Operations Research Major
Operations research is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.
There are 0 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in operations research, 15 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 25 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 15 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting an Operations Research Degree?
Operations research is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #202 in popularity. About 500 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 59.4% of the graduates in this field are male.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of operations research majors is as follows:
- Asian: 19.4%
- Black or African American: 3.8%
- Hispanic or Latino: 8%
- White: 45.5%
- Non-Resident Alien: 15.8%
- Other Races: 7.6%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in operations research. About 15.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending operations research majors to the U.S. are China, India and France.
What Will You Learn as an Operations Research Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to operations research to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Operations Research Majors
A major in operations research should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
Skills for Operations Research Majors
Operations research majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
Abilities for Operations Research Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a operations research student include the following:
What Can You Do With an Operations Research Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with operations research:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Operations Research Analysts||27.5%||$83,390|
|Natural Sciences Managers||9.9%||$123,860|
|Clinical Research Coordinators||9.9%||$123,860|
|Water Resource Specialists||9.9%||$123,860|
Operations Research Major Salary
Average salaries range from $88,000 to $140,000 for careers related to operations research. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Operations Research Major Jobs
Some careers associated with operations research require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for operations research careers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||2.3%|
|Some College Courses||0%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||2.9%|
|First Professional Degree||0%|
Online Operations Research Programs
There are 15 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in operations research, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.
Is an Operations Research Major Worth It?
The median salary for an operations research grad is $88,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 127% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $989,000 after 20 years!
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