Spotlights

Job Description

Management Analysts, also known as consultants, work within various businesses and organizations to help improve operations. Specifically, they work with managers to find inefficient practices and ways to make them better. This involves a significant amount of data gathering in order to comprehensively review processes and hunt down problem areas.

The nature of every organization is different, so Management Analysts frequently must adapt to the goals of their employer. In fact, many workers in this field specialize in their employer’s business area. For example, healthcare facilities and governmental agencies have different needs, therefore they may only hire people with related expertise. Meanwhile, for companies generating revenue, their goal is to ultimately increase profits while staying competitive. That’s why they look for Management Analysts who can implement changes with a goal to reduce costs. 

With all that said, it’s important to remember that there are many management principles that can be universally applied no matter what the industry.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Helping organizations from the inside to grow and maximize their efficiency 
  • Learning the inner workings of large organizations
  • Impacting the quality or effectiveness of products and service for external customers
  • Keeping businesses profitable so they can retain and hire new employees, thus helping the national economy  
2018 Employment
876,300
2028 Projected Employment
994,600
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule

81% report working over 40 hours per week, with hours depending on the organization and the type of work being done. 18% of Management Analysts are self-employed and work via contract. This requires reviewing potential clients’ advertised job needs, then writing proposals and bidding on the jobs. This amounts to spending unpaid time looking for jobs. Finally, workers in this field may be required to travel from their own office to a customer’s locations and can expect to hold frequent meetings, some of which may run overtime.

Typical Duties

  • Becoming intimately familiar with employers’ systems, equipment, hierarchy, and processes
  • Meeting and sometimes interviewing employees and performing on-site inspections of work areas
  • Reviewing organizational guidelines and standards related to work procedures 
  • Reviewing data, studies, and reports to look for significant findings
  • Writing detailed recommendations for improvements and solutions to problems
  • Drafting plans to implement suggestions
  • Following-up with managers to ensure changes are being implemented
  • Tracking the effectiveness of changes and talking with affected personnel

Additional Responsibilities

  • Interviewing personnel and conducting on-site observation
  • Drafting bid proposals (for self-employed contractors)
  • Potentially traveling to different work center sites, sometimes outside the local area, to conduct observations and meet managers or other analysts
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Independent; ready to take the initiative
  • Adaptable to change
  • Excellent reading comprehension
  • Analytical and objective
  • Cooperative and team-oriented
  • Critical thinking
  • Desire and aptitude to improve processes
  • Sound judgment and decision-making  
  • Phone etiquette
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Integrity
  • Persistence; goal-orientation
  • Professional demeanor
  • Research and troubleshooting skills
  • Able to advise and instruct others through verbal and written guidance
  • Strong communication skills, including active listening 
  • Observant; able to analyze employee behavior
  • Understanding of human motivational factors
  • Planning and organization skills

Technical Skills

  • Familiarity with computers (PC or Apple)
  • Knowledge of office equipment such as printers, scanners, and photocopiers
  • Microsoft Office, Google apps, Macintosh software
  • Ability to create properly formatted proposals and compelling presentations
Different Types of Organizations
  • Banking institutions
  • Governmental agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Large companies
  • Non-profits
  • Science and tech organizations
  • Self-employed contractor
Expectations and Sacrifices

Organizations rely heavily on the expertise of Management Analysts to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible and, when applicable, maximizing profits. When changes are necessary, workers in this field must be on-hand to help implement and monitor those changes for effectiveness. This can result in overtime and frequent travel to various sites, to ensure new processes are being followed correctly and to obtain employee feedback and listen to problems. At times, changes are directed due to federal or state guidance, with tight timelines for implementation and penalties for failures to comply. This can create stress as organizations put pressure on management to get into compliance quickly. 

Current Trends

Around the nation, employers are seeking highly qualified Management Analysts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow nearly three times faster than the average of all career areas. Competition in business is especially fierce, leading companies to seek out experts who can target and eliminate weak areas and inefficiencies. 

Healthcare is another sector in need of help, as citizens live longer and resources become stretched. Meanwhile, as insurance regulations continue to evolve, medical providers need assistance to ensure they are keeping up. 

Management Analysts working in specialty areas such as IT, human resources, public relations, and governmental agencies are expected to also be in high demand in the coming years. Those with advanced degrees can naturally expect greater opportunities and higher salaries. 

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...

In their younger days, Management Analysts were likely fond of helping their parents around the house or volunteering to serve on school committees. They were probably the person others looked to when they didn’t know the answer to something or needed help with a problem. Many may have had an interest in a broad range of subjects, learning everything they could about one before moving on to the next.

In school, they likely excelled in English or Public Speaking and may have been eager to ensure their assignments were properly formatted and cited corrected, when necessary. They tend to be punctual, dependable, and often sticklers for rules, able to rationally argue the reasons why it is important to follow a certain rule.

Future Management Analysts were also probably great at trivia games, having an interest in details and a good memory. Lastly, they also have the ability to see how small details affect the “big picture.”  

