The 10 Cheapest Online MBA in Operational Management

Cheapest Online MBA in Operational Management - featured image

Every business has its own operation process and will require services from business professionals knowledgeable about managing operations. And with the rising count of entrepreneurs, e-commerce, manufacturing, and technological procedures, the business industry needs new and improved operations management procedures. As a result, more students are considering enrolling in operations management programs. 

You are a good candidate for operations management if you possess significant creativity, social skills, self-direction, keenness for project management, and conscientiousness. According to the US News and World Report, a business operations manager is #9 in Best Business Jobs.

At a Glance

Being an operations manager is hard, especially if you have no specific training. These professionals carry out a wide range of frequently intricate tasks. They organize, schedule, and oversee business production and manufacturing processes. They also make sure that the businesses generate huge profits from the investment.

To secure a high-paying position, a business leader should have extensive experience in a particular industry or sector. In addition to experience, these professionals are expected to have achieved higher education.

Cheapest Online MBA in Operational Management - fact

An MBA in Operational Management: Where It Takes You

After earning a bachelor’s degree, it’s a good idea to enroll in a Master of Business Administration program. To become a proficient operations manager, you should major in operations management. This MBA major combines supply chain management and logistics, teaching you how to effectively manage an organization’s inventory throughout the supply chain and boosting profitability. 

Two of the factors hindering a prospective graduate student from obtaining an MBA degree are time and cost. Fortunately, business schools are recognizing busy working adult students and are slowly transitioning to provide fully online MBA degrees.

Students worried about the high cost of education have a vast option of affordable online MBA programs in operations management. Some may think an affordable online MBA is less valuable than its expensive counterparts. This is not entirely true. 

An affordable online MBA in operations management can still compete with its expensive counterparts. As long as the university’s online program is accredited, you will receive a high caliber of education.

While the Master of Business Administration in operations management program length varies from school to school, online classes usually last for two years. Full-time students can complete the degree in a year in an accelerated online program. On the other hand, part-time students take longer to complete their MBA degree. 

Another thing that varies is coursework. Regardless, here are some of the most common coursework found in an online MBA in operations management:

  • Business Statistics
  • Enterprise Resource Planning 
  • Financial Accounting and Management 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • International Logistics 
  • Information Technology Management
  • Marketing Management 
  • Material Management
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Technology and Innovation Management
  • International Business Process

The best online MBA programs in Operations Management do not have to be expensive! Pick the most affordable option for you!

The 10 Cheapest Online MBA in Operational Management Programs

University of South Dakota

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota

The University of South Dakota offers one of the most affordable MBAs in Operations and Supply Chain Management available online. This online MBA specialization was designed to equip online students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become business professionals who can efficiently manage overall business operations. Students will focus on exploring relevant issues facing businesses from a global perspective, such as lean management, quality control, and supply chain management. 

Online students specializing in operations and supply chain management can develop a more specialized professional path emphasizing logistics, sourcing, quality control, and waste minimization. Students can opt for Business Essentials I or Business Essentials II, depending on their knowledge. To further allow students to customize their online MBA specialization, they are required to choose two of the following operations and supply chain management elective courses:

  • Topics in Business 
  • Lean Management 
  • Project Management
  • Data Management and Warehousing
  • Quality and Six Sigma Management 

The University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business has gained full accreditation from the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This accreditation proves that the online MBA program in operations and supply chain management can deliver high-quality business education to its current and prospective online students. You’ll have the same on-campus curriculum taught by the same distinguished on-campus faculty as an online student. 

Cedarville University

Cedarville University

Cedarville, Ohio

Cedarville University offers a fully online and affordable online MBA in Operations Management that offers the same education quality and curriculum as their on-campus MBA and is accredited by the ACBSP – Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Prospective students should expect to undergo a comprehensive curriculum taught by the same on-campus faculty, focusing on developing capacities for engineering and other operational management responsibilities. This online operations management MBA guides students in developing competencies necessary for production and services, including design, planning, control, and business process and systems. 

Online students choosing operations management specialization will still be required to complete MBA courses in accounting, marketing, management, and economics. The schools require their students to study Biblical and Theological foundations. On top of business administration core courses, students will focus on four concentration topics involved in business processes and systems:

  • Lean Process Management
  • Operations Research
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management

While core and concentration courses can be completed online, MBA students must still fulfill hands-on case studies, simulation games, and personal development activities. These on-campus activities will help students develop social skills, a necessity when working in the supply chain industry. Additionally, this activity will help them create a professional network that can help them find job opportunities. 

