How to Become a Market Research Analyst

For a career that combines a passion for data analysis, marketing strategies, and understanding customer behavior, look no further than a market research analyst. In this ever-evolving digital age, market research analysts are in high demand, as they help companies navigate the complex landscape of consumer preferences and effectively position their products and services.

Key Takeaways

  • Market research analysts study market conditions and customer behavior to assess how to market products and services to consumers.

  • Essential skills for the role include strong data analysis, communication expertise, and computer proficiency.

  • Market research analysts can expect to receive an average salary of $78,880.

Steps to Becoming a Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts must have a bachelor's degree at minimum.

The path to becoming a market research analyst starts with obtaining a relevant degree. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or psychology provides valuable insights for aspiring market research analysts. These educational backgrounds equip individuals with the critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills necessary for a successful career in market research.

Beyond education, it’s helpful to acquire relevant work experience outside of the field of market research analysis. Employers often look for candidates with experience in business or analytics when making their hiring decisions. Having knowledge and expertise of other areas of the industry and an understanding of business practices will help with employment in the field. To gain hands-on experience, consider pursuing internships, assistant roles, or account positions within the industry.

Alongside education and experience, obtaining certifications can significantly boost a career as a market research analyst. Professional certifications, such as the Certified Research Analyst (CRA), can demonstrate competency and improve job prospects.

Understanding the Market Research Analyst Role

Market research analysts are important for businesses to understand their customers.

Market research analysts play a vital role in helping companies:

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  • Understand their target markets

  • Analyze trends

  • Develop effective marketing strategies

  • Examine competitors

  • Analyze market conditions

  • Study customer purchasing behaviors

  • Provide businesses with invaluable insights through marketing research

To achieve their objectives, market research analysts utilize various research methods, such as primary and secondary research, qualitative research, and quantitative research.

They transform data into actionable strategies, enabling companies to create successful marketing campaigns and product launches. Their unique focus on market trends and consumer behavior sets them apart from similar roles, such as marketing analysts, business analysts, and data analysts.

Market Research Analyst Education Path

An education in marketing, business, or psychology will help an aspiring market research analyst.

Aspiring market research analysts need a robust educational foundation. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as marketing, business analytics, or psychology, provides the necessary knowledge and skills for this career.

Those seeking to become a market research professional may benefit from obtaining a master’s degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in marketing offers familiarity with business theories and policies, marketing practices, and the examination of consumer behaviors. On the other hand, a degree in business administration equips students with foundational knowledge in financial accounting, economics, business law, and statistics.

For those interested in understanding the psychological aspects of consumer behavior, a degree in psychology allows students to explore human nature and behaviors from various perspectives. These diverse educational backgrounds all provide a solid foundation for a successful career as a market research analyst.

Master’s Degree

Although a master’s degree is not a requirement for all market research analyst positions, it can be beneficial for those seeking higher-level roles. Master’s degrees, such as the Master of Science in Business Analytics and the Master of Business Administration (MBA), equip students with specialized knowledge and expertise in the field of market research.

These advanced degrees can help market research analysts stand out in the competitive job market and propel them into leadership positions.

Essential Skills for Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts must understand how to analyze data and clearly communicate information to business leaders.

Specific key skills are indispensable for excelling in the field of market research analysis. Market research analysts require proficiency in data analysis, communication, and computer usage.

Critical thinking skills not only help analysts gather and interpret market data but also enable them to communicate their findings effectively to colleagues and clients.

Data Analysis

Market research analysts typically must possess strong data analysis skills to interpret both qualitative and quantitative data effectively, which includes data and market research. This encompasses analyzing sales trends, market conditions, and consumer behaviors.

Attention to detail and organization are essential for accurately interpreting data and managing extensive volumes of information. Proficiency in statistical techniques and software platforms can also help analysts turn raw data into meaningful insights for their companies.

Communication Skills

Strong communication skills, both oral and written, are necessary for market research analysts to interact professionally with coworkers and clients. They must be able to collect information, interpret data, and present their findings in an understandable format, such as graphs, charts, and reports.

Being detail-oriented, well-organized, and goal-oriented are also key attributes for market research analysts when conducting focus groups.

Computer Proficiency

Proficiency in various computer programs and statistical software platforms is a must for a market research analyst. Some of these include Microsoft Office, SPSS, WinCross, and SAS. These software tools help analysts manage and analyze large datasets, creating actionable insights for their companies.

By developing advanced computer skills, market research analysts can enhance their productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Gaining Work Experience in Market Research

Market research analysts conduct focus groups to gain insight into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends.

Acquiring work experience is a pivotal step towards becoming a market research analyst. As most positions are not entry-level, employers typically prefer to hire individuals with experience in the marketing field. One effective way to gain experience is by pursuing internships, assistant roles, or account positions within the industry. These opportunities allow aspiring market research analysts to develop their skills, build professional networks, and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of various industries.

