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How to Become a Management Analyst

By Ibrahim Okunade

Published:

The fast-paced world of business management makes it important to have an efficient process in place. To stay competitive and meet the market’s ever-changing demands, organizations must continually evaluate their operations and make strategic improvements. This is where a competent management analyst comes into play. This guide contains everything you need to know about this career and how to get into it.

Career Summary

Management Analyst Salary

Management Analyst Salary

Your salary as a management analyst depends on the organization, your level of experience, and your location.

According to Glassdoor, the salary trajectory of management analysts is as follows:

  • Entry Salary (US$70k)
  • Median Salary (US$87k)
  • Executive Salary (US$112k)

The baseline salary of management analysts is higher than the national average income of US citizens, which was US$61,900 in 2022.

What does a Management Analyst do?

Management analysts, also known as management consultants, are professionals who help organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness. They gather data, conduct research, and use analytical tools to assess business operations, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for organizational change. Management analysts work closely with stakeholders, conduct cost-benefit analyses, and provide insights to support decision-making and drive performance improvement.

Management Analyst Career Progression

  • Entry-Level Management Analyst: Works on projects under the guidance of senior analysts or consultants. Gathers data, performs analysis, and supports the development of recommendations.
  • Junior Management Analyst: Conducts independent analysis, assists with client engagements, and contributes to project management tasks.
  • Senior Management Analyst: Takes on more complex projects, leads project teams, and plays a larger role in developing and presenting recommendations to clients or internal stakeholders.
  • Senior Leadership or Partner: In some cases, management analysts may progress to senior leadership positions within consulting firms or organizations. This may include roles such as Director, Vice President, or Partner, where you have broader responsibilities such as business development, client relationship management, and strategic decision-making.
Management Analyst Career Progression

Pros:

  • Competitive compensation and benefits packages, especially at consulting firms or larger organizations.
  • Flexible schedules as well as flexibility and autonomy in managing work.
  • Satisfaction from seeing the results of your analyses and recommendations implemented.
  • Opportunities for continuous learning and professional development.

Cons:

  • Management analysts can often work long hours, especially when working on deadlines or complex projects. 
  • Some management analyst positions require traveling.
  • Work may sometimes become monotonous and lacking in variety.
  • Limited control over projects.

Useful Skills to Have as a Management Analyst

  • Analytical Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Business Acumen
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to Detail

Popular Management Analyst Specialties

  • Strategy and Planning
  • Operations Management
  • Process Improvement
  • Change Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Project Management

How to become a Management Analyst

Management Analyst 5 Steps to Career

Get a Degree in Business Administration or a Related Field

This is the minimum educational requirement for most entry-level management analyst positions. You can major in business-related fields, such as business administration, management, or accounting. However, other degrees, such as information science, statistics, or economics, can also be relevant.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Management Analyst?

Yes, you need a degree to become a management analyst. While there is no official degree requirement to become a management analyst, a bachelor’s degree in business administration (BBA) or a related field is typically the minimum requirement for entry-level positions.

Why Is it Important to Get a Degree in Business Administration or Related Fields?

A degree program in business administration provides a comprehensive understanding of various business principles and concepts. You will learn about key areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, management, organizational behavior, and economics. This foundational knowledge forms the basis for your career as a management analyst and allows you to understand the broader context in which organizations operate.

In addition, employers value a formal education in business administration when hiring management analysts. A degree serves as a signal of your commitment, discipline, and dedication to learning. It can enhance your credibility as a candidate and increase your employability in a competitive job market. Employers often use education as a screening criterion to shortlist candidates for interviews and consider it a minimum qualification for certain roles.

While a degree is not the only path to becoming a successful management analyst, it offers a structured and comprehensive education that equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills. However, it’s worth noting that practical experience, certifications, and specific skills are also highly valued by employers. A combination of formal education and real-world experience can be a powerful combination for a successful career in management analysis.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Degree in Business Administration?

Factors like the degree level and your mode of study affect the duration of your business administration program.

Nonetheless, we provide an estimated timeframe below:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in business administration typically takes around 3 to 4 years of full-time study to complete. This duration may vary based on factors such as credit requirements, co-op or internship programs, and any additional concentrations or specializations you pursue. Some universities also offer accelerated programs or allow students to complete their degrees in an extended timeframe if they study part-time.
  • Master’s Degree: A master’s degree in business administration usually takes 1 to 2 years of full-time study to complete. However, the duration may differ based on the program format. Full-time MBA programs typically last for 1 to 2 years, while part-time or executive MBA programs can take longer, as they are designed for working professionals who often balance their studies with job responsibilities. Additionally, some universities offer accelerated or intensive programs that allow students to complete an MBA in a shorter time frame.
  • Doctoral Degree: A doctoral degree in business administration typically requires 4 to 6 years of full-time study. The duration can vary based on factors such as the research area, the student’s progress, and the dissertation completion timeline. Doctoral programs in business administration are research-intensive and involve coursework, comprehensive exams, and the completion of an original dissertation.

