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Chief Operating Officer Education Requirements and Job Description

Job Descriptions January 14, 2013

A corporation is run by a top business executive who oversees the daily operations of the company; this professional is called a chief operation officer (COO). A COO is expected to have advanced business knowledge; hence, an aspiring COO usually completes a MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree program. In this article, we will look at what a prospective COO is required to do in order to chart a successful path in this career. The chief operating officer (COO) who is among the highest-ranking officers in a corporation and reports directly to the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), needs to have a solid foundation in principles and theories of management. They will apply their expertise in helping a company produce better products or services while aiming to minimize costs and maximize profits. For instance, a chief operating officer has to ensure the optimal performance of the company’s systems devised to design and manufacture its products. Chief operating officers are expected to envision a firm’s objectives and plan strategies aimed at meeting long-term and short-term goals. COOs can expect to find work in the private sector along with charitable organizations, non-profit agencies, and government-affiliated companies.

Educational Prerequisite

Prospective chief operating officers are required to hold two business degrees, the first being a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Once they have completed the undergraduate program, candidates can enroll into a Master of Business Administration program, usually regarded as the minimal degree required to become a chief operating officer.

Bachelor of Business Administration Program

This is a popular option chosen by a large number of university freshmen. The program is usually offered through the business school of a university. In some BBA courses, students are allowed to select a specialty area of study; in others, they are given an introduction to general concepts of business administration. Students are allowed to choose areas of specialization; they are persuaded to opt for management studies. Before they can embark on a specialized curriculum, a candidate has to take basic business courses. Coursework in these programs typically covers topic such as microeconomics, business math, information systems, macroeconomics, and accounting. A full-time undergraduate business management programs normally spans a period of four years. Coursework, during the final year of such programs, includes hands on experience provided through an internship.

Master of Business Administration Program

Students, including individuals already employed, wanting to work as management professionals in the private sector, commonly pursue a MBA degree. To help them achieve their educational goal, business schools offer MBA programs that can be completed online or through part-time enrollments. Despite the unconventional options, the number of classes remains the same as required by graduates in conventional programs. In the majority of cases, the program duration is increased by one or two years.

Prospective MBAs enrolled in these courses are allowed to pursue specialty tracks in business; these include management information systems, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance and management. Management is the preferred option of students seeking higher level positions, such as chief operating officer in corporations. Coursework in such a program includes subject areas dealing with leadership and analytical abilities. For instance, students are taught about the effective management of workers and the importance of teamwork, apart from economics and standard statistical methods that COOs and operations managers use in the course of their work.

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