Operations Research Analyst
Do you like crunching numbers? Are you good at making decisions? Then operations research could be a good fit for you, since anoperations research analyst is someone who looks at a bunch of different types of datato identify problems and to (more importantly) recommend good solutions.Operations researchbegan during World War II, when military planners analyzed data for military leaders who used the information to make strategic decisions that, in the end, helpedwin the war. Once the war was over, business leaders wanted this same kind of insight to help them run their companies more efficientlyand win a war against their competition.If you were an operations research analyst, you'd spend your days usingtechniques like data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling to identify business problems and figure out how to solve them.You'd also create presentations that clearly communicate what you found out, what you identified as an issue and why, and what you think should be done.Business leaders tend to value having solutions that help their company's bottom line, so it's not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in this career to grow nearly 27% between 2012 and 2022 �" which is much faster than the average.
Salaries and Job Outlook*
Education and Training
A bachelor's degree is necessary for you to get an entry-level position in this field, but be aware that not a lot of schools offer a bachelor's in operations research itself. So many entry level analysts are hired with degrees in similar fields like math, business or even industrial engineering. If you were to have a master's degree in operations research, analytics and management science, or even more technical fields like engineering or computer science, you'd have a bigger edge over job candidates who don't have this specialized advanced degree.
Valued Traits & Abilities
Also called management consultants, management analysts focus on figuring out ways that a company can become more efficient.They analyze a company's financial information and often interview employees in order to come up with ideas for how the company can cut costs, increase revenue, and be more profitable.
Market Research Analyst
This role is all about helping a company sell more of its products or services. Through interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups, a market research analyst will gather data on consumer demographics, preferences, buying habits. Then they'll analyze this information to recommend ways a company can more effectively reach their target consumer.
The military and other government agencies still rely on operations research, but so do all other industries, pretty much. This career is especially popular in industries like finance, insurance, computer systems design, and manufacturing.According to bls.gov, almost all operations research analysts work full time and 1 in 5 worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.