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Career and Education Opportunities for Operations Research Analysts in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for operations research analysts in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 2,120 working operations research analysts in Maryland; this should grow by 11% to 2,360 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.

Operations research analysts earn about $39 hourly or $81,400 annually on average in Maryland and about $33 per hour or $69,000 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis, people working as operations research analysts in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Statistics Analysis nationally. Operations research analysts work in a variety of jobs, including: office system analyst, methods specialist, and liaison planner.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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, you can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Columbia include:

  • 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

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Management Science which graduated zero and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Management Science which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Management Science which graduated seventeen 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.

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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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.