Employment of market research analysts is expected to grow 41 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by an increased use of data and market research across all industries in order to understand the needs and wants of customers and measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies.
Companies increasingly use research on consumer behavior to develop improved marketing strategies. By doing so, companies are better able to market directly to their target population. In addition, market research provides companies and organizations with an opportunity to cut costs.
Market research also lets companies monitor customer satisfaction and gather feedback about how to improve products or services, allowing them to build an advantage over their competitors. They may use research to decide the location of stores, placement of products, and services offered. As more companies use research to develop marketing strategies, competing companies will need to engage in similar market research.
Organizations such as research firms, social and civic organizations, colleges and universities, and government agencies will also increasingly use market research to ensure that program resources are being used effectively. For example, they may use research to show whether a particular social program reaches its target population or whether a transportation system meets the population’s needs.
Overall job prospects for market research analysts are expected to be good. Rapid employment growth in most industries means good job opportunities should be available throughout the economy.
Because many positions require a master’s degree, those with a bachelor’s degree are expected to face strong competition for jobs. Those with a strong background in statistical and data analysis or related work experience will have better job opportunities.
Prospects should be best for jobseekers with a master’s degree in market research, marketing, statistics, or business administration. Analysts may find more opportunities in consulting and market research firms, as companies without established marketing or research departments often find it easier to hire a person outside the organization to perform market research services.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition