Decision scientists work in a variety of fields and industries including financial services, health care, advertising and marketing, insurance, human resources, supply chain management, logistics, general business, law, environmental regulation, public health, and public policy. They also work for government agencies, colleges and universities, the armed forces, and consulting firms that provide advice to companies and organizations.
Some decision scientists break into the field by first working in data science. This provides them with the knowledge of data acquisition, quality, organization, and analysis that allows them to tackle “big-picture” problems at their employer. But people enter the field from a variety of areas, including business management, information technology, business economics, and even physics and engineering. Others first work as decision science analysts, who conduct research and perform other support duties for decision scientists.
Aspiring decision scientists can learn about job opportunities via resources provides by their college’s career center, through internships and career fairs, by visiting the job pages of companies that employ these workers, by creating a profile and accessing job listings on LinkedIn, and by using the services of recruiters, among other strategies.
A skilled and experienced decision scientist can advance by receiving pay raises; being promoted to the position of chief decision scientist, who oversees a team of scientists and analysts and who works closely with an organization’s top leaders during the decision-making process; or by moving to a better-known company or organization that offers higher pay and a more rewarding work environment. Some decision scientists choose to open their own consulting firms, while others decide to enter academe and become college professors.
Tips for Entry
Read Decision Analysis (https://connect.informs.org/das/decisions-analysis-journal), Decision Sciences Journal (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15405915), Judgment and Decision Making (https://sjdm.org/journal), and the DSI blog (https://decisionsciences.org/blog) to learn more about the field.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
A strong background in math, statistics, and computer science is helpful in this field; take classes in this area.