Market Research Analyst Salary and Job Outlook
A powerful strategy for any company is to get customers to love its products or services. Research supports the tried-and-true notion that a direct link exists between revenue growth and how customers feel about what a company offers them. This connection seems simple enough; however, businesses often rely on experts who can make sense of the data.
Market research analysts examine numerous factors to assess a company’s standing in the market and its relationship with its customers, including product sales, consumer preferences and buying habits, and its competition. They make it their mission to read market trends, with the goal of maximizing a company’s return.
The exponential growth of market data—from social media impressions to online product reviews—and the increasing interest in understanding this data are expected to drive significant demand for market research analysts in the coming years.
Pursuing an advanced business education can impact a market research analyst’s salary and their ability to qualify for leadership roles in this important business sector.
Market Research Analyst Job Description
Market research analysts are key players in developing and measuring the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. They help businesses better understand customer reception of their products and services, how to reach their target audience, and any targeted price points those services and products may sell best at.
Market research analysts rely on a host of tools to collect data, including surveys and questionnaires. They may conduct focus groups or perform literature reviews. In the age of big data, analysts also use data analysis software and other technological tools to analyze and interpret market data.
A critical aspect of a market research analyst’s job description is sharing this information with key stakeholders and decision-makers. Analysts convert the insights they glean from their analysis into written reports and visualizations, like charts and graphs, and present those findings to a broad audience, including clients and executives.
Because their skill set is so valuable, analysts can find work in health care, finance, and retail—any industry in which marketing can influence a company’s success.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Analysis
The two most prominent types of market research analysis are quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative analysis focuses on numerical data, using surveys and other tools to collect data on consumer behavior and market trends. Analysts performing quantitative analysis use statistical software and data visualization tools to analyze large data sets, identifying patterns and trends to inform business decisions.
Qualitative analysis, on the other hand, is a more subjective form of market research that focuses on nonnumerical data. For qualitative analysis, analysts may conduct focus groups and use other forms of research to gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences. They analyze this data to identify themes and trends to help businesses develop more effective marketing strategies.
How to Become a Market Research Analyst
Prospective analysts often need to meet certain educational requirements. They typically need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as marketing, statistics, or finance. While a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry-level positions, many companies prefer a master’s degree, particularly when hiring for more senior positions. Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, especially those that offer a marketing concentration, can be an excellent way to build up and demonstrate business acumen.
An MBA can also equip students with a broad range of business knowledge and skills highly relevant to market research and can help graduates stand out to recruiters. A 2022 survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) revealed that 90% of corporate recruiters were confident that MBA graduates would succeed in business. And according to 2021 data from the CMO Survey, an MBA can also result in a higher market research analyst salary than other advanced degree options.
In addition to a graduate degree, several relevant certifications can help aspiring market research analysts gain a competitive edge in the job market. One of the most well-known certifications in the field is the Certified Market Research Analyst (CMRA), which helps demonstrate proficiency in various market research techniques and methodologies and a commitment to professional standards and ethics.
Work experience is also often a crucial step in becoming a market research analyst. Entry-level positions, such as research assistant or analyst, can provide valuable on-the-job training and experience in conducting research studies, analyzing data, and presenting findings to an audience.
Market Research Analyst Salary and Job Outlook
The median annual salary for market research analysts was $63,920 as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% of earners made roughly double the median, with a salary of $128,320.
Numerous factors can affect compensation, including experience level, location, and industry. For example, the BLS reports that market research analysts in publishing and those in finance and insurance earned $79,450 and $76,650, respectively.
The job outlook for market research analysts is also promising, with the BLS projecting a 19% growth in employment from 2021 to 2031, resulting in the creation of more than 150,000 new jobs. This projection is much higher than the average for all occupations (5%), due to the increasing importance of big data in informing business decisions and the need for companies to remain competitive by gaining insights into customer behaviors and preferences.
Advance Your Career as a Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts are crucial drivers of business success. As industries continue to evolve and customer preferences change, analysts will remain vital. The insights they provide can make the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to compete in a crowded market.
Because of their significant contributions to business growth, market research analysts are in high demand across a range of industries. Individuals considering this career path should explore Washington State University’s Online Master of Business Administration program.
The program, which includes a marketing concentration, delivers a comprehensive education that can prepare you for success as a market research analyst, with courses in data analysis, market fundamentals, and new product marketing. MBA graduates will also complete a capstone project, which offers students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice by building and presenting a business plan, along with testing a product to measure its commercial potential.
Discover how to master the market with WSU.
5 Benefits of Business Analytics in an Organization
What Is a Sales and Marketing Strategy?
The CMO Survey, Managing and Measuring Marketing Spending for Growth and Returns
Communications for Research, Quantitative vs. Qualitative Market Research: Which Method Is Best for You?
Graduate Management Admission Council, Corporate Recruiters Survey: 2022 Summary Report
Indeed, “How to Become a Market Research Analyst in 3 Steps”
Indeed, “What Does a Market Research Analyst Do? Duties and Skills”
International Institute of Market Research and Analytics, Certified Market Research Analyst
McKinsey & Company, “Experience-Led Growth: A New Way to Create Value”