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A Career in Market Research

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The job of market researchers is to analyze what drives people to buy those BMWs, Giordano watches, and that Mercedes Benz. They study consumer behaviors towards particular industry segments. Companies are ready to shed millions of dollars just to know the minds of their customers or potential customers. Today market research is a booming industry in itself.

A Booming Industry

With Internet connectivity and ardent use of personal computers, collection of data is becoming simpler. Market researchers are today able to collect data from the far reaches of the globe — from the U.S. and Europe, to Asia and the Middle East. Market research is done either in-house or is delegated to an outside agency. With demand for market research growing, a number of firms specializing in this area are constantly hiring talented individuals.

Is Market Research a Career for You?

The basic requirement for a successful market research career is good analytical ability. Since you are required to collect data from people and figure out the common aspects accurately, both qualitative and quantitative analytical ability is a must. Being a good team player is also very important.

Primarily a graduate-led industry, for a research management or analyst position, you will be expected to hold a degree, although a specific degree is not essential. Non-graduates are also seen making a successful career in this field. Field managers or call-center employees conducting market research face-to-face or by phone often do not hold degrees, although many research firms seek to hire college students as interviewers. High-level jobs in this sector do demand specialized degrees such as an MBA.

The Wide Scope

Today market researchers are working with IT specialists, surveyors, statisticians, interviewers, and other research experts. Market researchers can work as consultants for big firms or as contracted practitioners. Ad agencies and large corporations are also employing market research professionals. Teaching market research at a university is also an option.

What to Expect from a Market Research Career

With ever-changing technology in the growing market research industry, research professionals will need to constantly update themselves with the latest in web-based marketing. The ability to handle large databases and data warehouses will be important for career advancement. With people getting annoyed with frequent solicitation calls, market research is getting more challenging (most surveys are conducted by phone, mail surveys, or in-home interviews).


Salaries in the market research industry are more attractive than traditional marketing jobs. Typical starting salaries for a market analyst job can be in the range of $25,000 to $50,000. A project director can draw anything between $45,000 to $70,000, while a market research director can pocket up to $200,000.

Your work as a market researcher is very important both socially and for business growth. Your first day at work may affect key decision-making processes of a wide variety of companies and industries. Some of the top players who have earned a reputation in the market research industry are NF0 Research Inc., Market Facts Inc., and Dun & Bradstreet's business units Nielsen Marketing Research and Marketing Information Services.
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