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General Management Science

Management scientists use tools, like scientific methods and technology, to ponder complex problems in organizational operations and offer logical solutions. Read on to learn about earnings, employment outlook and required education before deciding if management science is the right field for you.

Is General Management Science for Me?

Career Overview

Management scientists, also referred to as operations research analysts, use scientific methods, math, computer modeling and databases to study problems, predict potential outcomes and reach logical conclusions. Management scientists recommend solutions to the decision makers in organizations, businesses and government agencies.

Job Duties

Problems that management scientists might tackle include safeguarding the nation's blood supply from communicable diseases or determining the most cost-effective method of minimizing oil spills. As a management scientist, your duties could include creating efficient systems or allotting resources. You might also help businesses create production schedules, develop shipping systems or establish prices for goods and services.

Career Options

Many management scientists work for the United States government and military. Other potential employers include local and state governments, financial institutions, consulting firms and universities. You might also find work in the manufacturing, logistics and insurance industries, or serve as a management consultant. Depending on your education and experience, you may also qualify for a position as a financial analyst, statistician, risk management analyst or operations specialist.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment opportunities for operations research analysts were expected to increase 27% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2013, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $74,630 for operations research analysts. Management science professionals who worked as financial analysts or statisticians earned $78,380 and $79,290, respectively (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in General Management Science?

Management Science Programs

While a bachelor's degree in management science or operations research may qualify you for some entry-level jobs, you'll most likely need a master's degree to work in the field. Once enrolled in a management science program, you'll study business management theories, quantitative techniques and communications, as well as deductive problem solving and organizational theory. Topics in decision analysis, supply chain management, calculus and dynamic systems may also be included. Additional coursework might allow for training in computer science and simulations or the use of information systems.

Some Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs offer an emphasis in management science or operations research. Relevant fields of study also include computer science and engineering.

Continuing Education

After landing a job in management science, you'll probably want to take advantage of continuing education opportunities. This will help you stay current with new technology and improved analysis techniques.

Required Knowledge and Skills

As a management scientist, you'll need a firm grasp of advanced math concepts and computer science, as well as expertise in economics, statistics and probability. An understanding of the political and social sciences or engineering may be beneficial. Creativity, a strong work ethic and good communications and analytical abilities are also important in the field of management science.