Management analysts are critical thinkers and problem-solvers. Entrusted to find solutions for their companies or clients, these professionals uncover operational efficiencies, new revenue streams, and profitable ways to monetize data.
As organizations seek to thrive in their industries, management analysts provide clarity and actionable insight. Whether it’s in IT, finance, healthcare, government, or another thriving sector, pursuing a career as a management analyst can be fulfilling for those with an affinity for data analysis. The first step toward advancing in the field is learning how to become a management analyst.
What does a management analyst do?
Sometimes called a business analyst or management consultant, a management analyst typically focuses on improving the efficiency of an organization’s processes and procedures. Because these professionals often analyze revenue and expenditures, they assist companies in cutting costs, enhancing performance, and making their business operations run more smoothly.
Companies seek management analysts to solve problems and recommend solutions. Analysts can review single departments, entire companies, lines of business, or solely business processes and procedures.
Management analysts think critically and make conclusions by reviewing a variety of data. Their work can result in a large corporate restructuring, business-boosting inventory control improvements, or entrance into a new business.
A management analyst focused on business intelligence may concentrate on predictive modeling by analyzing massive amounts of unstructured data. Analysts in IT departments can work to ensure databases are secure. Management analysts in the healthcare sector scour big data from sources such as hospital records and patient medical records to improve services, according to the Journal of Big Data.
How to become a management analyst
Several paths lead to a career as a management analyst, but they all typically begin with earning a bachelor’s degree.
Earn a bachelor’s degree
Candidates looking to get into management analysis should have earned a bachelor’s degree, as this is a requirement for most entry-level management analyst positions, according to Investopedia. New analysts tend to work as a consultant in their chosen field of study.
Typical undergraduate degrees include business, finance, economics, and psychology, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but can include engineering and other areas of study. After several years of related work experience, analysts tend to earn promotions to junior management analyst positions or return to school to pursue a master’s degree.
Develop skills through experience
Prospective and entry-level management analysts should be focused on developing their skills and expertise. According to the BLS, skills needed in the profession include analytical, problem-solving, time-management, and interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are an asset for those exploring how to become a management analyst. Some management analysts work independently, but others contribute as part of a team, specializing in a certain area of expertise or across an industry. Management analysts can work for small and large organizations alike, or as consultants for external clients. Those in senior management analyst roles typically oversee a team of analysts or operate their own consulting firms.
Management analysts should also be familiar with certain tools, such as Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, SQL, and Tableau, according to CIO. The role of a management analyst often involves creating charts, graphs, maps, and other visuals that bring data to life and make it more easily consumed.
Earn a master’s degree
Professionals working in this field may want to consider earning a master’s degree to help advance their careers, move into management positions, or better compete in the marketplace. Employers looking for a senior management analyst candidate typically require a master’s degree in business or additional certification, according to Investopedia, alongside years of work experience.
A graduate degree in business may be required to work in a large organization or consultancy. A master’s in business data analytics program, for example, can help aspiring analysts cultivate the knowledge and skills needed to confidently embark on a career in the field.
Besides an advanced degree, aspiring management analysts may want to seek a professional designation. The Institute of Management Consultants USA, an association for professional consultants, offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation. While not required by employers, it attests to certain professional and global standards of competency and ethics and may give a candidate a competitive edge.
Applicants must have been active consultants for three of the last five years, have earned a degree from a four-year college, take a written and oral exam for competency and ethics, and offer references and client assignment summaries. The certification process can take several months for qualified candidates.
Another certification is the Certified Business Analysis Professional, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis, a nonprofit professional association.
Additionally, some universities offer certificate programs that allow students to get ahead in specific fields. For instance, Maryville University offers an online post-bachelor’s certificate in big data that allows students to gain a graduate-level understanding of certain data analysis techniques.
Management analyst salaries
The median annual salary for management analysts is $85,260 as of May 2019, according to the BLS. Salary ranges are influenced by experience, education level, and job location.
Salaries can also vary for management analysts depending on the industry. Those working in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector earn the highest median annual salary of $91,160. Professionals working in finance and insurance earn $84,940, similar to analysts working in management at companies and enterprises, who make $84,390. Management analysts employed in the government sector earn a median annual salary of $79,720.
Management analysts employed by consultant firms typically receive a base salary plus a year-end bonus, according to the BLS.
Employment outlook for management analysts
The BLS projects the employment of management analysts to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (4%). The demand for management analysts will likely be highest in consulting services. Tapping the expertise of an analyst helps organizations improve efficiency and cost controls.
In IT consulting, which is also projecting high demand for management analysts, these professionals help to maintain cybersecurity and IT systems. Government agencies, a sector that also is projecting growth for management analysts, rely on these professionals to help them reduce spending and enhance efficiency.
According to the BLS, management analyst candidates have better job prospects if they have met certain criteria, such as a graduate degree, certification, foreign language fluency, or an aptitude for public relations or sales.
Discover more about becoming a management analyst
Become part of an organization’s success by identifying more efficient ways of doing business, uncovering new markets, and recommending organizational changes or new systems or procedures.
Start your journey toward becoming a management analyst or accelerate your existing career by exploring Maryville University’s online Master of Science in Business Data Analytics.