How to Become a Market Research Analyst

market research analyst seated at desk, working on computer
market research analyst seated at desk, working on computer

With ever-evolving technology, there is a growing demand in marketing for those who can measure performance and bridge the gap between an organization’s vision and the reality of its market. Effective, research-based marketing campaigns continue to be crucial components in strategies for success. In fact, even during a pandemic that dramatically impacted the business world, digital ad spending increased 12% in the United States, totaling almost $140 billion. Digital advertising worldwide is projected to exceed $645 billion in 2024.

Effective spending requires data-savvy professionals to help companies and organizations best target and analyze their marketing efforts. These individuals are key to marketing strategy and increasingly essential. In fact, a Harvard Business Review survey of marketing executives revealed that more than 80% of them were not satisfied with their ability to measure the return on their marketing investments. Market research analysts can help with this.

Let’s explore the market research analyst career path, including what these analysts do, what education and skills they need, and important details like what to anticipate from a market research salary and future job outlook in the field.

What Do Market Research Analysts Do?

Market research analysts play an essential role in the development of successful marketing strategies. They help organizations and businesses accurately identify their audience and assess their customer’s needs. In addition, they use various research techniques to determine what consumers will pay for products and services and to evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing strategies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers a list of some of the most common particular tasks performed by market research analysts, including:

  • Tracking and projecting trends in sales and marketing
  • Creating tools to gauge the effectiveness of marketing strategies
  • Utilizing existing and developing new methodologies for gathering data
  • Assembling and organizing important information
  • Using software and other tools to analyze data
  • Interpreting data and presenting it in ways that make sense to key stakeholders

Market research analysts are involved in virtually every step of a marketing campaign or strategy. They help make assessments that are crucial to the development of a new campaign, gather and evaluate data as the strategy is implemented, and measure how effective the efforts have been in the real world.

What Skills are Helpful for Market Research Analysts?

In considering how to become a market research analyst, it’s worth examining the kinds of skills that are important to the role. Market research analysts need a skillset that enables them to effectively research product and consumer markets, develop solutions-based marketing and advertising strategies, gather and analyze data, and communicate conclusions to a variety of audiences.

Though specific roles will demand different skills, a broader list of needed skills includes competency in areas such as:

  • Analytical skills, including the ability to gather, examine, understand, and interpret data.
  • Verbal communication, especially in effectively communicating key ideas and data points from research to others without the same expertise.
  • Listening skills, which are crucial to understanding your environment, relevant markets, and the needs of clients and coworkers.
  • Written skills, including an ability to create research reports that can be understood easily.
  • Critical thinking skills to best evaluate available research and marketing methods and make good decisions about strategies.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify potential trouble areas and devise effective solutions.

Getting more specific, GreenBook, an organization that serves as a hub of online marketing research resources, recently found that the most important skills employers are looking for “now and five years from now” in jobs relevant those considering a market research analyst career path include:

  • Statistics
  • Data Visualization
  • Storytelling
  • Business Acumen
  • Critical Thinking Skills

The online Master of Science in Applied Statistics at Michigan Technological University is designed to equip you with these skills, positioning you for a successful market research analyst career path. During the program, you will work with real-world datasets and industry-standard analysis software, building relevant and real professional experience throughout the program. 

group of market research analysts standing around table and looking at data

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

As with any vocation, becoming a market research analyst begins with your interests and personality. Market research analysts tend to be curious, intelligent, rational, and inclined to solve problems analytically and methodically.

Education is also fundamental to beginning your market research analyst career path. Market research analysts can come from a variety of backgrounds including those with a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, marketing, social science, or a number of other potential fields. From there, almost half of market research analysts also have a master’s degree.

Pursuing a master’s degree builds advanced understanding and practical experience through coursework in areas such as statistics, regression analysis, data mining, and predictive modeling. You also will gain experience and confidence in using leading industry-standard software in an environment made for learning.

What is an Anticipated Market Research Salary and Career Path?

Both the potential market research salary and opportunities in a market research analyst career path continue to grow with the growth in the marketing industry. The BLS lists the median annual salary for a market research analyst at $65,810. However, analysts in some industries make well above that figure. Here are the median annual salaries for market research analysts in the top industries in which they work:

  • Publishing industries (except internet): $79,040
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $77,110
  • Finance and insurance: $73,800

The upper 10% of market research analysts make over $127,410. A successful market research analyst also has the opportunity to ascend to a market research manager role, with an average annual salary of $88,590.

The most recent data from the BLS indicates a projected job growth of 18% over 10 years, which is more than four times the expected growth rate of all occupations. U.S. News and World Report lists market research analysts among its top 100 “Best Jobs” and in the top 10 of its “Best Business Jobs.”

Begin Your Market Research Analyst Career Path

Michigan Tech’s online Master’s in Applied Statistics equips you for many career possibilities, including market research analyst. Designed to prepare you for high-demand, high-paying positions in statistics and data science, the accelerated, 100% online program will teach you to analyze and interpret data in a variety of professional settings and industries. Areas of focus include:

  • Advanced Statistical Methods — Combine tested techniques with emerging technologies
  • Programming and Technology — Improve familiarity with industry standards software and tools such as R, SAS, S-Plus, and Python
  • Real-World Problem Solving — Work with real datasets to overcome common challenges and drive decision making
  • Communication and Leadership — Build the professional skills to present outcomes with confidence and clarity

Offered by a university ranked among U.S. News and World Report’s top 5% of public universities, the program’s key benefits include:

  • 100% online, making it ideal for busy professionals
  • Flexible enrollment with three start dates per year
  • Accelerated 7-week courses
  • Graduate in as few as 5 semesters

Learn how to elevate your career online with Michigan Technological University. Schedule a time to connect with your Enrollment Advisor and start your future.