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Operations Research Analyst

Career Overview

Operations research is the discipline of using advanced analytical techniques to make business decisions and find the best solution to a problem. The process is one of applying elaborate logistics models to the basic functions of business: product and raw materials flow, use of personnel, and utilization of existing facilities. Operations research analysts look at complex business entities and help to pinpoint areas for improvement.

As information is gathered, it is formulated into a mathmatical model using one of a number of computation programs. The resulting body of data can be run with any number of variables, thus testing multiple potential solutions or improvements to the situation. The operations research analyst works with senior management both in gathering data and in working through the potential solutions.

Education

Operations research analysts usually hold a master's degree. It may be in operations research, but it may just as likely be in computer science, math, general engineering or in management science - which is another term for operations research.

Employment

There were about 58,000 operations research analysts employed in the U.S. in 2006. Many of them worked for computer systems design firms, for financial and telecommunications companies, for analytical service firms, or for a branch of the government. Many of the government employees work for the Department of Defense.

Job Outlook

The growth of jobs in this profession is expected to be about the same as the projected average growth of jobs overall. However as U.S. companies increasingly find themselves with international components, the issue of efficiency is going to gain importance.

Salary

10th Percentile $40,000

Median Salary $69,000

90th Percentile $118,130

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