How Much Does it Cost to Study Business Administration at a University?

Multiple factors are at play when assessing the cost of studying at a university. Thus, it is hard to perfectly determine the cost. Nonetheless, we can get a range based on these factors.

For undergraduate business administration programs, the tuition and fee range between $9,314 and $26,175. Graduate programs typically cost between US$10,867 and US$19,485.

The figures above do not account for living expenses and other additional expenses. You can also offset some of the cost through scholarships and financial aid, if available.

Can I Become a Management Analyst Through Online Education?

Yes, you can become a management analyst through online education. There are many accredited online programs that offer degrees in business administration and management. These programs can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this field.

When pursuing online education, you should exercise due diligence and ensure the credibility and reputation of the institution offering the program. Research the university’s accreditation, rankings, student reviews, and alumni success to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, with the right online program, dedication, and proactive engagement, you can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career as a management analyst.

What are Some Web Resources for Management Analysts?

As a management analyst, several web resources are available to help you stay updated with industry trends, access research, and find valuable information and tools for your work.

Here are some of the top resources for management analysts on the internet:

  • Harvard Business Review: The Harvard Business Review is a renowned publication covering various management topics. Their website provides articles, case studies, and insights from industry experts that can help you stay informed about the latest management practices and strategies.
  • McKinsey & Company Insights: McKinsey & Company is a leading global management consulting firm. Their Insights section offers a wealth of articles, reports, and publications on various business and management topics. It covers industries, functional areas, and emerging trends, providing valuable insights for management analysts.
  • Deloitte Insights: Deloitte Insights is the research and insights platform of Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting and consulting firms. Their website offers a wide range of articles, reports, and thought leadership pieces on management, strategy, technology, and industry-specific topics.
  • Gartner: Gartner is a prominent research and advisory firm that provides insights and analysis across various industries. While some of their content is behind a paywall, they often release free research papers, articles, and webinars that can be valuable resources for management analysts.
  • International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA): The IIBA is a global association for business analysis professionals. Their website offers resources, articles, templates, and guides that are relevant to management analysts. They also provide information about certifications, events, and networking opportunities.
  • Management Consulting News: Management Consulting News is an online publication that covers news, trends, and insights related to the management consulting industry. Their articles and analysis can provide valuable information for management analysts.

Additionally, professional networking platforms like LinkedIn can be valuable for connecting with other management analysts, joining relevant groups, and accessing industry-specific discussions and insights.

Get Relevant Certifications

There are a number of certifications available for management analysts. Certifications provide formal recognition of your expertise and can enhance your credibility with employers and clients.

Here are some relevant certifications for management analysts:

  • Certified Management Consultant (CMC): The Certified Management Consultant designation is recognized globally and signifies a high level of competence and professionalism in management consulting. The certification is offered by various professional consulting associations in different countries, such as the Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA) and the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). The CMC requires meeting specific education and experience requirements, passing an exam, and adhering to a professional code of conduct.
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): The CBAP certification, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), validates your expertise in business analysis. It demonstrates your proficiency in areas such as requirements analysis, process improvement, stakeholder management, and solution evaluation. To obtain the CBAP certification, you must meet certain experience requirements, pass an exam, and adhere to the IIBA’s Code of Conduct.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): The Project Management Professional certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), is valuable for management analysts who engage in project-based work. The PMP certification recognizes your knowledge and skills in project management, including areas such as project planning, execution, monitoring, and closing. It requires meeting specific experience and education requirements, passing an exam, and adhering to PMI’s professional code of conduct.
  • Data Analysis and Data Science Certifications: As data analysis plays a crucial role in management analysis, certifications in data analysis and data science can be beneficial. Certifications such as the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) or other certifications specific to tools like Tableau or Python can demonstrate your proficiency in analyzing data and deriving insights.

It’s important to note that certification requirements and availability may vary depending on the certifying organization and region. Research and select certifications that align with your career goals, the industries you are interested in, and the specific skills and knowledge you want to develop as a management analyst.

Gain Hands-on Experience

The next step involves gaining hands-on experience in the field to complement your academic knowledge and enhance your skills. Practical experience provides valuable insights into real-world business challenges. It helps you develop problem-solving abilities and allows you to apply theoretical concepts in practical settings. There are diverse ways of gaining hands-on management analysis experience.

Internships: Internships provide opportunities to work in a professional setting and gain practical experience in management analysis. They allow you to apply your academic knowledge, work alongside experienced professionals, and learn about industry best practices.