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

Busy working Christian adult students should enroll in one of the most affordable online MBA programs in operations management at Abilene Christian University. The Operations and Supply Chain Management online MBA at ACU prepares students for one of the most lucrative fields worldwide with an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International-accredited program curriculum. The operations and supply chain management specialization teach students how organizational operations work and ways to improve productivity and gain more sales and profits. 

Students with no prior knowledge of accounting, economics, and statistics at the undergraduate level must complete a three-week intensive session. After the intensive session, students can take business administration courses involving business analytics topics, such as those used in financial management, accounting, information systems, management, and marketing. Students will concentrate on the following topics:

  • Supply Chain Procedures
  • Project Management
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Inventory Management
  • Operational and Strategic Marketing

Abilene Christian University’s online MBA programs encourage students to think locally but aim for a global impact with their business ideas. Online graduate students will learn from the same on-campus faculty with years of experience in operations and supply chain management. The school’s faculty have the freedom to combine the curriculum with real-world personal experiences to give students an idea of what it’s like working in the field.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Flint, Michigan

The University of Michigan at Flint offers an affordable online Supply Chain & Operations Management MBA concentration designed to help professionals advance their careers in the industry. This online MBA concentration helps students develop superior business, management, logistics, and other necessary knowledge and skills to become operations and supply chain managers. Online students in this concentration will have in-depth knowledge of revenue management, sustainability, and other business operations and supply chain topics.  

Before moving on to concentration courses, students will be required to complete business courses. MBA courses include accounting, economics, business analytics, organizational behavior, financial management, and marketing. After completing MBA courses, students can focus on the following supply chain and operations management courses:

  • Six Sigma and Quality Management
  • Global Logistics Management
  • Global Supply Chain Management 
  • Demand and Revenue Management in Supply Chains
  • Supply Chain Sustainability in the 21st Century

In addition to being an AACSB-accredited online MBA, UM-Flint attracts students worldwide because of its diversity. Students will be exposed to peers with varied experiences from various educational institutions, professions, and geographical locations. Enrolling in a program that emphasizes diversity allows students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and team-building skills.

University of Colorado

University of Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers a 100% online MBA with an Operations & Supply Chain Management emphasis. This online MBA emphasis was designed to serve as a training ground for professionals in the business industry interested in managerial positions in operations and supply chains. Students will gain proficiency in strategic marketing techniques, developing systems, making informed decisions, and resolving complex issues for enterprises and their supply chains with the program’s multidisciplinary approach. 

UCCS’s online MBA is approved by the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Online students must complete core courses before proceeding to their preferred electives. Students, however, can transfer credits from their undergraduate degree to waive some business courses. 

Upon completion of MBA core courses, students will have four operations & supply chain management courses:

  • Customer-Focused Process: Quality Management & Metrics
  • Global Supply Chain Management
  • Managing Projects for Competitive Advantage
  • Service Operations: Design, Delivery, and Analytics

Online students of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will have the same faculty and curriculum as their on-campus counterparts. The school provides various online resources, such as academic advising, to help online students develop and achieve their educational goals, find appropriate resources and services, and make decisions that align with their objectives, interests, skills, and degree requirements. The school also helps students create a professional network for future reference. 

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Florida Atlantic University offers an affordable online MBA specializing in Operations Management designed for working professionals. FAU’s operations management MBA emphasizes courses that develop a student’s skills in evaluating operational problems and thinking of solutions and ways to improve business processes. This concentration seeks to help students create an environment conducive to adopting new process improvements and assessing the initial success of businesses. 

To help graduate students achieve their professional and academic goals, the operations management MBA requires them to complete MBA courses before moving on to concentration courses. MBA courses equip students with advanced accounting, managerial finance, economics, marketing, and management knowledge applicable to various business job opportunities. To graduate with an operations management MBA, students must complete the following concentration courses:

  • Business Process Improvement
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Web-Based Business Development 
  • Developing and Marketing Innovations 
  • Data Analysis for Managers

With accreditation from the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, online students can be confident of receiving a quality education acknowledged worldwide. FAU provides various free online resources dedicated to helping graduate students pursue their goals. Upon graduation, students can apply for several managerial roles in the business industry involved in operations or build their own enterprises with the help of skills in web-based business development and a foundation in sourcing and supply chain management.

