Operations Research Analysts

  1. Description

Science and Technology

Imagine it’s your job to put together this season’s schedule for your favorite Major League Baseball team. Before you decide that’s an easy job, consider these rules: Your team has to play 81 games at home and 81 games on the road. It has to play each of the teams in its division 19 times. And don’t forget travel -- you can’t have your team flying from the East Coast to the West Coast every other day.

Complex problems like this come up all the time. Operations research analysts find ways to solve them. Their work is used by managers in all sorts of industries, whether the goal is to schedule airline pilots to prevent dangerous fatigue or time traffic lights to prevent congestion.

Operations research analysts use math and computers to develop software and other tools that managers use to make decisions.

Did You Know?

Many operations research analysts work on projects for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Spend your days crunching numbers
  • Work carefully and precisely
  • Build decision-making tools
  • Explain your ideas to others
  • Learn how different businesses work
  • Meet deadlines under pressure

It Helps To Be...

A math fan who loves solving real-world problems. If you find beauty in efficiency and processes that run smoothly, then you’ll enjoy making things work better through operations research analysis.

Make High School Count

  • Take as many computer science classes as you can. A background in programming is key for operations research analysts.
  • Do the math -- algebra, geometry, and calculus are the kind of challenging classes you’ll need.
  • Sign up for economics and statistics.
  • Participate in the International Math Olympiad.
  • Plan events for school clubs, sports teams, and student government.
  • Get a summer job or internship to learn how businesses operate.

Did You Know?

A great place to find out more about operations research is the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.