Military Operations Research Careers

May 15, 2018

There are many opportunities in the field of military operations research that will appeal to different types of people. In general though, jobs in this area require a high proficiency in math and a love of data analysis.

Each branch of the military has individuals whose primary job is to analyze all relevant data to ensure their unit is functioning at the highest possible level. These military operations research analysts primarily use mathematical modeling and statistics to perform this job. Knowledge in coding, logistics, and engineering is also quite useful in these positions.

Career Comparison

Job Title Average Salary* Job Growth (2014-2016)* Applicable Skills/Traits
Management Analyst $124,977 0% Interpersonal skills, qualitative analysis skills
Logistician $99,394 -5% Broad systems analysis skills, leadership skills
Budget Analyst $126,473 -15% Mathematical skills, knowledge of financial markets
Information Security Analyst $62,208 30% Surveillance skills, coding skills
Operations Research Analyst $128,365 -6% Ability to see the big picture, analysis skills

Source: *Department of Defense

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Careers in Military Operations Research

Careers in military operations research require a high level of education and training. Once the necessary credentials are completed though, there are lucrative positions that allow service members to work in many different realms. Analyzing the safety of bases and other structures to maximize protection in the case of an attack, and crunching budget numbers to minimize costs are both examples of things one will do in the realm of military operations research. The careers listed below give an overview of some of the possible positions in this line of work.

Management Analyst

This is a position for individuals who have an interest in both analysis and human interaction. Management analysts are responsible for inspecting how things are run in an organization, paying particular attention to how effectively people are managed. Cohesion and strong interpersonal relationships are necessary in the military context, making this an important job for the optimization of the functioning of the armed forces. A bachelor's degree is needed to become a management analyst, although a master's degree is often preferred.


Logisticians oversee the supply chain of an organization. This means they coordinate how items move from one place to another and manage the costs of this transportation. This is an integral position within the military, which works, and thereby ships items, all over the world. While doing their job, logisticians are also responsible for monitoring the cost effectiveness of the supply chain and implementing improvements when necessary. Some people in this field are hired with just an associate's degree, however most have a bachelor's degree in a related field.

Budget Analyst

Like any other business, the branches of the military must keep track of their finances to ensure they are maximizing output while minimizing costs. It is a budget analyst's job to look over these numbers and suggest changes to improve the budget. Within the context of the military, the job of a budget analyst may take many forms, but is always routed in the goal of creating the best working budget possible. To do this job, a bachelor's degree in a field related to math is typically required.

Information Security Analyst

Those interested in military operations research and working with computers should think about becoming an information security analyst. Individuals who work in this field are responsible for continually monitoring the security of computer networks and systems. They work to encrypt the systems, test the protection's strength, and report any breaches in security. This is a crucial role within the military, where keeping secrets can often be a life or death situation. This job requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, programming, or a related field.

Operations Research Analyst

An operations research analyst incorporates aspects of all the jobs listed above to solve complex organizational problems. The military is a complex place to work, and individuals in this position strive to streamline these complexities. Knowledge of statistics and other types of mathematical modeling are especially integral to performing well in this position. A bachelor's degree is necessary to enter this field, however a master's is often preferred. Universities typically do not offer degrees in operations research but math and other related fields are readily applicable.

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