How to Get an Entry Level Market Research Job: 5 Tips To Get Started

Last Updated on May 23, 2023

A recent HBCU graduate sits in a conference room and smiles at her coworkers on the first day of her entry level market research job.

Looking to jumpstart your career in market research? Well, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll provide you with the information you need to land an entry level market research job, along with the knowledge and skills you'll need to launch a successful career. First, let's answer some common questions about this in-demand field.

What does market research involve?

Part art, part science, market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data about customers, competitors, and the market as a whole to understand customer needs and preferences. It involves gathering insights from both first-hand and second-hand sources, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, industry reports, and more. 

Market researchers also analyze existing data to identify patterns that can help inform marketing strategies. In order for businesses to make informed decisions about their products or services, market researchers may also be involved in producing reports on their findings.

What types of college degrees lead to a career in market research?

Some common college majors that lead to an entry level market research job include economics, psychology, business, sociology, data science, and marketing. Many of these majors offer courses that are specific to market research, such as consumer behavior, survey design, and quantitative analysis.

In practice, many other majors can lead to promising careers in market research and insight. All courses with a statistics and research base are naturally suited for the industry. But given that storytelling is an important skill, majors in English, International Studies, Politics, Media Studies, Communications, and many others provide sought-after skills in the industry.

Some universities also offer specialized degrees or certificates for entry level market research job to help students learn more about the field as a whole. No matter what your major is, you should get some real-world experience in the field.

Now that you know more about the field and the types of college majors that align with market research, here are our five tips for getting started on your career path.

1. Identify the essential skills needed for entry level market research job

Market research and data analytics jobs are becoming increasingly popular, and many graduates and career-changers are looking to enter the field. For those who want to secure an entry level market research job, it is important to understand the skills required for the industry. This includes having a good understanding of data analysis, research methods, and marketing analytics. 

In your entry level market research job, you should also be able to make meaning of data and present it in an effective way. With these skills and knowledge in hand, you will increase your chances of making a good impression on potential employers and get hired for the position. 

 “Market research is extremely valuable to our world. Without market research, some of your favorite products, businesses, and services would not exist. Market research studies areas of marketing, product innovation, business development, and much more. As the world becomes increasingly diverse, it is important that the people conducting market research are representative of the people using the resulting goods and services.”

– Ana Maria Santos, Co-creator and Founder of Equitas Insight

2. Use Internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships build and hone the skills

Internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of market research. Such programs can help you develop important skills such as data analysis, communication, and problem-solving that will prove valuable throughout your career.

Additionally, internships and apprenticeships can help you build a professional network and gain insights into business operations. Plus, you can also gain a better understanding of customer needs, trends, and emerging markets through working in market research.

3. Apply for the IDEAtor Apprenticeship for a career in market research

IDEAtor is a 12-month paid, remote apprenticeship that brings varied people into the insights business and generates new viewpoints. This program is for college graduates, early career professionals, and new job searchers interested in working in research, insights, and analytics.

As an IDEAtor, you have the opportunity to work at renowned companies and with industry experts to develop valuable skills and knowledge — a strong foundation on which to build a successful career in the profession.

4. Identify the market research role that is a good fit for you

There are a variety of entry level market research job options available, including research analyst, data analyst, survey researcher, market research assistant, research assistant, and many others. Each job has different responsibilities and skill sets, so it is important to do your homework and find the job that best fits your qualifications and interests.

Research analysts typically analyze data and trends to make recommendations about marketing strategies. Data analysts create models and reports to identify patterns in the data. Survey researchers create surveys and questionnaires and use them to collect data from target audiences.

“Within market research, you can specialize in qualitative or quantitative research. Depending on the company, you may grow your career to be involved with questionnaire design, discussion guides, focus groups moderator, data analytics, user experience research, AI enabled platforms, data visualization, storytelling and many other exciting fields!”

– Ana Maria Santos, Co-creator and Founder of Equitas Insight

5. Build your online and offline network to help you find a position

If you're looking for entry level market research jobs, the best places to start are job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. You can also check out job boards specific to market research. 

Additionally, you should reach out to contacts in your network, such as family, friends, and former coworkers, as they may be able to provide valuable leads. You can reach out to market research companies directly to inquire about any openings for an entry level market research job.

What should you expect from an entry level market research position?

Working in an entry level market research job also allows you to hone skills like problem solving and critical thinking. Additionally, you will gain insight into how businesses operate and learn about the different aspects of marketing strategy. With these skills in hand, you will be well-equipped to move up in your career or pursue further education.

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