How to Become a Market Research Analyst

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

People who want to pursue a career in business and enjoy examining the forces that drive sales should consider working as a market research analyst. The men and women who pursue careers in this field observe and report on certain market conditions to determine the potential sales of a product or service.

Companies use the knowledge and expertise of market research analysts to better understand which products people want, the demographics of their target audience and how much the public is willing to spend. If you think you have the skills to accurately assess and forecast marketing and sales trends, a career in market research analysis might be for you.

What to market research analysts do?
Market research analysts work with organizations to plan, design and coordinate various methods for data collection, such as surveys, opinion polls and questionnaires. The data they collect is used to determine how to attract consumers, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competitors and predict market conditions for their company's benefit. At times, they work with department heads to measure the effectiveness of certain marketing and advertising campaigns and strategies.

The people who perform market research can effectively use statistical software, which is used to convert large amounts of data into understandable graphs, tables and written reports. They send these reports to their organization's executives, other management teams and clients.

What type of degrees or certificates should I earn?
Many market analysts have earned their bachelor's degree in market research or a related field like statistics, math and computer science. However, the top positions in this field require a master's degree. Employers often hire workers who have graduate degrees in statistics, marketing or economics, or people who have completed an MBA program.

Certification is not necessary to find work in this field. However, some companies might see certification as a demonstration of professional competency, which could increase your chances of getting hired.

Why should I pursue a career in market research analysis?
There are many reasons why someone would want to pursue a career in market research. You might have a strong analytical sense and be able to understand large amounts of data and information, or you might be a great communicator who can present that data in an effective manner.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to increase 32 percent through 2022. Working as a market analyst is also financially rewarding, with an average annual salary of $60,300. The top 10 percent of earners in the profession make an average of $113,500 a year.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBAprograms. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_business.

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