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The salary and job expectations of an operations analyst will vary depending on the specific industry and the individual’s experience. If you’re considering pursuing a career as an operations analyst, it’s important to understand what you’ll be doing every day and how much you’ll earn.
Once you’ve decided that it’s the path you want to take, Northeastern University’s Master of Business Administration degree can give you the knowledge and experience necessary to be competitive in the field.
What does an operations analyst do?
An operations analyst works with companies to solve their internal issues and develop strategies to meet goals. In your day-to-day activities, you can expect to work in an office and even do some traveling, depending on the nature of the job and the location of your client. If you want a job that involves a lot of communication and collaboration, this could be the perfect career for you, as you’ll spend most of your days chatting with and learning from your colleagues.
Operations analysts in all industries are responsible for the following tasks:
- Identifying problems: To help a company or a specific department operate more efficiently, you first need to address the issues that are holding it back. Common examples of operational problems include high production costs or a misallocation of labor.
- Conducting research: Once the problem is identified, you’ll be responsible for engaging in the research necessary to come up with a solution. This will involve interviewing employees, gaining an understanding of their workflows, and learning about how internal tools are used. By using software, you’ll be able to funnel your research into data analysis and statistical modeling.
- Come up with solutions: After you’ve figured out the problem and have research to back it up, you’ll organize your findings into a report and then offer a solution. Also, when your solution is put into place, you’ll monitor the implemented changes and measure the success of the results. For example, if you’re tasked with reducing production costs, your report may suggest consolidating certain responsibilities. If your manager approves, you’ll be expected to report back to them about whether or not this actually lowered production costs, as well as any new problems that were created as a result.
- Coordinate with managers: Fortunately, you won’t be doing all of this alone. As an operations analyst, you’ll constantly collaborate with colleagues, managers, and other analysts to come up with the best solutions possible.
While they may seem similar, operations analysts are different from business process reengineers (BPRs). An operations analyst seeks to make improvements by studying the current systems of a business, identifying problems, and suggesting solutions. BPRs do this too. However, their goal is to completely transform the internal systems of a business, not just make improvements.
How much does an operations analyst make?
If you plan to work in an entry-level operation analyst job, you can expect to earn around $50,000 annually according to PayScale. With more than a year of experience in the field, the average salary is $60,000. Operations analysts with a master’s degree, many years of experience, and an impressive resume can often earn over $100,000 a year.
It’s important to note that different industries have different salary ranges for this type of job. For example, operations analysts in sales tend to earn more than those in marketing. The size of the company, your full time or part time status, and the number of clients you manage will play roles in determining your salary as well.
How much experience do you need to be an operations analyst?
To be an operations analyst, you’ll need to be proficient in operations research, predictive modeling, and statistical analysis. You’ll also need good communication and collaboration skills. While these abilities will constantly develop throughout your career, you will need an educational foundation to get started.
To qualify for an entry-level operations analyst position, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, operations research, or statistics. For higher-level positions, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree program.
The Online MBA program at Northeastern University will give you the knowledge and skills required to build a long and successful career as an operations analyst. If you already know the field you want to work in, Northeastern provides the freedom to customize your studies accordingly. There are eight concentrations you can choose from:
- Healthcare Management
- High Technology Management
- Innovation Entrepreneurship
- International Management
- Supply Chain Management
By choosing any one of these concentrations, you’ll have access to a wide range of courses, many of which relate directly to the day-to-day duties of an operations analyst. For example, an Online MBA degree from D’Amore-McKim’s School of Business, with a focus in Healthcare Management, includes courses like strategic decision-making and financial strategies (unique to healthcare providers). Or, if you enroll in the Innovation Entrepreneurship concentration, you’ll take classes like day-to-day business operations and business plan creation.
You can learn more about Northeastern’s Online MBA program by speaking with an enrollment advisor.