Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


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

Operations research analysts can find many career and educational opportunities in the Elgin, Illinois area. Currently, 1,710 people work as operations research analysts in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 13% to 1,940 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for operations research analysts are expected to grow by about 22.0%. Operations research analysts generally 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.

Operations research analysts earn approximately $34 hourly or $72,030 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $33 hourly or $69,000 yearly. Earnings for operations research analysts are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Statistics Analysis in Illinois and not quite as good as general Statistics Analysis category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: liaison planner, systems analyst, and systems consultant.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as an operations research analyst. Given that the most common education level for operations research analysts is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be an operations research analyst if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with 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 Elgin 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

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.

Aurora University - Aurora, IL

Aurora University, 347 S Gladstone Ave, Aurora, IL 60506-4892. Aurora University is a small university located in Aurora, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,291 students and an admission rate of 80%. Aurora University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science.

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has 2 areas of study related to Operations Research Analyst. They are:

  • Educational Evaluation and Research, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Management Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 111 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Confidentiality Officer: Professional certification validates your training and experience in your present career.

For more information, see the Business Espionage Controls and Countermeasures Association website.

Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package: Fiscal Services - Accelerated Package course list: Better Requests for Proposals for Better Projects; Continuous Improvement Through Monitoring; Contracting; New Coding System for the 21st Century; Procurement; and Writing Winning Grant Proposals.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.