In addition to internships and assistant roles, another way to gain experience is by working in related roles, such as marketing assistants or data analysts. These positions often involve analyzing sales trends and other market data, providing valuable hands-on experience for those looking to transition into a market research analyst role.

Pursuing Certifications for Market Research Analysts

Certifications can help market research analysts pursue promotions and higher salary expectations.

Certifications can play a significant role in demonstrating competency and improving job prospects as a market research analyst. Certifications from the International Institute of Procurement and Market Research are popular choices, and offer three levels based on work experience. A Certified Research Analyst (CRA) requires no work experience, while a Certified Research Professional (CRP) must have a minimum of three years and relevant work experience.

Pursuing certifications not only helps market research analysts stand out in the competitive job market but also ensures that their skills are up-to-date with industry standards. By investing in certifications, market research analysts can enhance their career outlook and open new opportunities in the field.

Job Outlook and Salary for Market Research Analysts

The job outlook is positive for market research analysts.

The job outlook and compensation opportunities for market research analysts are promising. A market research analyst salary is slightly below or above the national average, with an encouraging growth prediction for the future. This growth is due to organizations relying more on data and market research to enhance customer outreach and make business decisions.

This is good news for people interested in this field and looking for job opportunities.

Market Research Analyst Salary

Most entering the field as a market research analyst can expect to receive an average salary of $78,880, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In general, salaries range between $38,000 to more than $130,000 for those in the top ten percent of the field.

The highest-paying market research analyst jobs can be found in the District of Columbia, Washington, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.

Outlook for Market Research Analysis Jobs

It’s predicted that market research analyst jobs will grow thirteen percent from 2022 through 2032, faster than the average of all occupations. This growth is driven by the need for those with data analysis knowledge and the increasing use of market research across all industries.

Pursuing a career as a market research analyst can be a wise choice for those interested in data analysis, marketing strategies, and understanding customer behavior. As companies continue to prioritize data-driven decision-making, the demand for skilled market research analysts is expected to remain strong. This is why many businesses choose to hire market research analysts to help them make informed decisions. For those seeking market research analyst jobs, this growing demand presents excellent opportunities.

Tips for Landing a Market Research Analyst Job

A resume with market research analysis experience can help job seekers find the right position.

Creating a compelling resume that underlines relevant experience, showcases technical skills, and highlights any certifications is vital in securing a market research analyst job. Additionally, developing technical proficiency in data analysis, communication, and computer usage can make candidates more attractive to potential employers.

Networking within the industry can also be a valuable strategy for securing a market research analyst position. Attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and connecting with other market research analysts are successful ways to build a professional network and increase the chances of landing a job.

Comparing Market Research Analysts to Similar Roles

Organizations often have several data-driven roles with similar overlap and necessary skills.

Market research analysts possess many of the same skills as those who analyze data and provide strategic insights, such as marketing analysts, business analysts, and data analysts. However, each role has its unique focus and skill set. While marketing analysts concentrate on a company’s internal marketing efforts, business analysts utilize large data sets to devise recommendations that improve a business’ processes and optimize performance. Data scientists, in contrast, work with extensive and intricate datasets to draw meaningful patterns and insights, requiring a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, and computer science.

On the other hand, market research analysts focus on collecting and evaluating data related to market trends and consumer behavior, helping companies develop effective marketing strategies and product launches. They can help companies with everything from retaining current customers to obtaining new customers to new marketing campaigns, all by analyzing data and conducting research.

By understanding the differences between these roles, professionals can better determine which career path aligns with their interests and skills.


In conclusion, becoming a market research analyst is an exciting and rewarding career path for those who are passionate about data analysis, marketing strategies, and understanding customer behavior. With a promising job outlook and competitive salary, market research analysts play a crucial role in helping companies navigate the complex landscape of consumer preferences and market trends.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a market analyst and a market researcher?

Although the jobs have some overlap and similarities, market research analysts focus on consumers and gathering data from the customers, while a market analyst gathers data taking into account information and insights from multiple sources. Market analysis explores a more contextualized view of the market to reveal trends. Market research analysts collect data points necessary to answer research questions.

Do you need an MBA to be a market research analyst?

Although not always necessary, earning an MBA can be beneficial for market research analyst positions at a more advanced level that may offer higher salaries. Generally, employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in business, market research, communications, or social sciences, and some may prefer a master’s degree.

How do I start a career as a market research analyst?

The frist step to become a market research analyst is to receive a higher education in a related field, ideally while also learning about statistics, research methods, and marketing. Then obtain work experience through entry-level positions or internships and pursue certification opportunities.

What is the minimum educational requirement for a market research analyst?

A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as marketing, business analytics, or psychology, is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a market research analyst.

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