The market research analyst enables companies to know what products consumers want, which consumers will purchase the company's products, and what future sales might look like. Work that a market research analyst does involves collecting data and doing analysis on data from consumer survey results, from focus groups, or from sales results for the purpose of figuring out how to market products to consumers. The market research analyst might work alone or with a research group. Often, there are deadlines that must be met and that means the job can be stressful. If you aspire to become a market research analyst, generally you will need a college degree and a post-graduate degree.
Attainment of the bachelor's degree in business with a specialization in marketing can be an asset if you are interested in becoming a market research analyst. Granted, sometimes it is possible for you to become a market research analyst as a result of pursuing other majors such as finance or economics. Of course, this is not typically done. Usually, the bachelor's degree focus will be on business and marketing if you hope to become a market research analyst.
During your college years, it can be helpful to do an internship in a marketing setting. Internships are useful because they supplement your classroom learning with real-world experience; however, they also help you get a sense of whether you have what it takes to be a successful market research analyst. Also, the internship enables you to network with other individuals who can serve as mentors or give you useful career advice.
You will most likely apply for a market research analyst job during the last semester of college. Asking the career services department at your college for assistance in finding a job can be helpful. Also, doing an online job search or asking your internship supervisor for help in finding a job could also help your job search.
After two years of work, you could apply for graduate school. For instance, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing is generally recommended for anyone who hopes to become a market research analyst. Not only does the MBA enable you to learn information that will be relevant to your job as a market research analyst but the MBA enables you to qualify for jobs with a higher level of pay and responsibility as a market research analyst.
Certification, while not required, can be helpful for your career. For instance, you can earn the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) through the Marketing Research Association (MRA). Attainment of the PRC requires that you have relevant market research education, work experience, and prior membership in a market research professional organization.
Marketing analysts often work in companies or in advertising agencies. Granted, market analysts are not limited to working in those settings. For example, market research analysts can work in insurance companies or health care settings. Or, if you become a market research analyst and if you have an interest in teaching, you could go back to school to get a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in business so you could have a college teaching career.