Market research analysts are responsible for determining what type of data to collect, the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the data, and the methods of communicating the results that will lead to informed business decisions. Companies and organizations in every industry rely on market research analysts’ expertise to help them achieve profitability and success. Accuracy is critical, and to obtain precision when extracting data points from enormous sets of data takes a substantial amount of education and preparation. So, what are the pertinent degrees to become a market research analyst?
It is essential for market research analysts to develop expertise in market research, analytical thinking, data analysis, communication, problem-solving, decision making, and interpersonal skills. Their job also requires an understanding of technical processes like SPSS, systems analysis, Microsoft Excel, CRM software, database user interface, sales and marketing, and content workflow software. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement, but if they desire an advanced knowledge base or a management position, they must pursue a master’s degree. Here’s a list of five top degrees to become a market research analyst.
Bachelor’s in Business
A Bachelor’s in Business degree is considered the most broad-based, well-rounded, comprehensive undergraduate business degree. This degree is a great starter for a market research analyst to tap into the fundamentals of every business area. It is typically grounded in the liberal arts and can have an underlying theme of international business, entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, or social impact. Topics of study include management, finance, information systems, accounting, economics, business law, marketing, ethics, and business communications. Many programs offer areas of concentration or tracks to focus their business study in a particular area of business. Students may also gain skills in customer service, operations, markets, strategy, IT, and business policy.
Let’s highlight a leading innovator, New York University, which opened one of the first business schools back in 1900. It’s AACSB-accredited Bachelor’s in Business degree program offers professional development opportunities in the global power city of New York and a globally-connected network. Market research analysts could benefit from pursuing the Marketing, Computing & Data Science, Econometrics & Quantitative Economics, or Statistics concentrations.
Bachelor’s in Data Science
Data science is a data-driven science that utilizes computational and statistical processes, methodologies, and techniques to analyze and interpret large quantities of complex data. Market research analysts need a solid understanding of data science and how to navigate its complexities. A Bachelor’s in Data Science curriculum will familiarize students with applied data-driven problems, modern data science tools, and data structures. Students will study mathematics, analytics, statistics, data modeling, data visualization, computer science, and gain competence in Python coding, SQL Database, Java, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Graduates are equipped with analytical, logical, and critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, presentation, and collaborative skills.
A great example of a strong program is found at the University of San Francisco’s in its Bachelor’s in Data Science degree. Located in the Bay Area, this program offers students the advantage of leveraging the incredible technology culture San Francisco has to offer. Some of the courses include Introduction to Data Science with R, Calculus & Analytical Geometry, Statistical Learning, Introduction to Computer Science, and Data Structures & Algorithms.
Bachelor’s in Marketing
Businesses cannot survive without effective marketing, which involves the entire process that efficiently communicates a product’s value to consumers. Market research analysts are required to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor’s in Marketing is one of the most popular degrees to become a market research analyst. A marketing major provides in-depth knowledge of marketing principles, including digital marketing, advertising strategies, marketing research, consumer behavior, decision theory, branding, public relations, and strategic communications. The degree program develops skills in analytics, mathematics, statistics, clear verbal and written communication, advanced planning, and strategic thinking.
Let’s take a look at an established and prestigious AACSB-accredited Bachelor’s in Marketing program at the College of William & Mary. Its interdisciplinary curriculum and innovative real-world learning experiences ignite creativity, and ambition in every student. Twelve hours of marketing-specific courses include Marketing Research, Marketing Strategy, Customer Insights for Innovation, Consumer Behavior, and choose from electives in Global Marketing, Customer Experience Management, Advertising & Digital Marketing, and Design as Strategy.
Bachelor’s in Statistics
Statistics are utilized to drive many types of business decisions. It involves mathematical analysis and methodologies that gather, analyze, and interpret large amounts of numerical data. A market research analyst would not be able to navigate most of their daily tasks without a solid understanding of statistics. An excellent foundational degree for these analysts is a Bachelor’s in Statistics. Coursework covers probability, statistical computing, quantified models, mathematical statistics, calculus, data analysis, statistical theory, methods, application, and statistical measures like mean, variance, skewness, and regression analysis. The knowledge and skills market research analysts acquire in this degree will prepare them to succeed in their statistical endeavors and to continue to graduate school studies, if so desired.
Although many universities offer this degree, we will highlight the University of Iowa’s Bachelor’s in Statistics program. It requires 120-semester hours and includes ten core courses covering fundamental statistical methodologies, processes, and techniques. There are three optional tracks for specialization: Statistical Computing & Data Science, Mathematical Statistics, and Statistics in Business, Industry, Government, and Research.
Master’s in Marketing Research & Analysis
Companies are increasingly utilizing market research for informed business decisions. There is a great need for professionals that can properly analyze and interpret data and find how it correlates to marketing and managerial decisions. Market research analysts can complete a Master’s in Marketing Research & Analysis to become an expert, remain competitive in the industry, and advance in their career. Throughout the degree program, they will conduct an in-depth study of quantitative and qualitative methods, data analyzation, statistical techniques, and how they apply to market practices and marketing-related decisions.
Let’s use Texas State University’s Master’s in Marketing Research and Analysis as an example of what this type of degree has to offer. It is an AACSB-accredited, non-thesis degree program with eight required courses plus electives. Courses include Marketing Management, Qualitative Research in Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Statistical Methods for Business, Developing the Financial Perspective of the Firm, Marketing Research Methods, Digital Marketing, and Strategic Marketing Analysis & Planning. The Marketing Capstone Course culminates with a comprehensive exam that includes an oral presentation and a project.
The experience of earning a degree is rewarding, both personally and professionally. Not only do you exponentially increase your knowledge and understanding, you learn a tremendous amount about yourself, others, and the world. Through these degrees, a market research analyst knows the key elements involved in their job and grows in integrity, discipline, time management, and strong character. A Bachelor’s degree in Business, Data Science, Marketing, and Statistics and a Master’s in Marketing Research & Analysis apply to market research analysts at all phases of their career, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Now, you must figure out which degree will help you reach your career goals.