what benefits students the most. Director of Professional Development and Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing, John Ney emphasizes Burch’s point adding that, “ISU gives students the opportunity to gain applied learning and experience in a variety of ways, including positions in the Career Path Internship program, hands-on experience in class and as a graduate student in the MBA program with business consulting through Bengal Solutions.” 

Throughout the College, all professors put a strong emphasis on experiential learning. According to Dr. Neil Tocher, Associate Professor of Management and the Department Chair, “the unique structure of MGT 3312- Individual and Organizational Behavior to MGT 4441- Organizational Behavior provides one of the best comprehensive core competencies in the nation.” Dr. Burch agreed that an education in the ISU College of Business truly emphasizes a very individualized experience. Burch teaches an Organizational Behavior class allowing MBA students to design a one-of-a-kind, customizable project that interests them, rather than assigning a generalized paper in an effort to help students to get the most out of their education by igniting their passion.

Tocher and Burch both suggest ISU’s small class sizes also lend themselves to a more applied learning experience. Assistant Professor of Management, Alex Bolinger speaks to this, citing work he does with his students including a course in which students design their own fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Others include Bolinger’s book writing class in which students publish a full book on a historical business in the area, or the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC), which gives students the opportunity to manage a simulated company and compete at an international level. According to MBA and MAcc graduate, Jennifer Donaldson, “the competition is about as real world as school can get… it was the ultimate group project.” Bolinger adds that these applied learning opportunities give students not only technical skills, but experience in the planning process, working in intense, competitive teams and application in decision making – all the while giving meaning to the concepts taught inside of the classroom.

Why Management?

Management is a growing field – which means job opportunities and money! “I chose to double major in marketing and management because there are so many possible careers I could choose with this degree. I liked the flexibility of it,” said Brigette Pope, a College of Business graduate.  A degree in management prepares students to start a business, work for a large or small company or non-profit or even a career in education. 

Statistics show that there are job gains even in Idaho in this area. According to Bolinger, he sees growing job opportunities in project management, human resources (in talent management) and entrepreneurship (in creating opportunities in our own communities). 

According to Burch, the path to a career in management is not always linear, but there are so many different jobs to choose from after graduation that it’s easy and rewarding to choose something you’re passionate about. Statistics from Idaho State University show just that! With 90 percent of College of Business students employed upon graduation. 

Statistics aside, a degree in management leads to huge opportunities in career progression. “What I tell students is at some point, if you do your job well, you’ll move up,” says Bolinger. “At that point, your responsibility is to manage people and that becomes the key to a successful career.”

You might be good at Management if…

“If you have a vested interest in the success of others, you will succeed in management,” says Bolinger. Management often deals with the “people side” of business – managing conflict, motivating people and communicating effectively. According to Burch, “one of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of management is working with people.” He adds that a good manager finds meaning in building up others, making this major an excellent choice for team players. A degree in management at ISU gives students the opportunity to practice teamwork in a secure environment before hitting the real world. 

Management is also a great degree for leadership personalities. “Learning management lets you set the agenda, rather than letting others set it for you,” says Tocher. People who are self-motivated and take charge excel in this field. If you’re a person who is driven to solve problems and has a knack for seeing the big picture, you might be the perfect candidate for a degree in management! So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time for you to set the agenda?