Operational researcher

management scientist

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would find better ways for businesses and organisations to work and achieve their goals.

You’d analyse systems and processes and work out how they can be improved using advanced mathematical, statistical and business theories.

You’d test your solutions to problems using statistical and computer forecasts and ‘models’.

Your research and advice would help senior managers in companies and government departments solve business problems and make better decisions.

You would:

  • Analyse complex information and add insight
  • Apply business and other theories to the organisation and its work
  • Come up with the solution to problems
  • Observe and interview staff
  • Examine a company's current procedures
  • Report your findings to the client
  • Make recommendations about where to make changes
  • Advise managers on putting the changes into practice

You might work alone or in a small team. Good knowledge of business would be useful. You’d also need to be able to explain complex ideas to people who are not experts.

 

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically work standard office hours Monday to Friday, perhaps with occasional overtime to meet deadlines. Part-time work is possible

Environment

You may have an office base or work mainly from home and you would visit each client company.

Travel

You would need to visit each client company, which can involve frequent travel in this country and abroad, and possible overnight stays.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Being logical
  • Solving mathematical problems
  • Researching and investigating
  • Planning and organising

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

You need a good honours degree (SCQF level 10) in management science or another relevant subject such as

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Computer science
  • Business management

Degree courses look for three to five Highers including Maths, with English at least at National 5.

Many employers prefer applicants to have a postgraduate degree (SCQF level 11) before entering employment 

Useful subjects

  • Maths  (required by most courses and employers)
  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Business
  • ICT
  • Science subjects
  • Numerate subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show research, organisational, financial and ICT skills.  

The Operational Research Society runs career open days and training courses for those interested in or already employed in this area.