Market research analysts study conditions at various levels of the economy on behalf of private employers, the government, and third party investors. They are tasked with interpreting data collected from a wide range of sources, extrapolating relevant information from such data, and making recommendations based upon their findings. They work with clients in order to help them better understand the larger business ramifications at play within the marketplace*.
Analysts typically work in corporate environments where they interact daily with clients and co-workers. As such, they must have excellent communication skills in order to convey important information to the relevant parties. Because of the complex nature of the work, which involves first locating the data before it is successfully interpreted; analysts sometimes work beyond the standard work hours in order to meet deadlines. They typically work for long periods of time at computers, formulating analysis plans and drawing up presentation details for clients. It can be a very demanding schedule for even the most dedicated of workers, which is why they may be compensated accordingly.
The minimum education requirements for a market research analyst are the completion of a bachelor's degree and then two to three years of industry experience as an assistant, or another job within the industry. Typically, analysts have strong backgrounds in mathematics and science, which allow for them to more easily interpret large amounts of data in shorter periods of time. Some of them even have advanced degrees in physics, computer science, and similar fields**. Government and research jobs, in particular, often require analysts to possess master's degrees or higher. Private businesses look for those applicants who show the most talent for fulfilling the specifications of the work involved. Companies hire candidates they believe are most likely to possess the critical thinking and analytic skills that are an asset on the job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for a market research analyst is around $60,570. Those who are just starting out are more likely to make less than that, while experienced analysts with track records of success can often make substantially more. Labor experts predict that jobs for market research analysts will grow much faster when compared to other professions in the next ten years. In fact, the BLS expects a 41 percent increase in job openings for analysts between the years of 2010 to 2020*. So students who have a strong mathematical background and an interest in interpreting large amounts of financial data may find the career they're looking for as a market research analyst.
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*For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Market-research-analysts.htm
**For more information, please visit: http://www.marketresearchcareers.com/jdmarketresearchanalyst.aspx