Operations Research

Overview of Operations Research

An Operations Research college degree program focuses on using science and different methods to decision making. Operations Research may be found as a major under Engineering or under Business, either way this major is very strong in mathematics, scientific method, engineering, and analysis.  The reason Operations Research can be found in two different programs is because the skills you learn can be used in a number of occupations such as, biostatistics, financial analysis, and hospital administration.

Branches of engineering like Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum Engineers that involve a lot of science often work with Operations Research.  Operations Research is different than most other majors in that it is the norm to get your Master’s degree, not your Bachelor’s.  There are a number of schools in the United States that offer Master’s programs in Polymer/Plastics Engineering, but there are a few education programs available at Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Doctorate degree levels.

Curriculum for Operations Research

In an Operations Research, many courses may focus on mathematics, science, and business.  Here are some courses you can expect to see in an Operations Research college program:

  • Introduction to Operations Research
  • Introduction to Systems Theory
  • Linear Programming
  • Optimization for Engineering Processes
  • Graph Theory
  • Mathematical Models for Decision Making
  • Deterministic models in Operations Research
  • Simulation Analysis and Design
  • Long Term Actuarial Models
  • Stochastic Models in Operations Research
  • Computational Mathematics for Decision Science
  • Linear Programming
  • Game Theory
  • Applied Statistical Methods
  • Calculus
  • Business Statistics
  • Operations Management
  • Business Systems Analysis and Design

For students who wish to continue their studies in Operations Research, you should expect a heavy course load in mathematics, science, probability, and business.  For those who are ready to invest their time toward higher education, there are several Master’s and Doctoral programs available around the country.

How to Enroll in Operations Research

There are a number of colleges and universities around the country that offer Master’s degrees in Operations Research.  These programs are often very demanding, and you will want to be equipped with the necessary tools if you decide this is the program for you.  It’s important to stay focused and to study hard, because courses will be heavy in mathematics, computers, business, engineering, and/or science.  Seeking assistance when you need it is also important, and knowing your advisors and professors will make the course load easier for you.

Benefits and Rewards of Operations Research

There are many divisions within an Engineering program or a Business program; Operations Research is one of the fields that you may find.  In an Operations Research degree program, you will spend a lot of time learning how to apply scientific method and systems to how people make decisions.  Although Operations Research is a demanding major, it differs from other Engineering and Business courses in that you are applying you skills to the way humans react.  It’s an interesting program, were you will be come more comfortable in your mathematics, science, communication, and teamwork skills, and all of these will assist you in finding a great job in Operation Research.

Job Opportunities in Operations Research

Operations Research students often look for a job in the Operations Research field.  Future employees in the field can expect to use analysis and other methods in order to solve problems and make decisions.  Often, large companies will have operations research analysts’ work for them and help their company strive.  In 2010, about 64,600 operations research analysts held jobs with the outlook for the 2010-20 decade expected to increase by 15%, which are about 9,400 jobs.  In 2010, the average salary among operations research analysts was $70,960, but those who were considered in the top 10% in the field made as much as $122,750.

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