What Is a Marketing Research Associate?

Marketing research associates or assistants collect information through interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. As a research associate, you might work for a variety of companies, including those in the healthcare, industrial products, or entertainment sectors. To learn more about job responsibilities, professional skills, and academic requirements in this field, read on. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Duties

As a marketing research associate, you'll gather information by researching industry trends, collecting data from surveys, and conducting interviews. According to February 2015 job posts on Linkedin.com, additional duties for market research associates may include creating presentations, writing newsletters, proofreading documents, and entering data in spreadsheets. Some associates also edit research databases and maintain direct contact with clients.

Important Facts About Marketing Research Associates

Median Salary (2014) $61,290 (for all market research analysts)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 19% growth
Top Industries Management, scientific, and technical consulting services; wholesale trade; finance and insurance companies; management of companies and enterprises; manufacturing companies
Similar Occupations Operations research analysts; public relations specialists; survey researchers; statisticians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Necessary Skills

Employers usually look for associates who have good written and verbal communication skills. You'll also need to be proficient in Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. A strong understanding of research techniques is often required; you may need at least one year of research experience in order to qualify for certain positions.

Education Requirements

Some companies hire associates who have a high school diploma and relevant experience. However, you'll need a bachelor's degree for most positions. Employers may not expect candidates to have undergraduate training in a particular discipline, a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field like business or statistics or math will provide the most relevant education. Coursework in economics, statistics, business administration, and marketing can be helpful.

Opportunities for Advancement

After gaining experience as a research associate, you could pursue a market research analyst career. In addition to collecting data, these professionals analyze market information in order to help companies decide what kinds of products to promote, sell, and manufacture.

Earning professional certification can lead to additional job opportunities in this field. If you have at least three years of experience in market research, you can pursue the practitioner credential through the Marketing Research Association. You'll need to submit three letters of recommendation, belong to a professional market research organization, and take an exam before receiving this credential.

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