Becoming a Management Analyst
So you think you might like to become a management analyst. Management analysts, also known as management consultants, 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.
So what are the career requirements? Starting with the right education is important.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree required; some employers prefer a master's degree|
|Degree Field||Accounting, finance, or business-related field|
|Licensure and/or Certification||Optional certification is available, but may provide a competitive advantage|
|Experience||Several years of experience usually required|
|Key Skills||Problem-solving skills, analytical skills, time-management skills, and familiarity with Microsoft Office, Visio, medical records, or data mining programs|
|Salary||$81,320 per year (Median salary for management analysts)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monster.com (October, 2012)
Let's trace the steps to become a management analyst.
Step 1: Earn 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 or 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 at least five years.
Step 3: Complete a Master's Degree
Many private businesses and some governmental agencies require candidates to hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a 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, and some are 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
Despite a projected 19% increase in employment of management analysts over the years 2012 to 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: 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.
Earning a bachelor's degree, finding an entry-level job, obtaining a master's degree, getting certified, considering specialization and self-employment, and joining professional organizations are steps to follow to make the most of a career as a management analyst.