Online Master’s Degree in Operations Research

Operations research professionals will study, collect information, and analyze an organization to learn about their day-to-day operations. They will use what they learn to discover any problems the organization is having and help the organization’s executives and managers solve these problems and make better decisions. Operations research professionals may focus on a specific department of an organization or the entire organization. They must have extensive knowledge of organizational operations, leadership, management, and more to be successful.

A master’s degree in operations management will give you the knowledge needed for this career. In fact, many colleges and universities are offering online master’s degrees in operations management that can be earned from your home, around your schedule, without having to attend a physical classroom at set times. These degrees typically require completion of around 30 credit hours, in addition to having already earned an undergraduate degree. A full-time student will usually be able to complete the online master’s degree program in operations research in two years. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that require students to work at a more rapid pace, but allow them to complete the program in as little as 12-18 months.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Operations Research

While enrolled in an online master’s degree program in operations research, you will take classes that will teach you all the ins and outs of business and organizations. Also, because the majority of your career will focus on quantitative analysis, you will need to complete several advanced mathematics courses. Once you learn this, your classes will focus on methods and techniques used to gather and analyze information, evaluate organizations’ operations, find and solve problems, and effectively communicate your findings and possible solutions to executives and managers. The following are some of the more common courses found in an online master’s in operations research degree program:

  • Production and Operations Management
  • Operations Research in Public Policy
  • Decision Models and Applications
  • Deterministic Operations Research Models
  • Stochastic Operations Research Models

Assignments for an online master’s students seeking an operations research degree will typically consist primarily of written reports and papers, as well as exams. Completing scenarios that simulate real-world situations are also common in many programs. Since real-world, hands-on experience is important in this profession, some programs require students to complete a certain number of training hours – usually through internships – prior to graduation.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Operations Research

A bachelor’s degree may be enough for entry-level positions. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “most employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree.” Employment opportunities may be found at professional services firms, where you will be contracted by an organization to come out, analyze their operations, and help them improves. There are also many opportunities in the federal government, finance and insurance industries, and in the information and research industry.


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