Show me your O.R. Credentials

by Adam Clark on April 18th, 2010

Wow!  What a great first day.  As I warned, I sat in on the Soft Skills workshop today.  While some of the soft skills were addressing issues only encountered by a Decision Analyst, considered as a whole, anyone would benefit from the workshop.  The discussion on how to elicit data (probabilities to be exact) from Subject Matter Experts was especially interesting and applicable to anyone who has ever had to work with probabilistic data.

The highlight of the workshop was the main example that continued through all the lectures – Should there be Operations Research Certification (presumably from INFORMS) for O.R. professionals?  Apparently this is a real discussion going on – though it seemed that most of the workshop attendees didn’t know anything about it.  My initial feelings on an OR Certification is that it would be great for the profession. Yet many questions linger…

I’m interested in hearing any and all comments about this.

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4 Comments
  1. Walt DeGrange permalink

    I thought overall the training was great. They need to consider changing the name to something like “Analysis Communication Strategies” to better reflect what the class is about. Whenever I told people I was going to the soft skills workshop they had no idea what the class was about. It’s all in the name…

  2. Elizabeth Viggiano permalink

    I love the idea of a certification program. I believe it’s exactly what OR needs to get the business community more aware if our profession, which seems like an excellent goal.

    I was also unaware of the discussion of certification until the workshop.

  3. Peter Buczkowski permalink

    Interesting thought. I imagine we would need to break it into specific areas such as Simulation, Optimization, etc. Could help define exactly what we do and better identify training of new recruits. Has its downsides as well, because its hard to test creativity, which I believe is the most important weapon in an OR professionals’ aresenal.

  4. Naveen Rawal permalink

    An OR certification is a great idea. OR has a wonderful arsenal of techniques (optimization, queueing models etc.) that has a much bigger role to play in reducing waste and utilizing the best of scarce resources in any context, be it natural resources or capital resources in a company. The test could be 2-level, the first one a CBT that may be 1 or 2 hrs of multiple choice questions, and the second a pen-and-paper one with case studies. I look forward to how your initiative shapes up. Good luck.

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