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Career and Education Opportunities for Operations Research Analysts in Chicago, Illinois

Operations research analysts can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 1,710 people are currently employed as operations research analysts in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 1,940 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for operations research analysts, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.0% over the next eight years. In general, operations research analysts formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions.

A person working as an operations research analyst can expect to earn about $34 per hour or $72,030 yearly on average in Illinois and about $33 per hour or $69,000 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis, people working as operations research analysts in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis nationally. Jobs in this field include: liaison planner, office system analyst, and operations research manager.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as an operations research analyst. Given that the most common education level for operations research analysts is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an operations research analyst if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Operations Research Analyst

Operations Research Analyst video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, operations research analysts formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. They also may develop related software, service, or products.

Operations research analysts formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables and their numerical parameters. They also layout and evaluate experimental operational models in cases where models cannot be developed from existing data. Equally important, operations research analysts have to observe the current system in operation and gather and analyze data related to each of the parts of component problems, using a variety of sources. They are often called upon to specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models. They are expected to ready management reports defining and evaluating problems and recommending solutions. Finally, operations research analysts design business methods and procedures, including accounting systems and production schedules.

Every day, operations research analysts are expected to be able to decide how to think about problems involving math. They need to deal with basic arithmetic problems.

It is important for operations research analysts to break systems into their component parts, assign numerical values to each component, and examine the mathematical relationships between them. They are often called upon to design business methods and procedures, including accounting systems and production schedules. Somewhat less frequently, operations research analysts are also expected to design and apply time and cost networks to develop and review large projects.

They also have to be able to analyze data obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems and perform validation and testing of models to insure adequacy and reformulate models as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to pinpoint and solve a variety of problems and to explain management objectives.

Like many other jobs, operations research analysts must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Actuary. Analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain premium rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Operations Research Analyst Training

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science which graduated 114 students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has 2 areas of study related to Operations Research Analyst. They are:

  • Management Science, bachelor's degree.
  • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

University of St Francis - Joliet, IL

University of St Francis, 500 N Wilcox St, Joliet, IL 60435-6188. University of St Francis is a small university located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,334 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of St Francis has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Management Science.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science which graduated 214 students in 2008.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Management Science.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Operations Research Analyst. They are:

  • Management Science, master's degree which graduated 412 students in 2008.
  • Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 63 students in 2008.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Management Science which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Educational Statistics and Research Methods.

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LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.