Management Analyst or Consultant

Outlook for this profession is 24 percent through 2018—much faster than average. Almost a third of management analysts are self-employed, which is also higher than average.
Despite the expected employment growth, competition for jobs as management analysts is expected to be keen, due to the job's high salary, possibilities for independence, and challenging nature of the work.
Salaries vary widely depending on experience, education, location and other factors. Management analysts working for large firms or in metropolitan areas have the highest salaries.
Median annual earnings of management analysts in May 2008 were $73,570. The middle 50 percent earned between $54,890 and $99,700. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,910, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $133,850.
Management analysts working in computer systems design and related areas had the highest average earnings ($82,090), followed closely by those in management, scientific and technical consulting ($81,670). The lowest paid were those working in state government ($55,590).
Management analysts work with companies to streamline them—to make operations more efficient and to increase profits. They do this by gathering and analyzing data, then making recommendations to managers and overseeing implementation of those recommendations.
Often referred to as management consultants, many of these professionals have expertise in specific business functions, such as just-in-time inventory management, information technology or e-commerce. Others specialize in industries, including healthcare or telecommunications, or, if they work for the government, in specific agencies.
Many employers in private industry generally seek individuals with an MBA or a master's degree in a related discipline; some also require experience in the field. Government agencies sometimes require graduate education and experience, but many also hire people with a bachelor's degree and little work experience for entry-level management analyst positions.
Although degrees in management consulting are rare, there are many fields of study that prepare future analysts and consultants, such as: business, management, accounting, marketing, economics, statistics, computer and information science, and engineering.
Certification: Certification is not required. It may, however, give a candidate an edge when seeking a job.
The Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation to those who meet minimum levels of education and experience, submit client reviews, and pass an interview and exam covering the IMC USA's ethics code. Management consultants with a CMC designation must be re-certified every three years.
Entering the field: Companies sometimes hire people with bachelor's degrees into entry-level jobs as research analysts or associates, then promote them after several years into positions as management analysts or consultants.

The government also can be a place for entry-level workers. If you would like to see what government jobs in management analysis are available, visit USAJOBS.
Career Changers: If you have managerial experience—whether in administrative service, advertising and sales, finance, human resources, industrial production, or other areas—you may have the skills to become a management analyst. Find professional organizations for management consultants that meet near you; attend meetings to learn more and to make contacts. Another option: network with people you know to find management consultants, then meet with these consultants to discover your best transition path.

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