Career Information for a Degree in Management Science

Degrees in management science typically cover technical and administrative topics. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for management science graduates.

A degree program in management science encompasses a range of business subjects, such as finance, analytics, and statistics. It is designed to prepare students for managerial positions, which require interpretation, decision-making, and leadership. For example, one may choose to become an operations research analyst or top executive.

Essential Information

The field of management science has a multidisciplinary atmosphere, which focuses on innovative technologies to efficiently run different businesses. Students getting their bachelor's in this field can expect to take courses like statistics, financial accounting, systems analysis and management communications. Advanced degrees in management science offer specialization fields, such as operations research and decision/risk analysis. Coursework in these fields may include decision support systems, quality control and supply chain management. In order to succeed in this industry, individuals need to have good critical-thinking and analytical skills.

Career Operations Research Analyst Top Executive
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 30% 6%
Mean Annual Salary (2015)* $84,180 $185,850

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Careers in management science typically require at least a bachelor's, with higher-paying positions reserved for those who have an advanced degree. Below are descriptions and overviews of possible career options for management science graduates.

Operations Research Analyst

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that operations research analysts conduct significant studies to determine how to minimize operating costs and maximize efficiency levels for businesses and corporations (www.bls.gov). By examining various statistics, such as the number of products made and sold, operations research analysts can make recommendations to managers concerning how much inventory companies should carry. Analysts use advanced computer programs and statistical data mining techniques to examine every possible variable related to operating a business.

Although the military and larger companies often hire their own teams of operations research analysts, many analysts also work as consultants. An undergraduate degree in management science should prepare most workers for entry-level positions, but the majority of employers prefer applicants who hold graduate degrees in the field, per the BLS. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicted that open positions for operations research analysts would grow by 30%. As of May 2015, these professionals earn a mean annual salary of $84,180.

Top Executive

There are many alternative job titles for top executives, but in general, top executives analyze the structure and goals of businesses in order to make sound decisions that can improve organizations. According to the BLS, many top executives focus on changing company policies to help businesses remain competitive. Top executives also correspond with other executives to plan events, reassess business goals and rewrite operating protocols.

Top executives might have degrees from various fields, but those with degrees in management science often work as executives for companies related to technology or engineering. Employers in technology related industries often prefer a combination of recent work experience and advanced degrees. BLS indicated that the rate of job growth for top executives would grow six percent between 2014 and 2024. The mean salary for these professionals as of May 2015 is $185,850 per year.

Earning a degree in management science provides an individual with several career options, two of them being a head executive or research analyst. Some employers may demand a graduate degree. Management jobs demand organizational skills, critical thinking, teamwork, and the ability to solve problems in the most efficient way possible.


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