Ohio University

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Another affordable online MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management concentration is from Ohio University. This online MBA requires students to complete a comprehensive MBA and concentration coursework accredited by the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business designed to help students understand the complexity and interconnection of roles inside a company and the global supply network. With the help of industry-experienced faculty, students will develop essential skills and knowledge to raise the quality of business processes while lowering costs and risks to obtain a higher profit margin. 

The curriculum helps students develop key skills in managing people and solving business operation problems from a global perspective. Experts in the field of business operations will teach concentration courses and bring their real-world knowledge and skills to the online classroom. To complete the MBA degree and graduate certificate in operations and supply chain management, MBA students must complete three concentration courses:

  • Management of Lean Six Sigma Programs
  • Supply Chain Risk Management 
  • Supply Chain Project Management 

While students can complete the operations and supply chain management MBA coursework online, they will still be required to meet a residency requirement. The OHIO’s unique Leadership Development Conference residency program seeks to help online students engage with peers, faculty, and guest speakers to create their own professional network. 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers an affordable online MBA in Operations Excellence concentration. This online MBA concentration equips students with the essential skills and knowledge to carry out a company’s business strategy more regularly and dependably than the competition. The program focuses on developing a student’s skills in strategic management by teaching them several techniques used in operations management, such as lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, KAIZEN, continuous improvement, policy deployment, and balanced scorecard. 

To ensure students graduate with proficient knowledge and skills for success in the operations and business industry, they must complete MBA core courses. This MBA is one of the most customizable degree options. Students can decide which of the two operations excellence courses they’ll focus on:

  • Designing and Managing Lean Six Sigma Processes  
  • Global Operations Strategy 

Students should also select two of the following electives:

  • Managing Technological Innovation  
  • Financial Management 
  • Project Management 
  • Designing and Managing Lean Six Sigma Processes  
  • Global Operations Strategy  
  • Leading Change 

To assure students of receiving a quality education, the school obtained accreditation from the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. WPI has a legacy of being one of the best universities in STEM. WPI’s online MBA draws on the school’s STEM curriculum in preparing business leaders in a technologically-driven world. Students will learn to handle diverse teams, make data-driven business decisions, and produce significant business results through project-based courses. 

Auburn University

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Prospective online MBA students with at least eight years of work experience willing to attend on-campus activities and participate in an international experience are best suited for Auburn University’s online Executive MBA specializing in Operations. Auburn’s online operations MBA focuses on enhancing a student’s ability to plan and administer supply chain issues and research in the depth of project planning, scheduling, and control procedures. Students will have a fully developed capacity to create better business processes that enhance a company’s product or service quality and learn to control charts, concepts, and procedures. 

All coursework will be facilitated by faculty with doctorates and years of experience in operations and supply chain managerial roles. Additionally, the quality of business education at Auburn University has passed the golden standard of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. MBA students who choose to specialize in operations must complete three concentration courses:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Quality and Process Improvement

All EMBA students will have a paid membership to Ivy Exec®, a prestigious online network connecting top executives with jobs, career guidance, and paid business research opportunities. Aside from Ivy Exec®, Auburn University is also part of Forte’s initiatives. Forte’ empowers women who are entering a field dominated by men through educational and professional development. 

University of Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

The University of Illinois – Springfield offers a low-cost MBA in Operations and Supply Chain Management online, focusing on teaching students the necessary skills and knowledge to improve business operations from point to point. This AACSB-accredited program helps professionals advance their careers in business and apply for high-paying managerial roles in the supply chain and logistics sector. 

For students to develop cutting-edge skills in planning and running a profitable, productive supply chain and operations, the school only employs faculty with advanced degrees and work experience in the industry. Operations and supply chain management students must complete two concentration courses; Supply Chain and Logistics Management and Quality Systems and Lean Operations. Students must then choose one of the following electives:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Financial Markets and Institutions
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Financial Analytics and Budgeting
  • Introduction to Financial Psychology
  • Applied Behavioral Finance
  • Acquiring and Developing Talent
  • Performance Management

Students will explore various operation and supply chain topics and become familiar with several operations techniques, such as Lean Management, Lingo, Six Sigma, SPSS, and KAIZEN. In addition to online courses, students must also complete a capstone project to graduate. The capstone project displays students’ command of operations and supply chain management principles and techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Operations Management?

Operation management entails managing business procedures to produce the highest productivity level within an organization to boost sales. This process involves leveraging personnel, supplies, tools, and technological resources. Operations managers create, produce, and deliver goods to customers following customer demands and the resources available to the company.

