Operational research vital for firms in today's climate, says leading Warwick Business School professor
Professor Juergen Branke believes the field of operational research is becoming more and more popular with employers after a new study put the subject in the top 10 biggest earning degrees in the UK.
In a survey by BestCourse4me.com operational research was ranked in the top ten for degree courses according to average lifetime salary.
And at Warwick Business School graduates who go on to augment the degree, which uses maths and analytical techniques to help managers make better decisions, with a masters in Management Science & Operational Research or Business Analytics & Consulting can expect to increase their earnings by securing jobs at companies like Google, KPMG, Virgin Media Procter & Gamble and Ernst & Young.
Professor Branke, who is Professor of Operational Research & Systems, said: "With the depressed global economic climate we are in, companies need to make sure they are not wasting money, and operational research can help do that. Also, as more and more processes become digitized, the amount of information available electronically is exploding, and it becomes ever more important to make good use of this data. This offers huge opportunities for operational research, and companies not using these techniques risk losing their competitiveness.
"Operational research is all about improving processes and better decision making. It has many different application areas, including manufacturing and logistics, finance or engineering. Students learn to think analytically and to describe a problem formally, which can then be tackled by a portfolio of tools and methods taught on the degree."
Warwick Business School offers two masters degrees in the area of operational research: An MSc in Management Science and Operational Research, and an MSc in Business Analytics and Consulting.
Warwick is the second most targeted university by employers in the UK according to the The Graduate Market 2011 report and the MSc in Business Analytics & Consulting has particularly strong links with companies such as Virgin Media, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Centrica, KPMG and IBM.
Recent Warwick Msc Management Science & Operational Research graduate Manzoor Ul Haq now feels he not only has the education to succeed in the workplace but the contacts as well.
"I needed a business school which was highly reputed amongst employers and doing cutting-edge research," said Manzoor.
"You meet people from all around the world and learn about many different cultures at one place. We learn to work with people from different countries and with different work styles which is a skill highly valued by employers.
"I have now got connections all over the world, while developing my analytical thinking and self-belief."