Find a challenging job as an operations research analyst in the industry
Introduction to the field
Operations research analyst, also known as management science, is usually employed in the industry.
People in this field help organization coordinate and operate in the most efficient manner by applying math skills to organizational problems.
The challenge of working as an operations research analyst
When employers are seeking people, they are looking for two primary skills:
First, they are looking for someone who can think logically and work well with people.
Second, they are looking for people who are able to use a computer and do some programming. Programming skill is very important because computers are used extensively for quantitative analysis.
Finally, of course, they are looking for math majors too!
Standard operations research techniques such as Linear Programming, Critical Path Analysis, Simulation, Statistical Decision Theory, Queuing Theory and Inventory Control Theory, and mathematical modeling may be used.
The work of a specialist may be in the production, marketing or financial planning areas.
If you have a bachelor's degree in mathematics like me, you are probably wondering about the meaning of those courses.
It is not likely that you have taken those courses in college if your major was in pure mathematics.
Although these are math courses, these are specialized classes designed for those in the field.
Typical courses for a bachelor in mathematics include abstract algebra, calculus, real analysis, differential equations, complex analysis and so forth...
You may be more familiar with mathematical modeling because of differential equations.
There are plenty of examples of mathematical models involving first-order differential equations, such as heating and cooling of building, electrical circuits, price, supply, and demand, aircraft guidance in a crosswind. These applications are used extensively in the industry.
However, it does not matter if you did not take those courses. Strong background in mathematics and computer should be enough to get you a ticket into that field.
Getting the job as an operations research specialist
If you are interested, you would normally get a bachelor in operation research or if you don't have a bachelor in operation research, but you have one in mathematics, you would try to get a master in operation research.
To the best of my knowledge, I don't believe certification is a requirement at this moment in order to become an operations research analyst.
Over time, after you have gained enough experience, you may become an independent consultant or some other high level managerial position.