Driven by the formation of new organizations and growth of existing ones, more than 244,000 operations managers nationwide will have already landed new positions by 2022, projects the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Los Angeles, these professionals earn an average annual salary nearing $85,000, with top supervisors securing six-figure yearly paychecks, according to current data. It is an enviable vocation that attracts many qualified candidates, particularly those with strong leadership skills, experience and a sturdy background in sound education.

(Photo Courtesy of Craig Oka)

(Photo Courtesy of Craig Oka)

“Over the past few years, we have continued to see a greater demand for professionals to be able to contribute immediately,” said Craig Oka, Director of the Career Education & Professional Development Center at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). “There is also a need for strong problem solvers, analytical thinkers and excellent communicators.”

How does concrete education stimulate successful business careers?

“Students aim to learn the fundamentals of their field through their college education. The rest of their success will be determined by their own commitment, drive and willingness to challenge themselves and continue learning throughout their careers.”

How is CSUN preparing the next wave of business professionals?

“At the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, our priority is to provide students with a solid business education, along with practical experiential and professional development opportunities. We also offer programs, such as mentoring, internships and shadowing, to give students the opportunity to interact with and learn from experienced professionals and to develop the skills and mind sets that will help them succeed in a highly competitive job market.”

How will a business professional’s role change by 2025?

“In the coming years, we can expect business environments to be more innovative and creative. Professionals may work less in traditionally structured workplaces, and new and emerging technology will continue to be important.”

What is your message to aspiring business managers?

“Regardless of the field you are interested in, start by getting experience, even if you need to start at the entry-level. Do not expect anything to be handed to you. Instead, focus on what you have to offer and never stop learning.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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