Are you great at figuring out what people want to buy in products and services? Do you find different opinions fascinating? You could have an awesome career as a market researcher!
Market researchers design collection methods for sales and marketing data as well as observing and creating computer models of economic and consumer trends. They also use statistics to analyze data and turn it into easy-to-read graphics and provide reports to clients and organization management.
Requirements and Qualifications
Typically working full time at a computer, you will have some longer hours around deadlines. Market researchers usually work for organizations, with only 5% being self employed. You will find it beneficial to develop particular qualities for this career path, including being able to think critically and analytically, being detail oriented and having excellent communication skills.
Though you can find some jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, many opportunities require a master’s degree for employment or advancement. A degree in business, statistics, market research, computer science, mathematics, communications or a similar field is typical for this career path. You will also find it beneficial to have coursework in research methods, statistics, communications, marketing, economics, psychology or sociology.
Steps to Become a Market ResearcherPrior to finishing your degree program, you will find it very beneficial to undertake and internship, which will give you work experience and a reference for your resume. Once you’ve finished your degree, gaining experience in sales, report writing, data analysis or collection will give you a resume that will help you find a position as a market researcher. After working for at least three years in the market research field, you may want to pursue a Professional Researcher Certification, offered by the Marketing Research Association.
Maybe you don’t think you’re enough of a people person to conduct research, or you’d like a career path that doesn’t involve much in the way of mathematics. That’s not a problem! Here are some similar career tracks you may want to explore instead:
- Are you great at overseeing promotional efforts? Advertising, promotions and marketing managers provide oversight of their department, plan campaigns and work to increase public perception of a product or service.
- Good at guessing total costs? Cost estimators study data to determine time, labor, materials and and financial cost of a project.$60,570
- Fascinated with how the market works? Economists study trade, production and monetary systems.
- Good at seeing room for improvement? Operations research analysts help organizations make decisions on daily operations by studying how they work.
- Can you put a good spin on any situation? Public relations managers and specialists help clients, whether organizations or individuals, to make and sustain a positive public face.
- Got a good mind for mathematics? Statisticians theorize results by studying and deciphering data using advanced mathematical formulas.
- Like to hear people’s opinions? Survey researchers plan and oversee surveys and interpret data to study market trends.
A market researcher can expect nearly double the average annual pay of all careers with an average of $60,300 per year in wages, as of 2012. Though you will typically work full time hours in this career path, deadlines may require some weekend and evening work, making for longer hours.[findschool] The highest paying sectors in this career path include information, company management, wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific and technical services.
Market researchers can expect to see phenomenal growth in their field over the next decade, 41% growth versus 14% growth in the average of all careers over the same time period. Job seekers with a master’s degree will see the best prospects, especially with knowledge of digital and social media data collection.