Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical, statistical, and analytical techniques to identify and solve complex business problems and improve operational efficiency. They work in many different industries and are involved in all aspects of a business organization. Operations research analysts provide solutions to challenges businesses and organizations face, including floor planning, network optimization, and supply chain management, based on cost and profitability. Some of the job responsibilities of operations research analysts include:
- Indentifying problems within a business or organizations
- Using statistical analysis, optimization, and other mathematical and analytical techniques to analyze and develop solutions to business problems
- Collaborating in teams made up of experts from a variety of disciplines
- Advising top managers and other organization staff as to how to solve a problem
The BLS reports that employment of operations research analysts is expected to grow 15% from 2010 to 2020. Operations research analysts will continue to be employed by the U.S. military and various areas of government to help develop and implement policies and programs. Additionally, advances in technology are making it easier to gather business-related data. Businesses and organizations will need analysts to help them translate that data into information managers can use in their decision making.
Job Growth for
Operations Research Analyst
- Annual Pay National Average
- Hourly Pay National Average
|District of Columbia||1,870||$98,670||$47|
Becoming an Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts typically hold a master's degree in operations research, management science, or another related field. But many entry-level positions are available to candidates with a bachelor's. Analysts may hold a degree in a technical field such as engineering, computer science, or mathematics. Coursework in computer science, statistics, calculus, and linear algebra is especially helpful for a career in operations research.
Many schools offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in operations research, but it is not uncommon for analysts to hold degrees in other related fields. Given the nature of the work, operations research analysts will need extensive coursework in advanced mathematics, including statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. A sampling of classes you may take in an operations research program, drawn from course listings for the Georgia Institute of Technology's master of science in operations research program, include the following:
- Deterministic Optimization
- Probabilistic Models and Their Applications
- Mathematical Statistics
In addition to mathematical skills, analysts should possess strong critical-thinking, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills. The BLS reports that analysts with a master's degree or Ph.D. in operations management should enjoy better career opportunities and advancement.