From what I understand, optimization in medical and healthcare systems, analytics and actuarial sciences are hot areas. However, I am not sure how different areas compare in terms of the salaries and growth opportunities in the industry. Would be great if somebody could shed some light on hot areas that pay well, have good growth opportunities and are intellectually stimulating too ( yes, I want the world).

asked 30 Nov '12, 23:40

shadowblade360's gravatar image

shadowblade360
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The variability in opportunity, compensation, and intellectual reward within application areas is higher than between them. The entrepreneurial track is usually the highest risk and reward. The research track usually allows for deeper intellectual engagement. Working for a paycheck in a large company such as IBM or Cisco may provide significant avenues for professional growth. Choosing a sector based on your criteria is not, in my view, terribly meaningful. Nor is chasing "hot" trends.

Assuming this is a serious question, I can only advise you to focus on what you enjoy. Hard work and perseverance are controllable inputs. So there's benefit in maximizing them. When it comes right down to it, luck and talent predominate as success factors. Those are exogenous factors. I don't know if there's anything to be done about talent or lack thereof. As for luck, I think of Yoko Ono's 1966 'Ceiling Painting' that consisted of a ladder that John Lennon climbed up. There, in small lettering on the ceiling, was the word 'Yes'. Leaving yourself open to opportunity, saying 'yes', is one way to maximize luck.

(Having said that, I don't know anyone who got rich, founded business, or won the von Neumann Prize, doing actuarial work.)

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answered 13 Dec '12, 00:51

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SanjaySaigal
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Great answer. OR is something I have enjoyed till now, and I hope in due course of time I will figure out where I want to go. Just wanted to understand if there is anything I am missing, and your first para sums it up very well. I hope in due course of time, I will develop stronger research interests, since as of now - I feel I am a dabbler at best. Thanks Sanjay.

(17 Dec '12, 23:33) shadowblade360

I would look for areas where OR is used to generate more revenue. Most past use of OR were about lowering cost, or other resource usage metrics. We now see more and more use of OR to generate more revenue, see for instance this example

There are many more.

Her's a hint: look for places where OR is used together with predictive analytics. I think this is where the hot spots lie.

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answered 20 Dec '12, 04:40

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jfpuget
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If you really want the world that badly, I think a change of career is better. Sorry to disappoint you, but conquering the world through optimization/OR is harder and longer than other paths..

From your question I get the feeling we are talking about entrepreneurship. If that's the case, I can only say the focus is wrong.

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answered 13 Dec '12, 03:09

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Bo Jensen ♦
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accept rate: 14%

I see. Just wanted to understand the job market and the hot areas in OR. To think of it, the only reason I am going for higher studies in OR is due to pure interest and not jobs per se. The only idea was to not jump into it blindly and get a hang of the opportunities after this.

(17 Dec '12, 23:30) shadowblade360

That's a multi objective optimization problem! i see three competing objectives unless mistaken.

Not sure my answers helps though...

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answered 01 Dec '12, 00:39

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jfpuget
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accept rate: 8%

It doesn't. Leave the weights assigned to each objective to me :)

(01 Dec '12, 01:47) shadowblade360
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Asked: 30 Nov '12, 23:40

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Last updated: 20 Dec '12, 04:40

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