  • Consulting Projects: Engaging in consulting projects, either as part of your academic coursework or through independent initiatives, can provide hands-on experience as a management analyst. Collaborate with organizations or clients to analyze their business challenges, develop recommendations, and implement solutions. Consulting projects help you build a portfolio of practical work and demonstrate your ability to deliver tangible results.
  • Entry-level Positions: Starting your career in entry-level positions related to management analysis can provide valuable practical experience. Look for roles such as business analyst, data analyst, or research associate. These positions allow you to work on real projects, gather data, perform analysis, and contribute to problem-solving efforts.
  • Professional Development Programs: Some organizations offer structured professional development programs for aspiring management analysts. These programs provide comprehensive training, mentorship, and rotational assignments across different departments or projects. They are designed to help you develop a broad skill set and gain exposure to various aspects of management analysis.

Practical experience as a management analyst is an ongoing process. Continuously seek opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge through workshops, seminars, webinars, and online courses. Stay updated with industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices to ensure your practical experience remains relevant and up to date.

What are Internship Opportunities for Management Analysts?

Internship opportunities abound for management analysts. As long as you know where to search, you can get jobs and internship offers without experience.

Here are some common internship opportunities that can provide valuable experience for aspiring management analysts:

  • Management Consulting Firms: Many management consulting firms offer internship programs specifically targeted at students interested in management analysis. These internships provide exposure to various aspects of consulting, including data analysis, process improvement, strategic planning, and client engagement.
  • Corporations: Large corporations often have internships in departments such as strategy, operations, or business development, which can provide insights into management analysis within a specific industry.
  • Financial institutions: Financial institutions also offer internships to management analysts. These internships allow students to work on projects related to financial analysis, risk management, and investment banking.
  • Government Agencies: Interning with government agencies can provide exposure to management analysis in the public sector. Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), or local government departments may offer internships that involve policy analysis, program evaluation, or data-driven decision-making.
  • Research Institutes: Interning with research institutes or think tanks can provide exposure to management analysis in specific areas such as economics, public policy, or industry research. These internships may involve conducting research, analyzing data, and contributing to reports or publications.
  • Startups and Small Businesses: Interning with startups or small businesses can offer hands-on experience in management analysis within a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment. These internships may involve working closely with company leadership, analyzing market trends, identifying growth opportunities, and contributing to strategic decision-making.

Use job search platforms and career service centers at universities to find relevant internships. Networking with professionals in the field and utilizing online job boards can also help you uncover internship opportunities for management analysts.

What Skills Will I Learn as a Management Analyst?

Certain key skills are required to reach the pinnacle of your management analyst career.

Below, we outline some of these key skills:

  • Analytical Thinking: If you check a typical management analyst job description, analytical thinking is usually a requirement. Thus, management analysts are expected to be adept at analyzing complex data, identifying patterns, and drawing insights. You’ll learn to break down problems into constituent parts, conduct thorough research, and apply analytical frameworks to make informed decisions and recommendations.
  • Problem-Solving: Management analysts are adept at identifying and addressing organizational challenges. You’ll learn problem-solving techniques to systematically approach issues, gather relevant information, evaluate alternative solutions, and develop effective strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve desired outcomes.
  • Data Analysis: Data analysis is a critical skill for management analysts. You’ll learn how to collect, organize, and interpret data using statistical methods and tools. This skill enables you to derive meaningful insights, identify trends, and support evidence-based decision-making.
  • Process Improvement and Project Management: Management analysts focus on optimizing business processes and workflows. You’ll learn techniques such as process mapping, value stream analysis, and lean principles to identify inefficiencies, recommend improvements, and enhance operational effectiveness. You’ll learn project management skills, including defining project scope, creating timelines, managing resources, and monitoring progress. These skills help you effectively plan, execute, and track project deliverables.
  • Strategic Planning: Management analysts play a crucial role in strategic planning. You’ll learn how to assess an organization’s internal and external environments, conduct market research, and develop strategic initiatives aligned with business goals. This skill involves understanding industry trends, competitive analysis, and forecasting future scenarios.
  • Communication and Stakeholder Management: Effective communication is essential for management analysts. You’ll learn how to convey complex ideas and analyses in a clear and concise manner, both in written reports and oral presentations. Strong communication skills enable you to collaborate with stakeholders, influence decision-makers, and effectively convey recommendations.

What is the Work-Life Balance of a Management Analyst?

Work-life balance is a personal and subjective experience, and individuals may have different perspectives and preferences. While some management analysts may successfully maintain a satisfactory work-life balance, others may face challenges in achieving that balance, especially during intense project periods or in organizations with demanding work cultures.

