How to Become a Market Research Analyst

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A growing number of companies across various industries rely on statistical data and market research to make informed business decisions and carry out effective plans. This has made the role of a market research analyst crucial in many organisations. If you're interested in data analysis, marketing strategies or consumer behaviour, you may consider a career as a market research analyst. In this article, we explain how to become a market research analyst and share information about the most sought-after work experience, skills and education for this position.

Read more: What Is a Research Analyst? (Plus Skills, Tips and Types)

How to become a market research analyst

Here are some steps describing how to become a market research analyst:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

The first step to follow to begin a career as a market research analyst is to complete your education. You may require at least a bachelor's degree in areas such as marketing, statistics or business administration to apply for this position. Having a marketing degree can help potential candidates learn about basic marketing principles, macroeconomics, consumer behaviour patterns and business communication. Some analysts also prefer having a degree in social science subjects, such as business administration or psychology, to help them better understand consumer behaviours and spending patterns.

2. Get a master's degree

Once you've completed your bachelor's degree, you can also apply for a master's programme. Though it's not mandatory, having a master's degree increases your chances of promotion in your current job and helps you stand out from other candidates when applying for a new job. Those interested in higher-level or managerial market research analyst positions might be interested in pursuing a master's degree. Some colleges offer graduate courses in market research and consumer analytics. You can also enrol for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program if you aim to obtain a leadership role in this area.

3. Gain work experience

As you gain the required education to qualify as a market research analyst, you can also apply for positions to gain some industry experience. Since this isn't an entry-level job, most candidates prefer working in related roles, such as research intern, account representative, marketing assistant or other similar positions. An internship with a market research firm can be a great way for entry-level professionals to gain some experience in the field. Working as a survey taker may be another way for students to gain experience. Having such experience is important to gain more in-depth knowledge about the industry.

Read more: Research Skills: Definition, Benefits and How to Develop

4. Obtain certifications

Though it's optional to earn certifications, it's often recommended so that you can stand out among your competitions in today's highly competitive world. Certifications can help you prove your professional competence and validate the skills and capabilities you've highlighted in your CV. In addition, earning certifications shows that your knowledge of industry standards is current and that you have a good understanding of your job requirements. Some common certifications for market research analysts include:

  • Certified Research Expert (CRE) by International Institute for Procurement and Market Research (IIPMR)

  • Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) offered by Marketing Research Association

5. Prepare your CV and apply for work

Next, write a professional CV that includes your educational background and a list of your previous work experience. You can also include relevant skills and any awards or achievements you wish to highlight. Describe your work experience and job responsibilities as clearly as possible to showcase your important qualifications. As you gain experience and grow professionally, keep updating your CV with the most recent and relevant details of your career.

Identify market research analyst jobs in your desired location that align with your skill set and qualifications. You can also learn about different companies you want to work for by visiting their website, professional social networking sites or social media pages to look for open positions. Choose job opportunities that match your expertise and experience, so you have a better chance of getting hired.

Read more: A Guide to Careers in Marketing (Plus 15 Jobs to Consider)

What is a market research analyst?

A market research analyst assesses target consumer preferences to help companies determine how to advertise and market their products and services. They study market trends in relation to the customer's shopping patterns and demographics to help suggest ways companies can optimise their products, choose suitable advertising channels and determine price points. Often, market research analysts work for consulting firms on a full time or contract basis. Some others also work as part of the marketing team at consumer and product firms.

What does a market research analyst do?

In market analysis, you leverage existing data to make well-reasoned forecasts about what type of customers would purchase a particular product, how to advertise the goods to the target audience and how to price the goods. Market research analysts use their skills to create effective strategies to best promote and sell a specific product. A market research analyst's specific duties and responsibilities vary according to the industry and company they're employed in. Typically, the duties of a market research analyst include:

  • understand business objectives and design research methodologies accordingly to discover customer's preferences

  • collect data on consumers, industry and competitors, and consolidate data into actionable reports and presentations

  • devise methods for data collections such as surveys, opinion polls, focus groups and questionnaire

  • interpret the research data into statistical tables and reports

  • provide competitor analysis about market offering, pricing models, methods of operation and sales process

  • present research findings to management and clients by using graphs, charts and other visual means to help them make better-informed business decisions

  • stay updated with the latest information about your industry and other research works

  • measure effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies

Average salary earned by a market research analyst

The salary earned by a market research analyst depends on various factors such as previous work experience, type of industry and company, location and educational background. On average, a market research analyst can earn a monthly salary of about $23,943 per month. In addition, if you're a full-time employee, you can also receive a complete benefits package along with comprehensive medical insurance.

Working conditions of a market research analyst

Market research analysts often work in an office environment. They may sometimes have to travel locally or overseas to meet with consumers or clients to conduct research or attend conferences or training programmes for research purposes. Market research analysts can also conduct online research where they collect data from a broad cross-section of people. They usually work as full-time employees or on a contract basis.

The industries that mostly employ market research analysts include management consulting, investment banking, technical consulting services, advertising and public relations services. They usually work regular business hours in a full-time job. However, certain job demands, such as large business volumes or pressing deadlines, also require them to work additional hours.

Read more: A Guide to Analytical Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Skills required for a market research analyst

A market research analyst requires certain specific skills to be successful in the job. Here's a list of skills that are important for a research analyst:

  • Computer skills: To improve your chances of getting employed as a market research analyst, you may require knowledge about various Microsoft Office tools and some statistical tools such as SPSS, Market Sight or SAS.

  • Communication skills: A market research analyst requires strong communication skills, both verbal and written. This role also involves frequent presentations and interactions with consumers, clients and other stakeholders.

  • Critical thinking: Research analysts are also proficient in data collection and evaluating market trends and consumer behaviour. This requires strong critical thinking skills to sort through large data sets, identify relevant data points and leverage the data into marketing strategies.

  • Problem-solving skills: Being motivated to find the root cause of a problem or solve an unknown issue is important for a market research analyst.

  • Organisation skills: A research analyst often deals with multiple projects or tasks at a time. Thus, you require strong organisational skills to multitask and manage your time effectively.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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