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How to become a management analyst

Kathryn Uhles

Reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP, Dean, College of Business and IT

Imagery of an eye with computer code in the background to signify management analyst

Management analysts gather data about industries and businesses, analyze it and develop strategies to improve company operations. Knowing how to become a management analyst can help you plan your educational journey and your job search. We’ll guide you through how a business degree can help prepare you for this and other roles in the business world. 

What is a management analyst? 

Management analysts or management consultants help companies find new ways to improve their efficiency. They work directly with companies as external experts to help solve problems with operations, personnel and finances so that businesses can be more successful and profitable.

Businesses in many industries use management analysts to help them survive and thrive in a competitive market. They may also want input and recommendations from someone with a more objective and comprehensive view of the business landscape.

So, what is a management analyst job? We’ll take a closer look to help you plan your educational journey and target your job search.

What does a management analyst do? 

Management analysts study internal data from various business areas, such as human resources, finance and accounting, and sales. They may gather this data from interviews they conduct with employees as well as the company’s internal and external reports.

Once they collect this data, they may compare it to industry standards and practices. They may also consider how large-scale trends and outside factors are likely to impact the company.

Based on their findings, management analysts then develop strategies and recommendations showing how the company’s leaders can improve the organization’s performance. They may also help implement those strategies.

It’s important that analysts are able to convey thoughts clearly both in person and in writing, as they often must communicate instructions verbally and in reports. People with strong communication skills and a penchant for analytical thinking are good candidates for a management analyst consultant role. Many management analysts are communicative people who are comfortable discussing difficult topics with their clients or employers.

Problem-solving and time-management skills are also important, as analysts must be able to pinpoint issues and suggest solutions — and do so on the required schedule.

Successful management analysts should also have skills in data analysis. This means having the ability to gather information, analyze it and draw conclusions to share with company leaders. The conclusions from these actions often become the growth strategies that help a company improve performance and expand.

Choosing a career in this field means helping companies solve a wide range of challenges. A management analyst position can be rewarding if you enjoy helping others find success. You’ll spend time helping others diagnose, troubleshoot and overcome some significant obstacles to success.

Management analyst salary and job outlook 

As of May 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported management analysts made between $57,840 and $172,280 annually (with a median wage of $99,410). However, the salary  depends on a few factors, including education, years of experience, location and  employer compensation structure.

For example, management analysts working at consulting firms are often paid both a base salary and a year-end bonus. By contrast, freelance analysts are typically paid by clients directly. Contracted analysts are sometimes paid per project or per hour until their contract is completed or renewed.

BLS reports that employment in this role is projected to grow by 10% from 2022 to 2032. This rate is much faster than average, likely because companies in virtually every sector want to find ways to operate more effectively, reduce waste, use their resources more efficiently and track their competition.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

BLS Occupational Employment Projections, 2022-2032 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

How to become a management analyst 

Before you can become a management analyst, you’ll first need to complete a few steps to gain the right blend of education and experience.

Here’s how to become a management analyst outlined in a series of steps.

Earn a degree 

One of the first steps to becoming a management analyst is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Many employers prefer candidates with at least a four-year degree, like a bachelor’s degree in business, social science or a related field.

However, some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree in business administration. You can earn a master’s right after you earn your bachelor’s or later in your career after you have gained more experience or want to make a career change.

Gain professional industry experience 

Alongside educational requirements, most management analyst positions require some form of on-the-job experience. Many analyst candidates look to gain experience in their preferred field. For example, if you want to work in finance, you might try to find an internship at an accounting firm.

It’s not always easy to find opportunities for this firsthand experience. Consider reaching out to members of your professional network to see if they know of any companies with openings that could provide that experience. Try to find a mentor who can help you apply your education to real-world situations and grow your network.

Earn industry certifications 

Some employers also look for candidates who hold industry certifications. Often, these certifications are industry-specific, particularly for industries in which management analysts have more specialized roles.

Find a job

There are several ways to find a management analyst position after you graduate. Consult your university’s network to determine if any alumni currently hold management analyst positions. You can begin your job search by asking for their advice and determining whether they know of any internship or entry-level job opportunities within their own company or elsewhere.

Consider joining professional groups and attending networking events. These can help you develop relationships and contacts that might lead to a job opportunity.

Also, ask established management analysts for informational interviews to find out how they built up their careers.

Getting your first management analyst job can take time, but with a strong background of education, experience and, when applicable, certifications, you can confidently apply for roles and pursue ongoing training.

Learn more about online business degrees 

The Bachelor of Science in Business with a Business Analytics Certificate at University of Phoenix provides a foundation for such roles as management analyst, business analyst, analytical strategist and operations research analyst.

If you’re looking to learn more about online business programs that prepare students with skills for a variety of career paths, including management analysis, consider a program at University of Phoenix.

Headshot of Michael Feder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

Headshot of Kathryn Uhles

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Currently Dean of the College of Business and Information Technology, Kathryn Uhles has served University of Phoenix in a variety of roles since 2006. Prior to joining University of Phoenix, Kathryn taught fifth grade to underprivileged youth in Phoenix.

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