It’s the fateful day that every college student looks forward to and dreads at the same time; graduation day. After being released from school duties, it’s time to look for a job and become a true adult. Luckily for us, marketing and sales jobs are plentiful, and many companies are looking for talented young people to project the company forward. But how exactly does a recent grad land a dream marketing research job, and what skills are employers looking for?
Expand Your Skill Set
If you have chosen market research as a career path, you’ve made a good choice. The job opportunities for market researchers and analysts is expected to grow by 23% from 2016 – 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, there are many hard and soft skills necessary to be able to succeed in this competitive job market. Some common soft skills listed on job boards include things like verbal and written communication skills, listening skills, and critical thinking and leadership skills. Market researchers need to have the ability to not just analyze the numbers but look at the big picture and present their research to other parts of the company. A distinguishing factor between candidates is how market researchers use the information they find, not just how they find it. That being said, there are many hard skills that anyone pursuing market research should have before they graduate. There are a multitude of software and analytic programs researchers must be fluent with, these include: SQL programs, Microsoft Office Suite, Google Analytics, Tableau, and many more statistical analysis software. Knowing how to use these programs will allow you to make conclusions about potential markets, pricing, market opportunities, target markets, sales trends, and so much more that can help the organization expand and thrive.
How do I start?
So, now you know what skills you need, but how can you get fluent enough in the world of market research to get the job? The best way to land a marketing research job straight out of college is to start now. Internships aren’t just a way to expand your resume and skill set but prepare you for what the real world has to offer. Through internships you get experience interviewing, negotiating, and build strong connections that can help you get a job post college. Perhaps even more importantly, nearly 60% of internships end in a job offer, according to Forbes. Internships are the best way to fast track your career and put your foot in the door for more professional opportunities in order to expand your career options. Start working with different statistic software to get familiar with the programs and expand your quantitative and computer skills. An easy way to do this is to volunteer or take on a part-time unpaid internship doing analytics for non-profit organizations. This will give you hands on experience, which will prove your skill set to future employers, as well as make you stand out as an ethical candidate. If you plan on obtaining a senior level or leadership position within marketing, consider looking at MBA programs. It is becoming more and more important to have higher education in order to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Market research and analytics is a rapidly expanding career option as well as a highly competitive career field. There are basic soft and hard skills necessary to gain a job right after college, as well as extra things you can do to make you stand out amongst other candidates. Experience is the easiest way to prove to potential employers that you deserve the job and can turn statistics into profits for the company.
Visit The Balance Careers for more information on what skills market researchers should have before applying for jobs.