Overall, management analysts have a good work-life balance because they often have the flexibility to manage their schedules, the autonomy to prioritize tasks, and the ability to work on project-based assignments. With the opportunity to work remotely and have flexible hours, management analysts can achieve better integration of their professional responsibilities with personal commitments.

Additionally, their focus on efficiency and analytical thinking enables them to optimize their work processes, leading to more effective time management and reduced work-related stress. The cyclic nature of project work allows for periods of rest and rejuvenation between assignments. While challenges may arise during busy project periods, the overall work-life balance for management analysts is generally positive due to the nature of their work and the potential for a greater sense of control over their professional and personal lives.

Network and Build Professional Connections

The next step is to network and build professional connections, particularly within the industry. Networking plays a vital role in career development, offering opportunities to connect with industry professionals, expand your knowledge, and gain insights into the field of management analysis.

Networking enables you to tap into the hidden job market, where many management analyst and management consulting positions are filled through referrals and personal connections. Building a strong network increases your chances of hearing about unadvertised job openings and getting referred to relevant roles.

It also allows you to engage in conversations with professionals who have diverse backgrounds and experiences. These interactions expose you to different perspectives, new ideas, and alternative approaches to problem-solving. Such knowledge sharing contributes to your professional development and helps you expand your skill set as a management analyst or management consultant.

What’s the Career Outlook for Management Analysts?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of management analysts is projected to grow 11 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, more than 100,000 job openings for management analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

The figures clearly show that there will be ample opportunities and a strong demand for skilled management analysts in the coming years. This positive outlook underscores the importance of acquiring the necessary education, skills, and experience to capitalize on the growing demand for management analysts and secure rewarding career opportunities in this field.

Management Analyst Popular Career Specialties

What are the Job Opportunities for Management Analysts?

There are diverse opportunities available to management analysts, each with its specific focus and responsibilities. Depending on the industry, organization, and individual career goals, management analysts can pursue roles that align with their interests and expertise.

  • Management Analyst/Consultant: You can work on a range of projects for various organizations, providing expertise and guidance in areas such as strategy, operations, organizational design, and change management.
  • Business Analyst: Business analysts assess business needs, analyze processes, and propose solutions to help organizations achieve their goals. They conduct requirements gathering, perform data analysis, and collaborate with stakeholders to develop strategies for business process optimization
  • Project Manager: Some management analysts take on project management roles, overseeing and coordinating projects aimed at improving organizational processes, implementing new systems, or managing change initiatives. They are responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring projects to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Operations Analyst: Operations analysts specialize in optimizing operational processes, analyzing supply chain efficiency, and enhancing productivity. They identify bottlenecks, develop performance metrics, and propose strategies for process improvement.
  • Data Analyst: With the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making, management analysts may specialize as data analysts. They collect, organize, and analyze data to derive insights and support decision-making.

Who Hires Management Analysts?

Every decision-maker wants their businesses and organizations to run smoothly. Thus, the demand for management analysts cuts across various industries, both in the public and private sectors.

Some of them are:

  • Financial Institutions: Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions often employ management analysts to analyze processes, optimize operations, and support strategic decision-making. These analysts may work on projects related to risk management, performance improvement, or market analysis.
  • Consulting Firms: Management consulting firms, such as McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and Deloitte, are major employers of management analysts. These firms provide consulting services to clients across industries, helping them solve complex business problems, improve processes, and make strategic decisions.
  • Corporations and Businesses: Many corporations and businesses, regardless of their size, employ management analysts to improve their operations, optimize processes, and enhance overall performance. These organizations can span various industries, such as finance, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, retail, and more.
  • Government Agencies: Government entities at the local, state, and federal levels hire management analysts to support various initiatives. Management analysts in government agencies may work on policy analysis, program evaluation, budgeting, or operational efficiency projects.

There may be opportunities in niche sectors or specialized consulting firms. The demand for management analysts spans industries and sectors. This is because organizations in various fields recognize the value of data-driven decision-making, process optimization, and strategic guidance provided by these professionals.

Should I become a Management Analyst?

Are you still contemplating whether this career path is right for you or not? Let’s get right into it. Your interests, skills, and career aspirations are the ultimate determinants of the career path you choose. If you like working in a role where you apply analytical thinking, solve complex problems, and provide strategic recommendations, then becoming a management analyst could be a suitable career choice.

Management analysts often work in dynamic environments, collaborating with stakeholders and helping organizations improve their processes and make informed decisions. If you naturally get along with people and can communicate complex ideas in a simple way, this is surely a career that gives you room to utilize these skills. The time to dust up your books and begin your management analyst journey is now.

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Ibrahim Okunade

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