Are you a creative type, someone who enjoys and thinks outside of the box? Perhaps you have strong interpersonal skills and want to inspire others to develop solutions and drive productivity. Or you may like to go deep on a problem, get to the root of the issue, and then apply the best diagnostic tools. Management analysts are dogged problem solvers. A knack for observing processes and improving upon them is critical in this job. Finally, do you have an area of business expertise that could help one or multiple industries? If so, then a Management Analyst position may be right for you.
Companies are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and increase profits. While there are multiple methods for determining business health internally, organizations can also hire someone from the outside to take a fresh look and make recommendations for organizational improvement. The management analyst is one such occupation.
So What is a Management Analyst?
If you like to collect and analyze data, observe people at work and recommend changes that will make a company perform better, then a career as a management analyst might be for you. Also known as management consultants, the management analyst is a consultant that helps businesses be better at what they do. Sometimes management analysts work for a consulting firm, but they may also work independently or start their own firms.
What do management analysts do?
Management analysts think creatively to identify and solve problems for an organization. A business may hire a management analyst to solve a specific problem or to determine the overall health of the company. Some of the tasks you can expect to perform as a management analyst include:
- Collecting and organizing data
- Analyzing financial records
- Interviewing personnel
- Conferring with management
- Developing solutions and strategies for identified problems
- Providing written reports
- Presenting information to the C-suite
- Recommending new procedures or systems
If you work for yourself or on contract, you may also write proposals to businesses and bid on consulting job positions.
What skills do management analysts have?
Strong writing skills are important if you're considering a position as a management analyst. Whether you work for a firm or for yourself, you'll be using analytical and writing skills even before you're hired to show that you're a good fit for the position. To competently operate as a management analyst, you'll also want to develop other skills that allow you to efficiently present your findings and solutions. Some of these will include:
- Proficiency in computer applications or languages applicable to the specific field you're interested in
- Quantitative analytics and statistical modeling, such as those in financial applications
- Speaking and presentation skills
- Proficiency in business communication techniques
- Specialized knowledge in your area of expertise
- Critical thinking and research skills
What Educational Pathways do Management Analysts Take?
Most management analysts have earned a bachelor's degree at the minimum. This can be in business management, accounting, IT or any number of areas because management analysts may be generalists or specialists in a field. Some continue a traditional educational pathway and complete a master's degree either in the same field, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master's in Business Analytics such as the online MSBA degree offered at Wake Forest University.
Whether you choose the bachelor's degree, another graduate degree or the MBA, you can also add relevant credentials by obtaining certification as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) through IMC USA. This certification isn't required but confirms your educational achievements, tracks your experience and offers continuing education to further your skills and knowledge. It can also help differentiate you as a candidate for new opportunities by affirming your commitment as a management professional.
Who Hires Management Analysts?
Corporations of all sizes and types in every corner of the United States hire management analysts to stay competitive in today's market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 30 percent of management analysts in 2016 were employed by companies in the professional, scientific and technical services.
Other organizations that hired the most management analysts or consultants included:
- Self-employed people
- Government agencies at the state and federal levels
- Computer systems and design services
- Finance and insurance companies
- Management firms for companies and enterprises
The top five states for management analysts in 2016 were:
- California (102,850)
- Virginia (46,670)
- Florida (42,770)
- New York (40,000)
- Texas (35,330)
Metropolitan areas with the highest concentrations of management analysts include:
- Washington, DC
- New York, New Jersey and White Plains, NY
- Chicago, Naperville and Arlington Heights, IL
- Los Angeles, Long Beach and Glendale, CA
- Sacramento, Roseville and Arden, CA
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Seattle, WA
- San Francisco, CA
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
What pay can a management analyst expect?
The BLS has projected that growth in the management analysis field will be 14 percent or more through 2026 because organizations are always seeking to improve efficiency, profit and cost control. In May 2016, the BLS reported the median annual wage for management analysts in the United States as $81,330, and the top paid analysts received as much as $149,720 yearly.
Annual mean wages in 2016 for the top-paying industries of management analysts were:
- Pipeline transportation: $130,450
- Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance: $121,070
- Securities and commodities contracts intermediation and brokerage: $118,100
- Cut and sew apparel manufacturing: $114,940
Top paying metropolitan areas for management analysts include:
- Boulder, CO: $114,790
- Charlottesville, VA: $143,540
- Houston, TX: $112,000
- Lawrence, KS: $121,450
- Longview, TX: $116,570
- Naples, FL: $116,420
- Punta Gorda, FL: $142,710
- San Francisco, CA: $115,480
- San Jose, CA: $122,890
If you're looking for financial stability and the chance to spread your analytical wings, a management analyst career might be a great fit for you.
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