Education and Training Needed
  • A bachelor’s degree is the minimum
  • Average employers seek workers with a Master of Business Administration or applicable graduate degree
  • Organizations may require years of prior work history showing relevant duty performance
  • Certain companies only hire workers with experiences in their sector, such as accounting or software
  • Specialized training such as Certified Management Consultant boost competitiveness
Things to look for in an university
  • Per O-Net Online, 46% of workers hold a master's degree; 38% hold a bachelor's
  • 12% possess a post-baccalaureate certification
  • Certification and state licensure may be required for some jobs. Certifications include, but are not limited to: 
    • Certified Management Accountant 
    • Certified Associate in Project Management 
    • Certification of Achievement-Alliance Management    
    • Certified Form Systems Professional    
    • Business Forms Management 
    • Registered Business Analyst    
    • Clinical Consultant
    • IQBBA Business Analyst 
    • Certified Management Consultant
    • Certified Strategic Alliance Professional 
  • Scrutinize the program’s ties to industry and their job placement rates for graduates. Many programs serve as pipelines to employers and thus maintain strong connections with recruiters
  • Consider taking online courses (from accredited programs)
  • Look for tuition discounts and scholarship opportunities offered by the school (in addition to federal student aid, of course)  
  • Think about your schedule and flexibility, when deciding whether to enroll in an on-campus, online, or hybrid program
Things to do in High School and College
  • Take entry-level jobs related to the general area you want to work within as a Management Analyst, to start gaining practical experience for the future 
  • Ask friends, relatives, and teachers of applicable subjects if they are aware of job or internship opportunities that can help prepare you
  • Work hard to build your written communication and oral presentation skills
  • Join clubs offering chances to practice public speaking and leadership skills
  • Volunteer to manage large-scale projects at school or in the local community
  • Take business electives such as entrepreneurship, accounting, business math, economics, marketing, and psychology
  • Become proficient at reading for details and deep comprehension
  • Get organized and learn the principles of good record keeping and records management
  • Consume all sorts of business media (magazines, websites, videos) and keep up with trends 
Typical Roadmap
Management Analyst roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • As a future Management Analyst, expect hiring managers and admissions officers to screen your written materials for signs that you possess the needed traits
  • Learn to keep extraordinarily detailed records in order to inform your resume and college applications
  • Include numerous examples of quantifiable data on your resume or application 
  • Ensure all of your written materials are error-free, properly formatted, and meet every detail outlined in the applicable job posting or college program admissions requirements
  • Strongly consider hiring a professional editor, certified resume writer, or college admissions expert to review your paperwork before submitting
  • Only apply to jobs or programs you are fully qualified for
  • List all formal and informal job experience and training, including high school and post-secondary academics
  • Tailor each resume, cover letter, and/or application to the precise jobs or programs you’re applying to (versus recycling the same general information)
  • Contact previous supervisors, instructors, and others who can speak to your qualifications. Ask if you can cite them as references, or request letters of reference
  • Use mock interviews to practice, prepare your answers to common questions, and study how to dress for success 
  • Look for jobs posted on employment portals such as Indeed, Monster, and USAJobs
  • Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, and ensure your social media accounts are extremely professional. Yes, recruiters are scoping your social media!
How to Climb the Ladder
  • Plan ahead. Tell the company you’re applying to (or working for) about your plans and ask if they have opportunities to help groom you for a future Management Analyst career
  • Master your job and over-deliver on the work you turn in. Earn those accolades!
  • Always be on time and flexible enough to put in overtime when needed
  • Maintain the utmost integrity at work
  • Behave like a consummate professional and role model employee
  • When you encounter a problem, offer a fully-developed solution (not just a complaint)
  • Join professional organizations such as the Institute of Management Consultants
  • Complete advanced education and training (and maintain a high GPA!)
  • Keeping up with changes in technologies and regulations that impact your interest areas
  • Transform yourself into an invaluable asset, the go-to expert for problem-solving (or for challenging areas of the job, such as intricate policies)
  • Earn a specialized certificate in a hard-to-fill area
Recommended Resources

Websites

  • Institute of Management Consultants
  • Business Analyst Learnings
  • BA Times
  • Modern Analyst

Books

  • Management Analyst (Career Examination Series), by National Learning Corporation
  • Performance Management: Changing Behavior that Drives Organizational Effectiveness, by Aubrey Daniels  and John S. Bailey
  • The Management Consulting Toolkit, by Expert Toolkit
Plan B

U.S. News & World Report lists Management Analyst as #12 on their list of Best Business Jobs, based on salaries, job growth, employment rate, and other factors. For those looking for something business-related, but not quite “Management Analyst”-oriented, the Bureau of Labor Statics lists many similar occupations for your consideration:

  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Administrative Services Managers
  • Budget Analysts    
  • Cost Estimators
  • Economists        
  • Financial Analysts    
  • Financial Managers
  • Market Research Analysts
  • Operations Research Analysts

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