Career in Operational Research

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How to Become a Researcher?

Since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, businesses and industries have been growing at an exponential rate. Even today, companies look for professionals trained to solve dynamic problems and to make effective decisions. The career options targeting this ever-increasing field need includes that of the Operational Researcher. Since its emergence during the World War-II when allies needed counsel on decision making, Operational Research offer promising opportunities to people across the world. If you are planning to choose an unconventional career option that guarantees a dynamic work atmosphere and a profession that presents you with new challenges every day, continue reading the blog.

Also Read: How to Become a Technology Analyst

What is Operational Research?

Operational Research uses mathematical expertise and analytical skills to help businesses in decision making and solving problems. It is an interdisciplinary field which requires the knowledge of various subjects like Mathematics, Business, Computers, Information Technology, etc. Helping businesses in the optimization of services by devising strategies and in minimization of losses, the work of an analyst involves executing tasks to improve the efficiency of the organization. The core functions of the job involve preparing reports, tracking and analyzing key metrics, researching and coming with possible solutions and encouraging teamwork within the company. Sometimes, meeting clients and collecting data apart from spending most of the time in office in processing the data. 

The OR Society

What is an Operational Research Analyst?

An operations research analyst is a person who collects and analyses data in order to assist firms solve problems and establish more effective methods of operating. They are extremely informed people with backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, and analytics. Operations research analysts often have a master’s degree and can work in a variety of areas, including defence and healthcare.

What does an Operational Research Analyst do?

An operations research analyst’s major responsibility is to give analytical knowledge on data in order to assist a company in solving challenges. An operations research analyst’s responsibilities vary based on the industry in which they work, however they may be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Topics for research to help in company growth
  • Determine the source of a company’s difficulties.
  • Create and implement plans that provide solutions.
  • Obtain input from corporate personnel to assist in identifying and resolving problems.
  • Assist management in developing work process improvement methods.
  • Keep track of metrics and generate data analysis reports.
  • Assist with project scheduling
  • Assess the efficacy of your solutions and plan.

How to Become an Operations Research Analyst?

According to INFORMS, entry-level professionals often hold a bachelor’s degree in math, business, or industrial engineering. Employers, on the other hand, prefer applicants with a master’s degree. Degree programmes in operations research, analytics, and management science are available at the graduate level, and some operations research analysts hold degrees in other technical subjects such as engineering or computer science. It’s critical to take math and computer science courses, as well as stay up with technology changes, new software, and analytical methodologies.

A number of courses are available in Operational Research at different levels and you can choose your program based on your expertise. Let us take a look at some of these courses offered at various universities along with the duration of study:

Course University Location  Duration
Bachelor of Mathematics Major in Data Analytics and Operations Research The University of Queensland  Australia 3 Years
Operational Research (Distance learning) MSc University of Strathclyde UK 26 Months
Master of Statistics and Operations Research RMIT University Australia 2 Years
Graduate Operations Research Certificate Western New England University  USA 11 Weeks
Operational Research PhD University of Kent  UK 4 Years
BSc (Hons) Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) Lancaster University  UK 3 Years
Statistics and Operational Research (STOR-i) PhD Lancaster University  UK 36 Months
Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics BSc (Hons) Cardiff University UK 3 Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research University of Illinois  USA 3-4 Years
Master of Science in Operational Research and Risk Analysis The Hong Kong Polytechnic University  Hong Kong 1.5 Years
PhD – Doctor of Philosophy in Operations Research The Hong Kong Polytechnic University  Hong Kong 3-4 Years
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Statistical Computing and Operations Research Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)  Malaysia 3 Years
Master of Operations Research (MOR) University of Auckland  New Zealand 1 Year
MS in Operations Research Columbia University USA 2 Years
Bachelor of Science in Operations Research Simon Fraser University  Canada 3 years

Qualities of an Operations Researcher

The job of an Operations Researcher is highly competitive and an expert is required to have a great skillset to execute daily tasks. The abilities can be learned during the course at a university but they are honed only by the dedication of the candidate.

Some of the skills needed for the job are listed below:

  • Analytical Skill
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication Skill
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Writing Skills

Also Read: Career Skills: The Essence of Success

Job Prospects

When it comes to jobs in Operational Research, there are plenty of them available in various sectors. Depending on the expertise of the candidate, the salary packages may vary but on a whole, it promises lucrative salaries and an enterprising career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary package for the Operations Research professional may range from 40 to 60 lakh a year in the US. Moreover, the field provides an unlimited number of opportunities in both government and private companies.

Some of the job roles that you can consider after your degree in Operations Research include:

  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Consultant
  • Analyst
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Software Engineer
  • Security Review Operations Analyst

What is the salary for an operations research analyst?

According to Indeed wages, research analysts earn an average of $65,745 per year. An analyst’s earnings are influenced by the industry in which they operate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, operation research analysts employed by the federal government may earn up to $119,720 per year. Operations research analysts have a high employment rate, which means they have job stability and perks including healthcare, vacation time, and paid travel for business.

A career in Operational Research presents you with the unconventional career option that stimulates your analytical and problem-solving skills. And, if you think that you have the knack for driving a team then this is the right career option to take elevate your skills to the next level. You can anytime reach out to the experts at Leverage Edu and identify the right course to kickstart your career in this field.

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