Those who enjoy the fields of marketing and statistical analysis may be interested in pursuing educational opportunities in marketing research. Studies in marketing research are generally found at the master's and doctoral degree levels. In the latter, students typically enroll in a marketing program and take marketing research as an area of concentration.
In addition to pursuing advanced careers in corporate marketing departments or marketing firms, graduates might also pursue academic careers at a college or university.
Master's Degree in Marketing Research
A master's degree in marketing research introduces students to a variety of advanced analytical topics in the field. Most programs can be completed in fewer than two years and some programs may be available online. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of data, both quantitative and qualitative, in making and measuring strategic marketing decisions.
Because marketing research involves a great deal of mathematical analysis, students are usually required to complete remedial and foundational undergraduate courses before proceeding to graduate-level courses. Business calculus and statistics are usually required and, in some cases, computer programming may be required as well. An undergraduate degree from an accredited university is required.
The curriculum of a master's degree program in marketing research generally involves a combination of information analysis classes and general business courses. Students learn to effectively collect and analyze marketing data. Topics that may be covered in such a degree program include:
- Marketing analysis and management
- Information systems for managers
- Marketing decisions research
- Buyer behavior
- Qualitative research
- Marketing strategies and planning
Doctorate in Marketing Research
Although some doctoral degree programs in marketing research exist, most universities offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing and allow students to concentrate in marketing research. These programs prepare students for academic careers.
Doctoral students are generally required to hold master's degrees in related fields before enrolling. Some programs may be set up to receive students that hold only bachelor's degrees, in which case both master's and doctoral degrees will be earned during the program. Experience in the field is sometimes required.
Because doctoral degree programs prepare students for scholarly positions, the curriculum of these degrees is usually based in research. Students are exposed to a variety of advanced analytical and theoretical marketing topics. Topics addressed in the curriculum of such a degree program may include:
- Behavioral research in marketing
- Quantitative research in marketing
- Trends in consumer culture
- Attitudes and persuasion
Popular Career Options
Most Ph.D. holders pursue careers in academic or scholarly institutions. Some of the possible positions associated with this degree are as follows:
- College professor
- Head of college marketing department
- Head marketing researcher
- Marketing consultant
- Survey research consultant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the employment for market research analysts is expected to grow 19% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also states that, as of May 2015, the median annual wage for these analysts was $62,150.
Continuing Education Information
Marketing research analysts can obtain Professional Researcher Certification from the Marketing Research Association. This involves having a certain amount of experience in the field and passing a certification exam. Employees may also choose to pursue doctoral degrees in related fields.
Graduates may choose to publish scholarly pieces on topics related to the field of marketing research. They may also earn additional degrees in more specialized areas of marketing. Some may pursue the certifications mentioned above.
Depending on one's desired level of knowledge, master's degree programs in marketing research examine marketing decisions and buyer behavior, while doctorate students take courses in behavioral research and quantitative research. Overall, both programs contain courses that teach how to effectively analyze and collect marketing data through various techniques.