Consider a Career in Operations Research and Analytics!

What is Operations Research? Analytics? 

Operations Research (O.R.) is the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Closely connected to operations research, Analytics is the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making better decisions.

What are O.R. and Analytics used for? 

Almost anything that requires a decision about a real world problem–how to do something better.

  • Scheduling: hospital patients, classes, buses, planes, sporting events
  • Marketing: store layout, advertising, social media, online ad placement, recommendations on a website 
  • Product development: product features, pricing, sales forecasts
  • Inventory: how many to build; how many touchpads store should have in stock
  • Organizations: business management, cross-cultural issues, social networks
  • Queueing: waiting lines at amusement parks, banks, movie theaters; line at store to buy new electronic gadget; traffic
  • Environment: managing sustainable resources, reducing materials needed to manufacture a product
  • Optimizing: internet search engines, product design
  • Decision making: security, investment; what college to attend

Click here for an occupation profile and short video from the Department of Labor about becoming an Operations Research Analyst. Watch the video below for a quick look at the impact of analytics on business and government.


Who uses O.R. and Analytics?

Manufacturing companies, hospitals, military services, transportation systems, retail companies to name a few. 

O.R. and Analytics are about how to make a better decision—how to do something faster, or cheaper, with higher quality, or more energy efficient. Or coming up with new math and analytics approaches to solve problems faster. Or how to use data—finding answers when there is very little data, or an enormous amount of data. 

Where can I study O.R. and Analytics? 

There are courses at the upper class college and graduate school level . Programs are offered in business and engineering schools. Click here for a list of colleges offering programs in O.R.

What background do I need to have? 

A good foundation in math and an interest and curiosity about solving real world problems. Read more...


  • Career Planning information about the profession of operations research and analytics. It caters not only to those who are studying in the field and trying to make career decisions, but also to those who know very little about operations research and the management sciences (e.g., high school students and college undergraduates).
  • What is a career in O.R. and Analytics Like?
    • ORMS Profiles These profiles highlight INFORMS members' careers in academic institutions and professional positions in operations research and analytics.
    • O.R. Jobs on Twitter O.R. job postings on the micro-blogging site Twitter
  • Related Societies This page provides links to the career planning and job search pages for societies related to operations research and analytics.

Questions? Contact INFORMS with your questions at