A career in market research

If “crunching numbers” is something that excites you, a career in market research may be your calling. Market researchers are responsible for collecting and analysing data to form marketing solutions and recommendations for businesses. Your role as a market researcher would be vital for helping to inform decisions made by many organisations.

A career in market research

A career in market research involves interpreting data, formulating reports and making recommendations based upon the research findings. You would work with the client to understand the business objectives and create recommendations after thorough analysis of available data.

The exact type of work carried out by market researchers varies according to the employer, but generally you can expect to:

  • Discuss research projects with clients and formulate proposals
  • Research a topic, prepare briefs and commission research
  • Write and manage the distribution of surveys and questionnaires
  • Brief interviewers and researchers
  • Undertake ethnographic research, which involves observing people in various environments
  • Conduct field, interview or focus group assessments
  • Monitor the progress of research projects
  • Analyse and interpret data to identify patterns and solutions and then write detailed reports and present results
  • Advise clients how to best utilise the results

Personal skills

While a fondness for research and numbers is a good start, if you’re thinking about a career in market research, you’ll also need:

  • Good numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong knowledge of statistics and computers
  • Ability to understand and interpret high volumes of data
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines
  • Exceptional communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Exceptional organisational skills
  • Sound understanding and interest in commercial aims of a business
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to relate to people

How to get a career in market research

Market researchers usually possess a bachelor’s or higher degree with specialisation in economics, sociology and marketing. Others may opt to undertake diploma level education, which provides the foundational knowledge for a career in market research and provide pathways to a degree.

Undertaking the Bachelor of Business (Marketing) will give you all the skills and experience you need to progress to a career in market research.

Most employers also prefer to hire marketing researchers who have a little experience, which you can gain by undertaking internships or work experience.

Market researcher career pathways

Market research jobs are available across various industries from advertising, insurance companies to software publishers and health care systems. You could be employed directly by the company (client-side) or work as part of an agency that provides services (agency-side).

While there are entry-level market research jobs available, entry-level roles including marketing assistant and marketing officer can also help you land a dream career in market research. With relevant experience, you can progress to more senior positions.