Every year we see new products on the market, and it is often through the hard work of a market research analyst that many of these products become best-selling products. Individuals who are interested in helping to sell products and using their creativity to do so often choose to become market research analysts. Anyone interested in learning more about this career choice can find all the necessary information here, including what they do, how to become one and what type of career outlook they can expect.
What is a Market Research Analyst & What Do They Do?
Market research analysts are professionals who help companies determine what customers want in a product, which products will sell best, which consumers will buy the products and at what price. They perform extensive research and collect data to help a company market or sell their services and products. Their duties include the following:
• Gathering data on market conditions, shoppers and competitors
• Analyzing data using statistical software
• Turning complicated data into understandable graphs, table and written reports
• Preparing reports and presenting their findings to management and clients
• Evaluating the most effective ways of gathering data, such as opinion polls, questionnaires and surveys
• Monitor and predict sales and marketing trends
• Determine the effectiveness of sales strategies and programs
How to Become One
To become a market research analyst one must have a bachelor’s degree. Although some market research analysts have master’s degrees, a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field is usually the requirement. Some market research analysts have degrees in mathematics, statistics or computer science with backgrounds in communications or business administration. Market research analysts should also have a good background in mathematics and have good analytical skills. Candidates interested in pursuing leadership positions often earn a master’s degree.
What About Certification?
Although certification for market research analysts is not a requirement, many choose to obtain voluntary certification to demonstrate commitment and professional competency in their field. The most common certification is the Professional Researcher Certification, which is offered through the Marketing Research Association.
To be eligible for this certification, the candidate must demonstrate both experience and knowledge of the position. They must meet these requirements:
• Pass a certification exam
• Have at least 3 years working in this field
• Complete 12 hours of industry-related training courses
Certification is valid for two years, and individuals must complete at least 20 hours of relevant continuing education courses to maintain certification.
Career Outlook & Wage Potential
With the sales and retail industry so busy and competitive, companies and organizations seek the help of market research analysts to help them determine market trends and the best ways to sell their products. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected market research analysts would see a 23 percent employment growth from 2016-2026. The average annual wage earned by market research analysts in 2018 was $71,450.
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Working as a market research analyst can be an exciting career for an individual interested in putting their education, experience and ingenuity to work. If a person can imagine the satisfaction of knowing it was his hard work, research and dedication that helped make a product a top seller, this same person knows the rewarding feeling being a market research analyst can provide.