What Is the Best Degree Path for Becoming a Management Analyst?

All businesses need to reduce waste and work efficiently to maximize their profits, but many companies have difficulty identifying and fixing inefficient work processes from the inside. They hire outside business professionals called management analysts or management consultants to evaluate their practices and develop plans to improve efficiency. If you have great skills in analyzing information, solving problems, using time wisely and interacting well with others, this high-paying career could be the perfect match for your talents. An undergraduate degree can help you get started, but you may need a certification or even a master’s degree to reach your full potential.

Undergraduate Options

There’s no one career path that’s the right choice for aspiring management analysts. In fact, not many schools offer programs specifically intended to prepare students for careers in management consulting, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. These candidates need a breadth of knowledge that they can get by studying business and related topics. Popular majors for aspiring management analysts include accounting, computer science, economics, finance, general business, information science, management, marketing, psychology and even English, the BLS reported. It’s no surprise that several of these versatile majors are among the top 10 highest paying business degrees.

Before entering the field of management consulting, candidates typically need to gain experience in the business world themselves. This work experience doesn’t just add to their résumés to convince prospective employers of their skills – it allows them the opportunity to develop those skills by experiencing firsthand how inefficient processes cost businesses money and how to fix them. Many management analysts begin their business careers working in fields like human resources, information technology and management.

Certifications and Graduate Education

The right combination of a business-related bachelor’s degree and work experience is sufficient to attain some management analyst jobs. For senior level consulting roles, candidates often need additional qualifications. The Certified Management Consultant designation offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA is one popular credential. Going to grad school to attain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is another way management analysts can continue to grow their skills and set themselves apart from the crowd in the eyes of prospective employers. 

Management analysts earn a median salary of $78,600 per year, the BLS reported – more than double the median salary across all occupations. Those with the highest earning potential work in industries like management, scientific and technical consulting services or for the federal government, where they earn median salaries of $84,300 and $84,530, respectively. This career is undergoing faster than average growth in job opportunities, with the BLS expecting a 19 percent increase in management analyst jobs over just a decade. The high salary, the positive job outlook and the challenge of finding and fixing companies’ inefficient operations and processes led U.S. News & World Report to rank management analyst 17th on its list of the best business jobs and 68th on its 100 Best Jobs list.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris