A bachelor degree used to be the educational standard for typical occupations. An increasingly complex marketplace is making additional education necessary in some fields, including market research analysis. The minimum degree needed for market research analyst positions considered entry-level is now a bachelor degree in statistics, computer science, or market research. Many of the more technical positions in this field require a master degree in business administration, marketing or marketing research, or statistics.
With so many people competing for jobs in this field, a bachelor degree may be insufficient to get a foot in the door. Job candidates are performing internships in related areas or acquiring work experience in sales or marketing jobs. They are also brushing up on their analytical skills and increasing their knowledge of mathematics. Some are finding work that involves data collection, surveying consumers, and preparing reports because they know these skills will come in handy.
If a person is looking for anything other than an entry-level position in this field, a graduate degree is needed. The knowledge obtained through a master program in a related field qualifies the individual to conduct technical research and complex analysis. Leadership positions also require a graduate degree because the incumbent is expected to be more experienced than those being supervised. Graduate programs in subjects like business administration include courses on leadership skills and the knowledge gained is essential to creating and managing an effective team.
Employers may offer tuition assistance to help pay for a graduate degree. This allows an individual in an entry-level market research analyst position to pursue the education needed to advance without having to give up his or her job. The experience learned in graduate school can be applied in daily work, putting the individual on the fast track for a promotion once the degree is obtained.
Senior level market research analysts occupy executive positions within an organization. Some choose to work for market research and consulting firms. Others decide to leave the corporate world to teach at a junior or community college. They may decide to pursue a Ph.D. and become a professor at a four-year college or a university.
Regardless of where the career path leads, education is an important component. The degree needed for market research analyst positions varies based on task complexity and whether supervisory responsibilities are included. Individuals should pursue their education based on where they want this career to take them.