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Career and Education Opportunities for Operations Research Analysts in Des Moines, Iowa

Operations research analysts can find many career and educational opportunities in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 580 working operations research analysts in Iowa; this should grow 5% to about 610 working operations research analysts in the state 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.

The income of an operations research analyst is about $25 hourly or $52,730 per year on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $33 hourly or $69,000 annually on average. Operations research analysts earn less than people working in the category of Statistics Analysis generally in Iowa and less than people in the Statistics Analysis category nationally. Jobs in this field include: business operations analyst, procedure writer, and process analyst.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as an operations research analyst. Operations research analysts usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 Des Moines 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

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science which graduated nineteen 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.