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Market Research Analyst

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Career Overview

Market research analysts dive right into the market to find out what products people are buying and how much they're paying for them. Once they've gathered and interpreted this information, they find the most effective way to design, market, and sell new products.

Though it sounds pretty cut and dry, collecting and presenting data isn't always easy. There isn't an online database for this information, nor is there even a set method of collecting data. A big part of the job is figuring out how to get the data you need, whether it's through interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, surveys, public opinion polls, or any other method you can come up with. Then you'll have to translate your findings into a presentation for your clients, so that could be a problem if you're not used to public speaking.

On the plus side, nearly every industry you can imagine needs market research analysts. From medical companies to weapons development, market research analysts are popping up everywhere. But don't just take our word for it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to grow at a rate 32% from 2012 through 2022. That's a much faster than average, so there's a good chance you'll be working in an industry you're interested in.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
National
$63,230
596,450
22.8 %
Virginia
$67,210
19,620
 

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
Bachelor's Degree in Market Research, Business Administration, Statistics, or a related field Master's Degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Statistics, or a related field

While you can get away with a bachelor's degree for entry and mid level positions, you'll definitely need your master's degree if you want to work in higher research or leadership roles. Since market research analysis combines several different fields, it would prove useful to study statistics, business, marketing, computer science or psychology.Work experience isn't exactly required, but it is highly recommended. Any relevant work experience will give you a big advantage over the competition and make your job search a whole lot easier, even if it isn't directly related to market research. If you have experience collecting and analyzing any kind of data, you're in a good spot.

 
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Valued Traits & Abilities

Analytical Skills
Communication Skills
Detail Oriented

Career Opportunities

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers create surveys to collect and analyze data. They plan every aspect of the survey, including what kind it is, how it will be delivered, who it will be delivered to, and how the data is communicated.

Work Environment

Most market research analysts work full time in a typical office setting, but that might not always be the case. Sometimes, you might need to work a few extra hours to meet tight deadlines, or go directly into the public to collect the data you need.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013