How to Get a Job as a Market Research Analyst
"Internships are a good way to get into the field," Roberts says, citing seminars at the Burke Institute, an international research and consulting firm.. The Ohio-based organization offers multiple-day workshops on industry-centered skills like designing effective questionnaires and moderating focus groups, along with exploring the relationship between different variables found in data.
Aside from internships, having previous work experience in business, marketing, and sales can also boost your prospects for crossing over into the field.
What is the Job Like?
While the BLS reports that market research analysts generally work 40 hours per week, Roberts reveals it's more like 50 to 55 hours, with 60- and 70-hour weeks not being uncommon. Increasingly, both in the corporate and research company realm, deadlines for completing reports are tightening. "We are a very deadline-driven industry, and those deadlines are shrinking," Roberts notes. On average, marketing research analysts have around six weeks to complete a five-stage assignment: project design, programming, data collection, data processing, and analysis and reporting.
Roberts himself is a case study for how someone can advance their career within the profession. After graduating with a double major in mathematics and business administration from Northern Kentucky University, Roberts used the next three decades to move up in the field. The highlights include senior project director at Burgoyne Inc., vice president of SPAR/Burgoyne, and current president of his own company. "I started with marketing research when I got out of school and I stuck with it," he says.