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Management Sciences - Overview


Management sciences programs focus on math theories used to study issues and problems in business. For example, students learn techniques to forecast sales. They also learn to use modeling techniques and statistics.

When it's time to make a million-dollar business decision, you probably want to base your choice on more than just a hunch. Fortunately, the business world has a wealth of information on prices, consumer attitudes, and other subjects. Wouldn't it be nice if you could use that information in a scientific manner, the way a meteorologist uses weather data? Then you could predict business trends.

That's what you do as a specialist in management sciences. This field sometimes is also called decision science because it helps managers decide what to do. It really is scientific, because you analyze data, make theories, and test those theories with experiments. The field is closely related to management information systems. Most of the information is gathered and stored on computers, and you use computers to analyze the data.

About 120 colleges offer a bachelor's degree in this specific field. A four-year degree is rarely enough to qualify you as a specialist. However, you can take some courses in this subject as part of a four-year degree program in management information systems or statistics. You may also take them as part of a program leading to a master's in business administration (MBA). That degree usually requires two years beyond the bachelor's.

To specialize in this field, you need to get a master of science or Ph.D. degree. An M.S. typically requires two years beyond the bachelor's; a Ph.D. may require four years or more. With an advanced degree, you can work as a leader in many different parts of the business world.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

• Computer Science and Programming
• English Composition
• Public Speaking
• Pre-Calculus
• Probability and Statistics
• Economics

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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