How Do You Become a Market Research Analyst?

Market Research AnalystIf you have the inquisitive nature and head for numbers needed to become a market research analyst, then you could find plentiful job opportunities. As highly trained marketing professionals, market research analysts are given the responsibility of studying market conditions to help companies determine which products people will buy and at what price. Market research analysts collect data through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, public opinion polls, or literature reviews to better understand their targeted customers’ demographics and buying preferences, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts play a prominent role in determining their company’s place in the market by researching competitors, making prices competitive, and improving marketing methods. Below we’ve created a step-by-step guide for individuals interested in entering the detail-driven marketing field as a market research analyst.

Earn a Relevant Bachelor’s Degree

Due to the face that market research analysts must possess strong analytical skills to comprehend large amounts of collected data, it’s no surprise that this profession requires at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited post-secondary institution. Market research majors may be difficult to find at the undergraduate level, but majors in statistics, mathematics, business administration, marketing, communications, or computer science can also be useful. Regardless of your chosen major, be sure to bulk up your schedule with courses in statistics, research methods, marketing, economics, and human psychology. Jump on every opportunity to complete an internship to start building a resume with valuable work experience in marketing or sales too.

Consider Attending Graduate School

Most market research analysts completing the normal tasks of analyzing data, crafting detailed reports, and surveying populations only need a bachelor’s degree, but attending graduate school is advised for anyone seeking to advance into top research positions. In the United States, several accredited graduate schools offer master’s degree programs in marketing research. Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in marketing, statistics, or economics could be advantageous too. Master’s degrees often will be required for analysts seeking promotion into advanced positions that perform highly technical research or managerial roles for leading groups of market research analysts.

Pursue Professional Certification

Although this step is not yet required, it is highly recommended that market research analysts apply for certification to demonstrate that they have the competency and motivation needed to succeed in the career. Through the Marketing Research Association (MRA), you can choose to pursue the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) after gaining at least three years of work experience in marketing research. Having 12 industry-related education hours within the two preceding years is also mandatory for certification. Once you submit the application with the $350 fee, you’ll need to pass a comprehensive multiple-choice exam based on the principles of marketing research. Certification must be renewed every two years with at least 20 continuing education hours to maintain the prestigious market research credential.

Related Resource: Business Analyst

Overall, market research analysts are employed in various industries across sectors to determine potential markets, product demand, and pricing for their company. Boasting the economy’s second-highest job growth rate at 41.2%, market research has been named the 11th best job in America by CNN Money with a top pay of $109,000. If you’re ready to leap into this thriving career path, follow these steps to become a market research analyst and boost your credentials in tracking what consumers want.