Providing information to companies about what consumers think and feel is the specialty of market research analysts. These marketing professionals help an organization determine what products or services customers want, when they want them and what price they are willing to pay. Analysts need strong quantitative skills and knowledge of marketing principles, which can be obtained through a bachelor’s degree in business administration program with a specialization in marketing.
Employment of market researchers will jump by 19% between 2014 and 2024, which is significantly faster than the average rate for all occupations, according to national projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The expanding role of data in analyzing market trends and consumer behavior will help fuel job growth. Employment prospects should be stronger for candidates with experience and advanced education.
Gathering and analyzing market data is the main responsibility of market research analysts. They devise methods and procedures for obtaining data, such as conducting Internet, telephone or direct-mail surveys or face-to-face consumer studies. These professionals make recommendations to companies based on data analysis, and their input plays a key role in determining product design, delivery and promotion. Possible outcomes of a market research analyst’s recommendations might include expanding a company’s offerings, opening new retail locations, closing underperforming outlets or changing packaging.
Market research analysts often develop new techniques for conducting market research in a cost-effective manner. They may collaborate with other marketing specialists, including account executives, creative directors or media planners. Knowledge of online marketing methods is becoming increasingly important, and market research analysts are often expected to evaluate the influence of social media or e-commerce opportunities.
Analyzing data and preparing reports are additional job duties of this profession. Analysts also advise management on new innovations in the area of market research, and create new ways to meet the needs of a changing marketplace. Creating presentations for company stakeholders and executives are often part of the market research analyst’s job.
The BLS reports that market research analysts had a median annual salary of $62,150 in May 2015. The middle 50% earned between $44,950 and $87,900. Salaries for the lowest 10% were around $33,530, while the highest 10% brought in upwards of $120,460. Recent bachelor’s graduates will generally start out toward the lower end of the range, and can attain higher salaries with experience and advanced education.
Potential salary ranges, like employment opportunities, are influenced by numerous factors, including the type and size of employer, regional market conditions, and a candidate's work history and educational qualifications.
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most entry-level market research analyst jobs. More technical positions may require a master’s degree in marketing or an MBA. Previous experience can be valuable when pursuing employment in this field, which is why many students opt to participate in internship programs while pursuing a degree.
The path to a market research analyst career can begin with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing. Coursework typically includes applied decision methods for business, strategic management, statistics and electronic commerce.
Employers may expect that graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in marketing are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to pay for a master’s degree.
Do you enjoy research and data analysis? Are you comfortable with public speaking and making presentations? Do you have exceptional verbal and written communication abilities, interpersonal skills and attention to detail? If so, you may find a career as a market research analyst to be a great fit. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing can help you hone the skills and knowledge you need to achieve success as a market research analyst.