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VP of Operations Career Job Description

A vice president of operations oversees day-to-day operations to support the growth and add to the bottom line of an organization. They focus on strategic planning and goal-setting, and direct the operations of the company in support of its goals. By measuring progress and adjusting processes accordingly, the VP of operations keeps the entire organization on track. If you aspire to move into an executive-level or higher role, you can gain a competitive advantage by completing a Masters Degree in Human Resources.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of top executives, including VPs of operations, will grow steadily in coming years. A strong demand for skilled operations and human resources professionals will continue, as business becomes more complex and organizations focus on attracting and retaining a strong workforce to support strategic goals. Executive positions are competitive; HR professionals with business experience, advanced degrees and industry certification should enjoy the best high-level job opportunities.

VP of Operations Job Duties

Vice presidents of operations are responsible for a variety of job duties, all with a goal of positively impacting an organization’s bottom line. They often plan, direct and coordinate operations in support of a company’s growth. Typical duties include formulating policies and strategic plans for future growth, and managing daily operations of personnel, purchasing, administration and other departments.

Specific job duties of a VP of operations vary according to the industry and size of the company. Some may oversee manufacturing or sales, while others are responsible for improving operational efficiency in a targeted area, such as customer engagement or online marketing. Vice presidents of operations are often required to monitor revenue margins for worker productivity, and developing guidelines for personnel evaluations, staff advancement and recruitment procedures.

Additional duties for the VP of operations may include formulating training and incentive plans; maintaining efficient team structure and performance through analytics, processes and tools; maximizing new client engagement; and working with the leadership team to develop plans to meet future needs.

Vice presidents of operations will typically be responsible for maintaining profit margins in all areas, according to established objectives. They may also develop or maintain internal control systems to ensure accountability. In addition, these executives are often required to develop strong relationships with outside partners, such as vendors and advisors, as well as internal partners, including department supervisors and co-executives.

Education and Training Requirements

Most senior-level executive positions, such as VP of operations, require at minimum a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources or a similar field. Because of the skills required of an effective VP of operations, many employers show preference to candidates with extensive experience, professional training, industry certifications or advanced degrees. Most individuals aspiring to the executive level would find it beneficial to obtain education beyond a bachelor’s degree, such as an HR master certificate or Masters in Human Resources.

Human resources and other professionals may obtain the advanced knowledge and skills needed to compete for an executive position through a Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree program. Coursework typically includes compensation, organizational change management, workforce planning and financial management for profit. 

Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned a Master’s Degree in HR are able to:

  • Demonstrate financial management and budgeting skills.
  • Make sound business decision based on data and statistics.
  • Structure effective training programs and measure their success.
  • Utilize the latest technology to enhance the growth of an organization.
  • Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a VP of operations.

Your Path to a Successful Career as a VP of Operations

With drive, determination and advanced training and education, you can move up the human resources career ladder to the position of VP of operations. Along with strong communication, interpersonal and leadership skills, you’ll need a solid business education and a thorough understanding of organizational behavior, workforce planning, and metrics and analytics. You can obtain these necessary skills by enrolling in a Master of Science in Human Resources Development degree program. It is possible to propel your career to the very top, by combining an HR master’s degree with your business skills and personal attributes.