What Degree Is Required to Become a Research Analyst?

If solving problems by using math and analytical thinking interests you, then a job as an operations research analyst may be a good fit. Keep reading to learn about the types of degrees that may earn you eligibility for this position, as well as what an operations research analyst does. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The many types of research analysts include operations research analysts. These professionals design and use math formulas, models and methods to find problems, break them down, and resolve them. As an operations research analyst, you would collect data, organize information, and analyze statistics. Using your models and the data you collect, you would solve problems in the work environment, perform tests for accuracy, and design procedures for your company's production systems (including files, computer, and logistic systems). You would also have the capability to conduct experiments on your models and write reports based on overall findings.

Important Facts About Operations Research Analysts

Online AvailabilityFull coursework online for bachelor's and master's
Work EnvironmentOffice, some field work
Key SkillsAnalysis, math, writing, problem-solving
Similar OccupationsMarket research analyst, industrial engineer, economist, statistician

Education

While a bachelor's degree in math or some related field would be a stepping stone into the operations research analysis field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employers may prefer someone with a master's degree in either operations research or management science. If you pursue a master's degree in operations research, you can expect to take such classes as math programming, methods, statistics, and data. You might write a thesis involving applied research or complete a capstone project.

In a program for management science, you can expect to take courses that involve systems and models, analysis, optimization, logistics, and engineering. Some master's programs afford you the opportunity to enter the work force to gain experience and/or teach while you complete your program.

Either degree would be helpful for securing a position with a company as an operations research analyst. Because you'll be working with math theories and computers, keeping up-to-date on computer and software trends will also be beneficial.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the BLS in May 2014, the mean annual wage for operations research analysts was $82,940. Employment in this job field is expected to increase by 30% between 2014 and 2024. Because technology is constantly evolving, the need for analysts is expected to remain steady.

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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