Management Science

Man working on computer at office desk

Management science is an excellent field for people who really enjoy analyzing problems and building mathematical models to develop solutions. Strong backgrounds in statistics, database management and computer programming are the normal prerequisites. A related field is data science.

Wall Street is particularly enamored of so-called "quants" or quantitative experts, but all industries can benefit from their skills.

A growing field is that of artificial intelligence (AI), also called expert systems. The goal is to build models that replicate the complicated decision-making processes of experts in various fields. Such models, if constructed correctly, can do the work of armies of experts.

Banks strive to refine credit-scoring models that assess the credit worthiness of loan and credit card applicants. This is a form of expert system.

Insurance companies have their own scoring systems that evaluate applicants for policies and determine whether they should be accepted and at what premiums. This is another type of expert system.

Brokerage firms are interested in models that predict a client's level of satisfaction with his or her broker, suggest what the broker could do to improve, and/or predict which clients are so dissatisfied that they are in imminent danger of closing their accounts.

Skills Needed:

Becoming the manager of a management science group normally requires excellent communication skills.

The client base for management science is the population of less technically adept managers in the company. To work effectively with them, you must be able to relate complicated statistical concepts in jargon-free English.

Some firms are finally seeing the value of creating parallel tracks for technical experts who do not wish to manage large groups of employees.

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