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How to Become a Market Research Analyst

Companies and organizations rely on market research analysts to examine complex data and information, interpret consumer statistics, and monitor and predict marketing and sales trends. A variety of industries are in need of market research to drive their business initiatives, which keeps the market research analyst role in high demand.

Co-workers gather around table in an office and analyze data charts

When learning how to become a market research analyst, students should be aware that education is a top priority. Many jobs in the market research field require at least a bachelor’s degree, and while majors can vary, strong analytical and math skills will be most helpful when trying to land on-the-job experience. Obtaining an advanced business degree, like an online master’s in business administration from Maryville University, can also prove beneficial to aspiring and current market research analysts who seek further career advancement within this field.

What Does a Market Research Analyst Do?

The main task of a market research analyst is to help companies sell their products and services more effectively. By diving into consumer data and analyzing market trends, these professionals can predict how consumers are most likely to act in the future. Companies want to know what products and services people want, when they want them, and at what price.

Skilled market research analysts can pinpoint the target audiences that are most likely to buy specific products. They can also analyze data and translate their findings into more effective marketing strategies. By briefing company leaders about the relative performance of past marketing efforts or price points, they enable their teams to make changes that increase future sales.

Steps to Become a Market Research Analyst

Becoming a market research analyst requires a few steps, such as earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study and gaining on-the-job experience to ensure that both math and analytical skills are up to par. Some market research professionals with an advanced business degree have also earned higher salaries and obtained more competitive positions in the field.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 71 percent of market research analysts hold a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common fields of bachelor’s study include marketing, business administration, and statistics. Because the role has a range of job functions, each of these degrees can provide different benefits. A marketing degree covers broad topics such as management, policy analysis, and market research, while a statistics degree provides more of the mathematical skills necessary for the job.

Step 2: Gain On-the-Job Experience

As in many professions, becoming a market research analyst requires on-the-job experience, and new graduates may have to work their way up from an entry level role, such as marketing assistant or account executive. However, the demand for market research analysts is high, and there is a lot of opportunity for advancement.

Step 3: Earn a Master’s Degree for Advancement

While a master’s degree is not always required for entry-level or early career market research analyst jobs, it can be helpful and is sometimes a necessity to be considered for advanced, higher-level positions, many of which offer a higher salary. For example, enrolling in an online master’s in business administration program can help students sharpen their skills in market research and other areas of business, providing a strong foundation for those who are eager to advance in their careers. Some market research analysts also choose to attain a professional researcher certification (PRC), which can increase their status and help them advance even further.

Market Research Analyst Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2017 median annual salary for market research analysts was $63,230. Those with ample job experience and graduate degrees, however, can earn more than $114,000 per year. The opportunity for advancement in this job field is strong, which means the market research analyst salary range can vary tremendously by education, industry, company, region, and experience level.

Future Outlook for Market Research Analyst Jobs

Students looking to become market research analysts can benefit from a promising job outlook. The BLS expects the number of market research analyst jobs to increase by 23 percent between 2016 and 2026, a gain of about 138,300 positions. This is significantly higher than the expected 7 percent growth rate for all U.S. occupations in the same period.

The projected future growth of market research analyst jobs is high because many different industries require their services. Any company that sells a product or service relies heavily on statistical analysis to drive its marketing efforts. Market research analysts have become even more valuable in recent years as new technologies have enabled companies to collect and interpret data on a much larger scale.

Learn More About Market Research Analyst Careers

What market research analysts do for their organizations is incredibly valuable, and their skills are in high demand nationwide. There are a number of options available to students who are interested in preparing to take advantage of the opportunities in this rewarding career. Maryville University offers an online bachelor’s in marketing, an online bachelor’s in business administration, and an online bachelor’s in mathematics, which students can complete from home while managing other priorities, such as jobs and families.

Maryville also offers an online master’s in business administration for students looking to participate in a demanding and rewarding program that can take their career to the next level. Education is the first step in pursuing a career in market research analysis. Begin your journey today by enrolling in an online degree program.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts

Upfront Analytics, “How to Become a Market Researcher?”

U.S. News & World Report, “What is a Market Research Analyst?”