How to Get a Job as an Operations Analyst

Joseph Stubblebine
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Operations analysts, sometimes called operations research analysts, are problem solvers by nature. They use mathematics and a variety of other tools to identify opportunities for improvement, potential inefficiencies, and solutions to problems. As the business world continually evolves, companies will look for ways to avoid costly problems and improve efficiency. For this reason, operations analyst jobs will be in high demand in the coming years.

Good operations analysts have analytical minds, and they enjoy conducting research and combing through data. To be a good operations analyst, you should also have an understanding of how complex systems work, as well as the ability to isolate system elements for analysis. If you have this mindset and these skills, the job can be lucrative. The national average for an operations analyst salary is $65,933 per year.

If you know that you want to become an operations analyst at an early age, then your career path will start in high school. But regardless of when you start, try to take as many math and analytical classes as you can: the job is very math intensive. Not every college has an operations analyst degree program, so operations analyst jobs applicants will usually get a degree in another field like engineering or computer science. Your degree program should have a focus on math and data processing systems if possible. Operations analysts jobs can be found in many different job sectors, so you should choose which you want to pursue and either major or minor in that discipline. 

Many companies post operations analyst jobs that are temporary or internships for students. This experience, even though it is generally unpaid, will help you develop your professional skills while giving you real-world experience. As graduation approaches, utilize any placement services that your school has, since recruiters from large corporations often send their job openings to college placement centers or counselors. Any job you get will probably start at the bottom, but these types of analyst jobs still pay well, even at the entry level.

Once you get your foot in the door, you should be open to taking more classes or training to update your professional skills. Some specialty operations analyst jobs may require additional education. You might be asked to do some on-the-job training, so you need to be open to this possibility. If you are amenable, you could benefit greatly from the fact that operations analyst jobs will be in big demand in the future, with expected growth of 27 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is much higher than the national average, with 19,500 openings expected in 2014 alone. This outlook for the year is in line with the outlook for the entire economy in 2014, which is expected to grow by 3.1 percent.

Companies are always looking for ways to become more efficient because it saves them money and increases productivity. This is why operations analyst jobs will be plentiful in the coming years. With the right education and focus on a specific discipline, you can be well on your way to a solid entry-level job with lots of potential for growth.


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