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How to become a Market Research Executive

market research executive careers

What does a Market Research Executive do?

Market research helps industry, business and government find out what people want, and identify their preferences. There are a number of different areas in which executives may work: consumer research covers goods and services sold to the public; industrial or ‘business to business’ research covers goods and services within industry; social and political research helps central and local government discover people’s views on specific issues.

Executives are involved in writing and presenting proposals to clients, managing a budget, advising on questionnaire design, briefing interviewers, monitoring and controlling the progress of the survey, analysing data and presenting the results back to the client.

Executives make the decision of which method to use to gather data depending on the individual project. Quantitative research involves questioning large numbers of people using telephone and postal surveys, and face-to-face interviews. Qualitative research involves the use of focus groups and in-depth interviews. Electronic data collection involves collating information that is already available, such as company records. Many market research executives specialise in either qualitative or quantitative research.

What's the working environment like working as a Market Research Executive?

Executives often work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, although weekend and evening work is common when projects and campaigns are nearing deadlines.

The work is mainly office based but executives may spend time visiting clients as well. This can include travel abroad. A driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Market Research Executive?

To work as a market research executive you will need:

  • an analytical mind, and a strong knowledge of statistics and computers
  • an ability to handle data to work in quantitative research
  • an interest in psychology and behavioural science for qualitative research
  • specific scientific or technical knowledge to work as an industrial researcher
  • confidence when dealing with a wide variety of people
  • the ability to take responsibility and handle pressure
  • excellent communication skills and the ability to give clear instructions
  • accurate and clear written skills when producing questionnaires and reports
  • to be methodical and well organised, with good numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • commercial awareness for work with corporate clients.

Market Research Executive Career Opportunities

Opportunities occur in market research agencies or within industrial or commercial organisations, advertising agencies and government/social research bodies. Vacancies are advertised on graduate recruitment websites and in the MRS magazine, 'Research'.

Competition for jobs is fierce. There are excellent promotion prospects for people with ability and ambition. There is also the possibility of moving into advertising and marketing. Freelance work is common and some self-employed executives set up their own agencies.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Market Research Executive that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Market Research Society (MRS)
15 Northburgh Street
Tel: 020 7490 4911

British Market Research Association
Devonshire House
60 Goswell Road
Tel: 020 7566 3636

Association for Qualitative Research (AQR)
Davey House
31 St Neots Road
Eaton Ford
St Neots
PE19 7BA
Tel: 01480 407227

Courses to help you become a Market Research Executive