Decision Science Degree Program Overviews

Oct 13, 2019

Decision science is a broad field incorporating a variety of disciplines, including business, engineering and statistics. Most full degree programs in decision science are more common at the master's and doctoral levels.

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Essential Information

Course offerings in these programs may include multivariate analysis, simulation modeling, marketing research and decision science research. Thesis or dissertation projects are generally requirements of such advanced degree programs. Graduates might pursue positions such as data analyst, statistician, management analyst and university professor.

Admission into master's and doctoral degree programs require completion of a bachelor's degree. Most programs will require applicants to have taken courses in business and computer programming, as well as scores from the GRE.

Master's Degree Programs in Decision Science

These programs cover a range of subjects in manufacturing, design and finance. Students learn about supply chain management, business applications of data mining and investment performance analysis. Research leading to a dissertation is an important part of the program. Classes discuss business forecasting and decision analysis. Common courses include the following:

  • Quality improvement
  • Simulation modeling
  • Operations management
  • Marketing research
  • Business information systems

Doctoral Degree Programs in Decision Science

These programs provide students with advanced education in decision-making and risk assessment. Courses often focus on subjects related to statistical analysis.

Courses cover statistical assessment and data analysis. Specific course titles might include the following:

  • Medical decision-making
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Nonlinear regression
  • Statistical computing
  • Decision science research

Popular Career Options

A graduate degree in decision science can lead to a career in business, education or research. Popular career titles include the following:

  • Decision consultant
  • Data analyst
  • Supply chain manager
  • Manufacturing manager
  • Statistician

A doctorate in decision-making can lead to a job with a government agency, nonprofit organization or private corporation. The following are among typical career options:

  • Professor
  • Management analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Project manager
  • Operations researcher

Salary and Employment Information

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that computer systems analysts made a median salary of $88,740, while statisticians made $87,780. The BLS predicted that computer systems analysts would enjoy a 9% increase in jobs from 2018-2028, while statisticians would see a 31% increase, faster than average.

The BLS predicted favorable job growth for both management analysts and market research analysts, at 14% and 20% respectively, for the 2018-2028 time period. Management analysts earned a mean salary of $94,390 in 2018, while market research analysts earned $70,960.

Master's and doctoral degree programs in decision science offer students courses and training in quality improvement, simulation modeling, multivariate analysis, and decision science research. Graduates in the field typically find work in advanced positions in market research, management, and academia.

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