I have a master’s degree in international business from UK and currently live in california. Also I have taken a course in market research online. I want to know what skills are required to get into this field as I am a fresher. I specially wnat to know what mathematical skills I need to work in for quantitative analysis in this field. How is the job market for this field? What is SAS SPSS and how do I get some training in it? Basically I need some help to get started in just the right way and get job offers and do well in it. I know zilch about this.
I was once a market researcher myself specializing in accounts involving quantitative research projects for both local and multinational companies. In market research, one should have a vast knowledge of social sciences, the different business industries, research techniques, and should know how to make use of the internet. Market research is also project management. Aside from the skills, one should have initiative, coordination skills, multi-tasking capabilities and knows how to be a part of a team.
Basic mathematical skills are not really required. But the knowledge on the basics of Statistics is a must. There are a lot of statistical softwares available at the disposal of a researcher. It is more reliable than doing the analysis manually but the knowledge of Statistics would greatly help in the interpretation of the data. Knowing your data, how it skews and all that would also help you to design better systems in conducting your study. This is so because there are times that you have to decide what statistical tools to use and how you would conduct your surveys.
SAS and SPSS are two different statistical softwares that are commonly used by researchers. Quantitative analysis is made easy with these softwares because upon the input of the data, the software itself could automatically generate reports both descriptive and inferential depending on what statistical test you want to apply data. Tutorials are also included in the software as well as found online (http://home.ubalt.edu/ntsbarsh/stat-data/SPSSSAS.htm). It is very user friendly and it is made more easier if you already have a background in Statistics.
There is certainly a lot of opportunities in the market research industry. In the US, according to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 22,000 jobs for the said industry. By 2014, it is expected that the employment of market and survey researchers would grow faster than average for all occupations.
All in all, I think it is not only the preparation of the knowledge and the skills that would fit you in market research. Because with your having a Master’s Degree as well as the skills you acquired through the years would really prove invaluable. But it is your commitment and passion for research that would really drive you to succeed in this industry. ***