Management analysts, also known as management consultants in private industry, determine ways to improve an organization's structure, efficiency, or profits. Information technology and electronic commerce have provided new opportunities for management analysts in developing strategies for staying competitive in the electronic marketplace. Some specialize in a specific industry, such as healthcare or telecommunications, while others specialize by business function, such as human resources, marketing, logistics, or information systems. In government, they specialize by type of agency. There are a variety of reasons organizations use management analysts. They may lack internal resources or require an analyst's specialized knowledge to determine if they should pursue various strategies.
Management analysts often work in consulting teams, so they need to be able to cooperate with other team members. Because they are often unsupervised, they must be highly motivated and disciplined. They must possess good analytical skills, the ability to interact with different people, well-developed verbal and written communication skills, sound judgment, time management skill, and creativity.
In 2002, management analysts earned a median annual salary of $60,340. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $35,990, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $115,670. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of management analysts:
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services - $71,790
- Computer systems design and related services - 66,120
- Federal government - 65,480
- Insurance carriers - 51,780
- State government - 47,340
Training and Education
Those seeking entry-level management analyst positions in private industry are usually required to have a master's degree in business administration or a related field. Sometimes additional experience in a specific industry is also required. Government positions usually require a bachelor's degree and no additional work experience for entry-level positions. Suitable educational backgrounds include programs in business and management, such as accounting and marketing, as well as economics, computer and information sciences, and engineering. On top of formal education, most management analysts have years of experience in management, human resources, information technology, or other areas. As they gain experience, they may become responsible for an entire project, and, at the senior level, they may supervise other workers and seek out new business. The Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. offers a Certified Management consultant (CMC) designation, which can offer great advantage in obtaining jobs.
In 2002, management analysts held about 577,000 jobs. 30% were self-employed, and others were found in management, scientific, and technical consulting firms, in computer systems design and related services firms, and for Federal, State, and local governments. Most of those employed by the Federal government work for the Department of Defense.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of management analysts is expected to increase faster than the average. Developments in information technology and the growth of electronic commerce are expected to fuel this growth. However, because the pool of applicants that employers can draw from is so expansive, and because these highly-paid jobs are so attractive, intense competition for these positions is expected. Job opportunity will be best for those who have a graduate degree, expertise in a specific industry, and an aptitude for salesmanship and public relations.