Operations management addresses various strategic issues, including how extensive industrial facilities should be, project management strategies, and network architecture for information technology. Additional operational concerns include inventory levels, including work-in-process levels, the purchase of raw materials, quality control, material handling, and maintenance regulations.

Operations management involves analyzing how raw materials are used and ensuring minimal waste. Operations managers use the economic order quantity formula to decide when and how big of an inventory order the business should process and how much inventory to have on hand.

What does an Online MBA in Operations Management entail?

Students enrolled in an online MBA with an operations management concentration must complete core courses before proceeding to study their concentration courses. Core courses cover vast business topics, such as economics, marketing, finance, management, accounting, and business law. These topics will help students gain helpful information applicable to all aspects of business, especially in handling operations. 

Exploring core courses is particularly crucial for students with no undergraduate degrees in business. In some business schools, a prospective student with no undergraduate business degree undergoes extensive weeks exploring foundational business courses. Those with undergraduate degrees in engineering, technology, or finance can pursue this graduate degree to learn the fundamentals of business management and gain experience with the core business functions.

What does it take to enroll in an MBA online degree in Operations Management?

Students may need some or all of the following to gain admission to an MBA program in operations management online:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a business-related field
  • GPA requirement
  • Prerequisite coursework
  • Recommendation letter 
  • Entrance essay
  • Standardized test scores, if required

Standardized tests, such as the GMAT or GRE, may be necessary for admission to some graduate schools, although other schools may be test-optional.

What can you do with an online degree in Operations Management MBA?

Operation management specialists focus on the current and trending operations market and demand. These professionals provide a level of competence unmatched by even the most seasoned business managers. 

Here are the top three jobs for graduates of online programs in operations management MBA:

Operations Manager

These experts oversee the creation of a company’s products and/or services. An operations manager, for instance, would manage all activities connected to regular store floor operations and planning and strategizing in the retail sector.

Supply Chain Programme Manager

An expert who oversees the whole supply chain of a business, from the acquisition of raw materials to production, is known as a supply chain manager. They need to plan storage for the goods and ensure they arrive at the right moment to ensure that nothing is lost or damaged during this intricate procedure.

General Operations Manager

A general manager is in charge of every part of a company, whereas an operations manager is simply in charge of operations and production. The duties of a general manager are broader and encompass marketing, strategy, and human resources. The responsibilities of an operations manager are typically more specialized and require expertise in a particular specialized industry.

Other jobs available for online MBA programs in operations management graduates include:

  • Business Analyst
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Logistics manager
  • Area Operations Manager
  • Quality Manager
  • Human Resource Head

Are there any Professional Organizations for Operations Management MBA students?

As an MBA student preparing for high-level positions, it’s only logical to be a member of professional organizations to gain networking, professional development, and job search opportunities. You’ll be updated on the most recent advancements in the field through these professional organizations. 

Here are five of the most prominent professional organizations in operations management:

Production and Operations Management Society

POMS publishes a journal, organizes conferences, and provides educational opportunities. The society’s job and research bulletins are available to members who join branches nationwide.

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM)

ASCM unites experts in operations management from all around the world. The organization runs a job board on its website, supports conferences, organizes national events, and provides seminars.

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences 

This professional organization gives its members access to yearly meetings and conferences, professional development opportunities, and continuing education. Additionally, the organization frequently publishes the most recent studies in its INFORMS journals.

Project Management Institute

PMI offers project managers worldwide networking, professional development, advocacy, and research. Members can access online resources, certifications, and job boards.

Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning

IBF is a membership-based logistics association that supports conferences, webinars, and training initiatives, including S&OP boot camps. IBF also runs a globally renowned certification program.

Is earning my MBA degree in Operations Management a wise decision?

Whether or not earning an MBA in Operations Management is a wise decision depends on your individual goals and needs. It could be an excellent choice for someone who is looking for a leadership or management position in operations management or wants to increase their knowledge and skills in the field. An MBA degree in Operations Management may give you an edge in the competitive job market, as the degree provides specialized knowledge and skills in the area of operations management.

However, an MBA degree in Operations Management is not mandatory for a leadership position. Many leaders have achieved success without an MBA degree in Operations Management.

Will earning a Master’s degree in Operations Management be challenging?

Yes, earning a Master’s degree in Operations Management can be challenging. It requires a deep understanding of business operations and strategies, which can be difficult to master. Additionally, the program may require a variety of complex courses and assignments that require a great deal of critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills.