If you are looking for ways to progress in your career, your plans to pursue a management degree are well-founded. With so many management programs out there, how can you know which one is the right fit for your career aspirations? The truth is, it takes time to evaluate different degree programs, and it can be hard to see what lies behind the program brochure.
With that in mind, Hodges University aims to assist you in your process by putting all of the must-know information out there for you to easily find. To get a better understanding of Hodges’ management programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, we spoke with Dolores “Dee” Batiato, the program chair of management at the university.
We uncovered a number of things that many prospective students don’t know about the management program offering and what makes someone a good fit for these programs overall. If you are considering a degree in management, read on for insight about what Hodges offers and why it could be the school for you.
5 must-know facts about the management program at Hodges University
1. It places unique emphasis on the tangible job skills that help you get hired
Many management programs focus on developing high-level soft skills such as strategic thinking, leadership and holistic business perspective. While employers do want to see these attributes in a job candidate, that is not the only thing that drives them to hire. Concrete skills such as proficiency with technology and finance are also critical to a manager’s success – and these are not always emphasized at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level.
“Statistically speaking, it sounds like about 30 percent of students (across higher education overall) are (graduating from) universities and aren’t necessarily prepared to do the job,” Batiato says. She sees Hodges as uniquely focused on job skills — something that sets this school apart. “We’re trying to set up the program to give people the knowledge and the skills to actually get out there and do those jobs immediately.”
Hodges works to give graduates a strong set of both hard and soft skills so they can walk away with a degree that allows them to hit the ground running as a manager. For example, students graduate with a working knowledge of industry-standard programs like Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. They know how to prepare and give presentations and how to perform a market analysis. These kinds of skills make graduates more appealing to employers and set them up for long-term success when they do land the management roles they’re after.
2. It incorporates a “wheel” curriculum structure
In developing the Hodges University management program, the school’s leaders saw an opportunity for course groupings that give students an immediate payoff while earning credits toward a bachelor’s degree.
With the wheel structure, courses are broken up into 15-week sessions, with each session focusing on a series of three interrelated courses. Each wheel focuses on a specific core management discipline, such as human resources, executive management or organizational and social responsibilities.
When each wheel is completed, students walk away with a comprehensive understanding of that specific area of expertise — something they can begin to use immediately as educational credentials on a resume and as functional knowledge for the workplace — while still working toward a bachelor’s degree.
3. It’s comprised of intensive classes that accommodate your schedule and previous credits
Many people who enter the bachelor’s or master’s management programs at Hodges are already in the workforce or have already earned credits that could be applied to their degree. These students are eager to earn a degree quickly without glossing over important information or doing substandard coursework.
Fortunately, the Hodges program is structured to accommodate unique situations while keeping students on track to graduate. “This is an intense program,” Batiato admits, “but it’s still structured to be workable for people who have other obligations.” She explains that students could take just one night of class per week and still make steady progress toward a bachelor’s degree. That class would be long — approximately four hours — but it would be minimally disruptive to a student’s daily schedule. Plus, students can choose to take a wheel online or on-campus depending upon their own learning preferences.
“What you cannot do is split a wheel up,” Batiato explains. “If you commit to taking a wheel online, you have to do all those classes online in that wheel.” Still, at the end of that course progression, you can decide to continue with online courses or switch to on-campus. This flexibility allows the program to accommodate students with varying needs.
You come out of Hodges with applicable skills — it’s not just about book work. And, you aren’t expected to do it all on your own. I think that really sets us apart. – Dee Batiato
4. Students are in close contact with professors in both on-campus and online courses
When asked about what really sets Hodges’ management program apart, Batiato cites the small classrooms and personal communication with students. Even with the flexibility and opportunities students have to take charge of their own education, they still have close contact with professors and get plenty of personal communication along the way.
“I have students texting me at 12 o’clock at night to inform me of the status of their work or communicate about a project. For some students, that’s when they’re studying,” Batiato shares. “I tell my students that I’m never more than a phone call away.”
She loves maintaining that level of personal communication with her students. To Batiato, it means the students are more than just another number. While that can greatly benefit the student experience, it’s exciting for the professors as well. “I look at students as our replacements in the world,” she says. “We’re here to help them develop and have a positive influence. Their turn to give back to society is coming, and it’s partially on us to help them do that.”
Even online students — who can’t be mandated to check in every day at the same time — are given close attention through the use of WebEx and forums that help them complete group projects. “As teachers, we’re in there using those tools every day to make sure (the students’) questions are answered, that they’re turning things in and they’re kept on track,” Batiato explains.
5. Students have access to faculty with a wide range of real-world industry experience
Helping students take their education and become a positive influence in their respective fields means translating management skills into a variety of industries. It’s not enough to focus solely on leadership. Students need to understand how their influence affects others — not just how it leads to a bigger paycheck.
From Batiato’s perspective, that is best communicated by faculty members who have a breadth of experience. “We have professors who come from a variety of backgrounds,” she says. “We’ve got teachers who worked in the auto industry, hospitality and tourism, banking and finance, human resources and staffing, health care and private industry, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the legal industry — all of their skills fall under the management umbrella.”
Hodges’ management faculty does their best to personalize the program experience for each student. “We always ask students what their interests are, and we try to take them that direction,” Batiato explains, adding that having teachers who have worked outside of academia helps students understand more of the real-world aspects of management. Students can gain an understanding of trends in customer service and personnel management as well as how to translate management principles into a variety of settings. The faculty at Hodges go beyond just teaching management for management’s sake.
Are you ready to get started in Hodges University’s management program?
It’s one thing to earn the credentials needed for the jobs you’ve been seeking, something you could do through virtually any management program. The more important question is whether or not the programs you’re considering will give you the tools you need to succeed once you land those top positions.
For Batiato, Hodges University’s program is distinctive in many respects, not the least of which is the sense of family she feels on campus.
“Over the years, I’ve had opportunities to move on to other organizations, particularly because of my background in health care. I chose to stay with Hodges because of the opportunities it has given me to grow as a teacher, and the opportunities it gives students to progress,” she shares. “You come out of Hodges with applicable skills — it’s not just about book work. And, you aren’t expected to do it all on your own. I think that really sets us apart.”
If this sounds like the kind of program you’ve been seeking, you can learn more by visiting the Bachelor of Science in Management or Master of Science in Management degree pages. This could be the next step toward your future career.