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Management Analyst

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Career Overview

Just because we call it an organization, that doesn't necessarily mean they're organized. No matter how successful a company might be, there are always going to be efficiency problems and opportunities for improvement. That's where you, the management analyst, come in.But why do these big, successful companies have these efficiency problems in the first place? That's what you're there to figure out. You'll mostly work on a consulting basis, where a company will hire you to find areas for improvement and come up with solutions to make them better. Sometimes, it could be a financial issue, where the company is spending large amounts of money where it doesn't need to. In other cases, it might be an old, set-in process or two that's slowing down employee productivity. Whatever the reason may be, you'll have to find every area of opportunity you can and come up with effective solutions to improve them.But that's a lot easier said than done. In order to truly understand how an organization lives and breathes, it might take you anywhere between a few months to a year. You have to closely examine each aspect individually and spend your time analyzing financial reports, reviewing employment records, interviewing the people who work there, and observing day-to-day interactions. Once you've found all the problem areas you could find, then you have to come up with solutions for each one and propose them to the organization leaders. The only problem is that you aren't usually given a few months to do all this. Instead, you'll have closer to just three or four weeks to make your proposal. It's a lot of pressure, but that's just how the job is.Being a management analyst can be pretty cool. For starters, you're the person that major organizations go to when they have problems. These companies might fail without your skills and expertise, and that's something to be proud of. If you're the type of person who is constantly finding ways to make something better, then you might be exactly who these organizations are looking for.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
National
$82,450
659,200
12 %
Virginia
$96,770
48,070
 

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's Degree in Business, Management, Economics, or related fields

In reality, all you need to qualify for most entry-level positions is a bachelor's degree. The type of degree you earn is pretty flexible, but it all depends on the industry you want to work in. The most common fields include business, economics, management, and finance, but a degree in information science might be more helpful for working with technology-based companies. Similarly, a marketing degree would be better for marketing and advertising, and so on.Now, you could just stop there and start looking for work, but there are a few things you could do to improve your job prospects. The first thing you could pursue is the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA. You'll need to pass an exam and interview and become recertified every three years, but it could give you the advantage you need in your job search. To give you even more of an edge, you could also pursue your master's in business administration (MBA). Consulting companies tend to hire analysts with more education, especially for leadership roles.

 
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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Problem-Solving Skills
Time-Management Skills
Communication Skills

Career Opportunities

There aren't a lot of similar roles you could move into as a management analyst, but you do have other options. Many management analysts often work in a team, and each person specializes in a single area of business, such as inventory management or organizational communication. You could also choose to specialize in one industry, such as healthcare or technology based companies. Of course, these are all optional and mostly depend on the specific role you're in.

Work Environment

If you were hoping for a laidback, relaxed job, then you might have to keep looking. Due to the consulting nature of the job, management analysts often have to work long hours in order to meet strict deadlines. Your clients might request a month's worth of work in only a few day's time, making your work conditions very stressful. Because of this, you might often find yourself working well over 40 hours a week, constantly dipping into your nights and weekends.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013