Management analysts

What Management Analysts Do

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization's efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

Duties

Management analysts typically do the following:

  • Gather and organize information about the problem to be solved or the procedure to be improved
  • Interview personnel and conduct on-site observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed
  • Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports
  • Develop solutions or alternative practices
  • Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes
  • Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports
  • Confer with managers to ensure that the changes are working

Although some management analysts work for the organization that they are analyzing, most work as consultants on a contractual basis. 

Whether they are self-employed or part of a large consulting company, the work of a management analyst may vary from project to project. Some projects require a team of consultants, each specializing in one area. In other projects, consultants work independently with the client organization's managers.

Management analysts often specialize in certain areas, such as inventory management or reorganizing corporate structures to eliminate duplicate and nonessential jobs. Some consultants specialize in a specific industry, such as healthcare or telecommunications. In government, management analysts usually specialize by type of agency.

Organizations hire consultants to develop strategies for entering and remaining competitive in the electronic marketplace.

Management analysts who work on contract may write proposals and bid for jobs. Typically, an organization that needs the help of a management analyst solicits proposals from a number of consultants and consulting companies that specialize in the needed work. Those who want the work must then submit a proposal by the deadline that explains how they will do the work, who will do the work, why they are the best consultants to do the work, what the schedule will be, and how much it will cost. The organization that needs the consultants then selects the proposal that best meets its needs and budget.

How to Become a Management Analyst

Most management analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree. The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation may improve job prospects.

Education

A bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for management analysts. However, some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

Few colleges and universities offer formal programs in management consulting. However, many fields of study provide a suitable education because of the range of areas that management analysts address. Common fields of study include business, management, economics, political science and government, accounting, finance, marketing, psychology, computer and information science, and English.

Analysts also routinely attend conferences to stay up to date on current developments in their field.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA) 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 Code of Ethics. Management consultants with a CMC designation must be recertified every 3 years. Management analysts are not required to get certification, but it may give jobseekers a competitive advantage.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many analysts enter the occupation with several years of work experience. Organizations that specialize in certain fields typically try to hire candidates who have experience in those areas. Typical work backgrounds include management, human resources, and information technology. 

Advancement

As consultants gain experience, they often take on more responsibility. At the senior level, consultants may supervise teams working on more complex projects and become more involved in seeking out new business. Those with exceptional skills may eventually become partners in their consulting organization and focus on attracting new clients and bringing in revenue. Senior consultants who leave their consulting company often move to senior management positions at nonconsulting organizations.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Management analysts must be able to interpret a wide range of information and use their findings to make proposals.

Communication skills. Management analysts must be able to communicate clearly and precisely in both writing and speaking. Successful analysts also need good listening skills to understand the organization’s problems and propose appropriate solutions.

Interpersonal skills. Management analysts must work with managers and other employees of the organizations where they provide consulting services. They should work as a team toward achieving the organization’s goals. 

Problem-solving skills. Management analysts must be able to think creatively to solve clients' problems. Although some aspects of different clients' problems may be similar, each situation is likely to present unique challenges for the analyst to solve.

Time-management skills. Management analysts often work under tight deadlines and must use their time efficiently to complete projects on time.

Job Outlook

Management Analysts

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Management analysts

19%

Business and financial operations occupations

13%

Total, all occupations

11%

 

Employment of management analysts is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for consulting services is expected to grow as organizations seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs. As markets become more competitive, firms will need to use resources more efficiently.

Growth will be particularly strong in smaller consulting companies that specialize in specific industries or types of business function, such as information technology or human resources. Government agencies will also seek the services of management analysts as they look for ways to reduce spending and improve efficiency.

Growth of international business will also contribute to an expected increase in demand for management analysts. As U.S. organizations expand their business abroad, many will hire management analysts to help them form the right strategy for entering the foreign market.

Many firms are also expected to hire management analysts who specialize in areas such as lowering energy consumption or implementing “green” initiatives.

Job Prospects

Jobseekers may face strong competition for management analyst positions because the high earning potential in this occupation makes it attractive to many jobseekers. Job opportunities are expected to be best for those who have a graduate degree or a certification, specialized expertise, fluency in a foreign language, and a talent for sales and public relations.

Employment projections data for Management Analysts, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Management analysts

13-1111 718,700 852,500 19 133,800
  Occupation Description Entry-Level Education 2012 Median Pay
Accountants and auditors Accountants and auditors

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Bachelor's degree $63,550
Administrative services managers Administrative services managers

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Bachelor's degree $81,080
Budget analysts Budget analysts

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Bachelor's degree $69,280
Cost estimators Cost estimators

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Bachelor's degree $58,860
Economists Economists

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Master's degree $91,860
Financial analysts Financial analysts Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.' Bachelor's degree $76,950
Financial managers Financial managers Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.' Bachelor's degree $109,740
Market research analysts Market research analysts

Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.'

Bachelor's degree $60,300
Operations research analysts Operations research analysts

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.'

Bachelor's degree $72,100
Survey researchers Survey researchers

Survey researchers design surveys and analyze data. Surveys are used to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions in order to understand people’s opinions, preferences, beliefs, or desires.'

Master's degree $45,050
Top executives Top executives

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Bachelor's degree $101,650

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