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Career Information – Market Research

Do you enjoy working out what makes people tick? How come people are willing to pay top dollar for the latest product, but dither over a few cents when it comes to buying household goods? Why do so many people smoke, even though they know it’s bad for them? What motivates so many people to give so generously to charity?

If you tend to think about why you or a friend has made a particular decision, then a career in market research might be just up your street.

Right now, the market research industry is a great one to get into. In particular, commercial market research is booming: businesses want to get savvier about their customers – it’s all about building trusted relationships these days – but they need to know who they’re dealing with first. The whole industry is growing and experts predict it will continue to thrive over the coming years.

And, because market research requires a certain level of cultural know how, this industry is likely to stay firmly centered in the US, rather than getting outsourced.

There are many different positions within the market research field, but I’ve described in full two of the most sought-after roles below, together with details on entry requirements and salary expectations.

Market Research Analyst

Overview – As a Market Research Analyst, it’s your job to find answers amid the maze of statistics collected from your researchers. By analyzing data and having insights, you’ll help your client do their job better.

What the role entails – First and foremost, your role as a Market Research Analyst involves analyzing statistical data. Sometimes, you’ll use software programs to help you do this; sometimes you’ll need to get really close to the data in order to really understand it and make decisions based on it.

However, it’ll also be important for you to be able to present your findings to your employees and clients in a way that lets them see past the numbers and into the minds of their market. Good communication skills are therefore very important.

What the position leads to – Typically, a Market Research Analyst with a few years of experience will move to the position of Statistician, which is more exciting than it may sound.

Entry requirements – To become a Market Research Analyst, you’ll need between 2 to 5 years within the industry, most likely working as a Project Director (see below). You will also need to be able to demonstrate:

– Critical thinking

– Strong communications skills (written, oral and presentation)

– Confident with Excel, PowerPoint and SPSS/SAS

– A bachelors degree (or higher) in the sciences, maths or business.

Salary expectations – Depending on experience, Market Research Analysts can earn between $50,000 and $80,000.

Links to further reading – You can find out more about whether the position of Market Research Analyst is right for you, by looking at and

Market Research Project Director

Overview – As a Market Research Project Director, it’ll be your job to go out and actually get the research. Whether you’re running a workshop or sending out an online survey, you’ll be the one that makes sure the right people are asked the right questions at the right time.

What the role entails – This is often a client-facing role, so you’ll spend a lot of time building up relationships with whoever is paying the bill for the research. Depending on the project, you’ll also be responsible for designing the surveys and overseeing the timeline and budget of the research.

Once the numbers are in, you’ll be the one who checks this is the information you wanted and then passes that data onto the analysts.

What the position leads to – This is typically a graduate position so there’s lots of room for career development. After a few years’ experience, you will advance to become a Senior Project Director, followed by a Market Research Analyst.

Entry requirements – There are many different kinds of entry-level positions for Project Directors, and the following should only be taken as a guideline:

– Organizational skills with a high degree of detail-focused management

– You’ll need to demonstrate excellent communications skills (written and oral); this includes the ability to fully comprehend what a client is asking for

– You’ll need to be a team player – you’re often the one in the middle of lots of different working teams

– An ability to develop and work to tight schedules

– Confidence in MS Word, Excel and Internet

– Some demonstration of your interest in the area of market research.

Salary expectations – Depending on experience, Market Research Project Managers can expect to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 (shifting to $40,000 and $60,000 for Senior Project Directors).

Links to further reading – You can find out more about this graduate opportunity by reading the links included above, or by searching a few jobs listings to get an idea of what specific roles entail and require.

This is a guest post written by Geoff, who works on marketing projects for AYTM Online Market Research and contributes to their marketing blog.

About CoBE Report

Information about this author is included at the end of the blog post.
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6 Responses to Career Information – Market Research

  1. Hank Wescom says:

    Market research is a key factor to get advantage over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market research, which includes social and opinion research, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making…::’

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