Should I Become a Management Analyst?
Also known as management consultants, these professionals evaluate an organization's efficiency and make recommendations, structural and otherwise, to improve productivity and profitability. Job tasks include analyzing financial data, interviewing and observing employees, and making recommendations for improving a corporation's efficiency. They typically work long hours, and those who are self-employed may work even longer while seeking new clients. The following table contains the main requirements for being a management analyst:
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|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree required; some employers prefer a master's degree|
|Degree Field||Accounting, finance, business|
|Licensure and/or Certification||Optional certification is available|
|Experience||Experience usually required|
|Key Skills||Problem-solving skills, analytical skills, time-management skills, familiarity with Microsoft Office, Visio, medical records or data mining programs|
|Salary||$80,880 per year (Median salary from 2014 for management analysts)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster.com (October, 2012)
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
Entry-level management analyst positions, often in the public sector, are available to those holding at least a bachelor's degree. Many aspiring management analysts complete 4-year programs in business administration, accounting, management, or finance. Such disciplines provide students training in such areas as management theory, organizational behavior, and statistical analysis. In addition to programs in business fields, those in engineering, statistics, or information science may also provide educational preparation for future management analysts.
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, candidates may begin building their resumes by finding entry-level employment in the field. Some consulting firms hold on-campus recruiting sessions, so an interested candidate may want to reference his or her college's career services event calendar. Neophyte management analysts sometimes start off at private firms as associates (junior members of consulting teams) before progressing to consultant positions. In order to advance to more senior positions, management analysts must have on-the-job experience, often of at least five years.
Step 3: Complete a Master's Degree Program
Many private businesses and some governmental agencies require candidates to hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or related degree, and organizations that don't require it consider it a plus. MBA programs are offered by numerous colleges and universities and are available both part- and full-time, some flexibly designed for working professionals. When hiring, some employers waive part of the work experience requirements for applicants holding master's degrees.
Step 4: Get Certified
Although certification isn't necessary to be a management analyst, obtaining it may provide job candidates an edge over other applicants. The Institute of Management Consultants USA confers the title of Certified Management Consultant (CMC) to candidates at the Basic, Experienced, and Management level. Eligibility at the Basic level necessitates a bachelor's degree and at least three years of consulting experience, as well as the passing of both an oral and a written examination; Experienced and Management CMC credentials require ten and 20 years of relevant work experience, respectively.
Step 5: Consider Specialization and Self-Employment Options
Despite a projected 19% increase in employment of management analysts over the years 2012-2022, according to the BLS, available positions in relation to job seekers may be fewer in the field given intense competition. Management analysts specializing in specific projects related to an industry, for instance healthcare or information technology, or a particular division, such as marketing or human resources, are expected to fare better in terms of job prospects. The independently inclined may decide to start an independent consulting business.
Step 6: Join a Professional Organization
Aspiring management analysts seeking to advance their careers may consider joining a professional organization, such as the Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA), which offers members access to continuing education, networking opportunities, industry-related events and other resources for professional growth and career advancement.