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Learn management with online courses and programs

Business managers coordinate and oversee organizational activities to meet goals and objectives. Enhancing productivity and maintaining a competitive edge requires a particular blend of skills and knowledge. Build your business acumen with edX courses.
Management | Introduction Image Description

What is management?

In business, management refers to the various activities that are tied to organizational objectives. Individuals in management roles rely on skills like strategic thinking, coordination, communication, and leadership. These positions usually fall into three categories:

  • Supervisory management leads individual employees, providing guidance and feedback on an everyday basis.

  • Middle management communicates business strategy to supervisory managers, allowing senior management to focus on brand direction.

  • Senior management sets overall business objectives, coordinates resources, and communicates with various stakeholders.

Being a good manager doesn’t just require knowledge of your business and industry. Your ability to set objectives, stay organized, motivate your team, measure outcomes, and provide encouragement are equally important to your success.

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Management course curriculum

There are plenty of great reasons to learn management concepts, no matter your current experience or your career goals. Effective management requires important skills that can be used in a variety of roles and settings beyond a manager position. Foundational courses may cover a range of topics, including:

  • Communication approaches, frameworks, and tools

  • Leadership styles and the theories behind them

  • Inclusive leadership principles

  • Social issues that can impact a business

  • Ethics and values in leadership

Individuals who currently hold a management role, or want to break into one, can benefit from learning about the strategic side of business leadership. There, you may explore concepts such as:

  • How to identify and define your business’s competitive advantages

  • How to refine your strategy to maximize your competitive advantage and drive profitability

  • How to leverage connected strategies to create continuous relationships with customers

  • How to move beyond traditional modes of customer interaction

  • How to create a portfolio of connected strategies to respond to different audiences

  • How to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in today’s business environment

Finally, supplement your technical expertise with interpersonal skills that can enhance your interactions with your team and with coworkers in higher positions alike. These may include effective people management, prioritization, influencing without authority, overcoming communication barriers, and personal management.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including business, management, and much more.‌ Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore management jobs

Managers are needed in most industries. However, particular roles and responsibilities will depend on the business and the specific department, and may look vastly different between two management jobs. Some of the common job titles you may come across include:

  • Operations manager: develops processes to enhance efficiency and successful delivery of their organization’s products or services.Footnote 1

  • Human resources manager: oversees the recruitment and hiring of employees, and advises managers on HR-related issues.Footnote 2

  • Sales manager: hires and trains sales staff, monitors sales performance, and manages relationships with internal and external stakeholders.Footnote 3

  • Project manager: leads professional teams toward project completion, keeps tasks on schedule, and communicates with stakeholders.Footnote 4

  • Executive manager: establishes big-picture organizational strategy as a chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), city mayor, and other high-level leadership roles.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some may require a higher level degree while others may only ask for a demonstration of skills that can be acquired in a boot camp, for example. Before deciding on which learning path will work best for you, research potential roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.