Given the increasing prominence of marketing and business intelligence, there is a growing interest in pursuing a career path in market research. Market Research is a dynamic career and holds significant potential for future advancement, often accompanied by competitive financial rewards. With businesses recognising the value of top-notch market research and consumer insights, it’s currently an opportune time to enter this specialised field. In this article, we’ll delve into the different ways you can become a market researcher, and explore the essential skills and educational prerequisites.
What is a Market Researcher?
A Market Researcher’s role involves evaluating market and consumer trends through the analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. In the marketing industry, these professionals play a crucial role by offering direction and data-driven insights to broader marketing teams. The position demands a blend of creativity and analytical skills, making it one of the most coveted roles in marketing. While challenging, a career as a market researcher can be highly rewarding and financially lucrative.
The typical annual income for a market researcher stands at £28,885. This remains relatively uniform across the country, irrespective of the specific geographic area of employment. In certain instances, smaller agencies may provide lower average salaries. Opting to work with a sizable and reputable market research agency or consultancy could potentially result in a higher income. Additionally, your earnings may increase with accumulated experience in the field or the acquisition of professional qualifications.
How to become a Market Researcher
If you enjoy working with data and aspire to become a market researcher, consider the following steps to ensure you are well-prepared:
1. Search for suitable marketing researcher roles
Explore examples of market researcher roles and their candidate requirements to understand the skills and education needed. Assess your existing skills, experience, and education, and create a plan to develop any necessary or lacking skills.
2. Check required experience and educational qualifications
Many market research roles typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. While a specific market research degree is incredibly uncommon at the undergraduate level, degrees in marketing, business administration, or psychology are highly employable. Each provides a unique skill set valuable in market research. Don’t worry though, if you don’t have a degree, keep reading.
3. Gain relevant experience
While a relevant degree is “traditionally” important, gaining prior experience in the marketing field is often beneficial. Market research analysts may have some experience in roles such as account representatives or marketing assistants, providing valuable insights and industry contacts.
4. Look for live vacancies
If you’re confident in your industry knowledge and qualifications, actively search for market researcher roles. Consider remote or hybrid working options to broaden your job search.
5. Apply for roles
Apply to a diverse array of roles, recognising the competitiveness of the field. Don’t limit yourself to perfect matches, as exploring various roles may lead to unexpected opportunities.
6. Prioritise career development
Market researchers can experience significant career progression. Consider pursuing a master’s degree in statistics, market research, advanced psychology, or other relevant fields to enhance your skills and career prospects.
7. Alternatively, sign up for an apprenticeship in Market Research
If you haven’t got a degree or prior experience in market research, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. However, with an apprenticeship, you’ll not only potentially land yourself a market research job, but also receive 12+ months of training and guidance from your employer and training provider. Apprenticeships like the Market Research Executive apprenticeship are ideal for those with A-Levels or degrees looking to enter the field.
What skills does a market researcher possess?
In addition to the mentioned experience and educational requirements, marketing researchers should possess the following skills:
1. Data Analysis: Proficiency in bringing together and interpreting gathered data is crucial for effective marketing research.
2. Communication: Strong oral and written communication skills are essential for conveying findings to the marketing team and clients. Clear communication is particularly important in qualitative research when interacting with focus groups.
3. Data Collection: Marketing researchers should excel in data collection, involving skills such as interviewing and survey creation. This ability enhances the effectiveness of data interpretation and analysis.
Career progression for market researchers
Market researchers have plenty of professional development opportunities, often through informal training facilitated by senior colleagues. Some larger agencies present graduate schemes spanning two years, providing an immersive experience. Alternatively, there are concise professional courses tailored for market research specialists, covering aspects like crafting effective questionnaires and enhancing business knowledge and skills.
The Market Research Society extends training and professional qualifications suitable for varying experience levels. Early-career individuals may find relevant courses, sometimes integrated into graduate schemes. Additionally, there are short courses on diverse topics. For seasoned professionals, The Market Research Society offers advanced options, including accredited postgraduate degrees at specific institutions. The Chartered Institute of Marketing also provides professional courses incorporating a market research component.
It’s important to note that salary figures are based on Indeed Salaries data at the time of writing and may vary depending on the hiring organization, the candidate’s experience, academic background, and location.
One final tip
Review your list of contacts in the industry to identify individuals within the market research field who might have insights into available market researcher positions. If you lack connections in the field, consider expanding your network by actively participating in industry events. LinkedIn is a great place to do this.
Engage in networking opportunities at live events, such as job fairs and conferences. Alternatively, leverage online platforms by joining professional networking sites or participating in virtual gatherings. The importance of building a robust network cannot be overstated, as it not only enhances your job-seeking capabilities but also elevates your employability, equipping you to effectively fulfil the responsibilities associated with your role.
Interested in finding out more about market research apprenticeships?
Simply fill in the form on this page and we’ll get in touch if you’re a good fit. We always try to get back to everyone but sometimes this can take a while so please bear with us. Just as a reminder, here are some of the benefits of doing an apprenticeship with us:
- Gaining practical hands-on marketing experience & skills;
- Getting a better perspective on where you want to go in life;
- Earning a salary while you study;
- You’ll have access to mentorship and guidance along the way;
- Apprenticeships lead to better career opportunities;
- Gain industry-recognised qualifications for free.