MBA in Operations Research

Operations research programs focus on developing better ways for businesses and organizations to complete projects and day-to-day responsibilities. Check your options for master's-level training in this field, and explore the coursework in an operations research program. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Requirements for a Master's Degree in Operations Research?

Operations research programs more commonly offer Master of Science (M.S.) degrees than Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Some operations research degree programs include study in a complementary field, such as decision sciences, statistics or supply chain management. MBA programs are typically focused on giving you a solid background in business fundamentals, while M.S. programs focus on more technical and quantitative coursework. You can find master's programs in operations research online.

To be admitted into an operations research master's program, you must have a bachelor's degree that includes credits in math and science. Required credits include calculus-based probability, linear algebra and statistics. You'll also submit your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, which should demonstrate that you have high analytical and quantitative skills.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree is required; some institutions may also require previously completely coursework and standardized test scores
Key Topics Algorithms, decision making, statistics, programming, organization
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Possible Careers Product developer, research analyst, product manufacturer
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 26% (Operations Research Analysts)
Median Salary (2018) $83,390 (Operations Research Analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Topics Will I Study?

Through a master's degree program in operations research, you'll formulate and solve problems using technical computer and mathematical skills. Some topics pertain to the day-to-day operations of a business, including customer service management and methods for optimizing procedures. You'll also study ways of organizing data methods and applying probability and statistical methods. Other courses pertain to computer science, teaching you to gather and use computer data. Additional topics could include:

  • Methods for making decisions
  • Analyzing the outcome of events
  • Mining and analyzing data using statistics
  • Programming methods
  • Problem-solving and organization
  • Computing algorithms

Your program may include lectures, case studies and group projects to facilitate a better learning experience. You'll complete operations research simulations using real-life data, participate in research experiences and write expository papers. A master's thesis and comprehensive exam may be part of your curriculum requirements.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Lectures and course materials for online programs are posted on a Web-based course delivery system for you to download at your convenience. You can also communicate with classmates and instructors via discussion boards, e-mail or telephone. You will have specific due dates for assignments and exams, and you may be required to take proctored tests at a designated site.

What Careers Can I Pursue With This Degree?

With an MBA or an M.S. in Operations Research, you could become an operations research analyst and use data models to analyze and interpret information to determine the effectiveness of management procedures or other operational issues. You could also go into cost estimation for the manufacturing industry and assess the costs involved in product development and manufacturing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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