3 items tagged "career"

  • A brief guide for those who consider a career in market intelligence

    A brief guide for those who consider a career in market intelligence

    Market research and insights careers are having a moment thanks to the proliferation of data across the business world. Here’s how to become a part of the community.

    Thanks to the proliferation of data across so many aspects of the business world, careers in insights, analytics, and marketing research are having a moment.

    “Data and analytics, generically speaking, are driving a big piece of how businesses are spending their time and money,” said Gregg Archibald, Managing Partner at Gen2 Advisors, on a recent GreenBook podcast. “If you are in the marketing research field, data and analytics, project management, whatever, you’ve got a job for a long time to come.”

    So let’s take a look at how you can get into the heat and curate a position in market research.

    What careers are in market research?

    A common position for newcomers to insights and analytics is market research analyst. Market research analysts typically curate and synthesize existing or secondary data, gather data from primary sources, and examine the results of data collection. Often they are tasked with communicating results to client stakeholders – externally or internally within their own organization. 

    At the entry level, you’ll find fieldwork and research directors on the supplier side. You might find specialists like UX and qualitative researchers working independently after they’ve paid their dues. And on the client side, key roles include managers of insights and analytics, or general corporate researchers. Market research analyst jobs might have different titles, but the basic premise is the same: collect and interpret qualitative or quantitative data.

    What’s the current outlook for insights careers?

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the job outlook for market research analysts is growing faster than average, at a rate of 22%. Ironically, survey researchers are growing at a much slower rate (4%). Why? Well, I might speculate that it’s one thing to be able to develop and implement a survey instrument. It’s totally another to be able to analyze the results and make actionable recommendations. 

    According to the latest wave of the GRIT Report, after the lows of the pandemic, staff size increases are at an all-time high. This might be surprising, knowing that we are presently experiencing economic uncertainty.

    “While many venture-capital-backed companies are shedding people in anticipation of the upcoming recession,” explains Lenny Murphy, “other non-VC backed companies are actively hiring.” So consider targeting private, private equity-backed, or public companies in your search.

    GRIT data from this report is also telling us that among supplier segments, technology and data and analytics providers have the most staff size increases. While targeting vendors is a strategy many put on the back burner in pursuit of corporate, client-side researcher roles, it represents a clear path to entry in our industry.

    How do I start a career in market research?

    The career journeys of market researchers are as vast as they are many. I was hired as a Data Analyst at a full-service research firm while still in school. Within months, I lost my job to layoffs. I quickly was re-hired at a qualitative research consultancy as an Assistant Field Director. From there, I took deliberate steps to grow my experience, moving first from supportive roles to that of a researcher, then from consulting and into management positions. Other people might share with you that their careers were more happenstance – they fell into certain things or stayed in one role for the long haul.

    There are, however, a few things I’d recommend as you look to get started in a market research career.

    1. Consider your education:

    Though there are outliers in every industry, most people break into insights with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some career paths, like mine, started with a major in marketing. Other insights professionals studied communications, social science, psychology, economics, and more increasingly, statistics, data and analytics specifically.

    Some companies, and higher-level positions, will require a master’s degree. Many key players in our industry have earned their MBAs; others have achieved their Master’s in Marketing Research. Some data and analytics experts come from advanced fields such as statistics and/or behavioral economics.

    Aside from the areas of concentration your studies will allow, there are the soft skills you develop in school that serve most people well. Some of what we learned are in demand according to the latest GRIT Report are people skills, technical/computer expertise, and innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. 

    2. Seek entry-level experience:

    Depending upon the position, insights jobs require expertise/experience in either qualitative or quantitative research methods. Analytical expertise is in demand, but so is basic business acumen and industry knowledge.

    Sales and/or business development skills are always in demand at research vendors. Taking one of those positions might give you the baseline knowledge of the marketplace that other candidates don’t have at an insights industry entry level. This insider knowledge of the data and analytics space you gain attending conferences and conversing with suppliers and buyers could set you apart.

    Finally, many research companies – from smaller platforms to larger insights consultancies – have growing content departments and a need for marketing expertise. 

    3. Switch from an adjacent field:

    If you peruse my LinkedIn feed, you might see qualitative researchers who started out as anthropologists or psychologists. You might learn about a UX researcher who has a PhD and started out in sensory science. You might discover a marketing intern turned research business CEO and founder.

    My point is, don’t look for the perfect start. Just start somewhere. There’s this great video online at Harvard Business Review by KeyAnna Schmiedl that talks to my favorite analogy for career development: There isn’t one particular linear path all market researchers travel. Instead, there’s a variety of routes up the equivalent of a rock climbing wall. Your journey might include a trip to the side or even back down a little as you make your way to the summit.

     Author: Karen Lynch

    Source: Greenbook Blog

  • A word of advice to help you get your first data science job

    A word of advice to help you get your first data science job

    Creativity, grit, and perseverance will become the three words you live by

    Whether you’re a new graduate, someone looking for a career change, or a cat similar to the one above, the data science field is full of jobs that tick nearly every box on the modern worker’s checklist. Working in data science gives you the opportunity to have job security, a high-paying salary with room for advancement, and the ability to work from anywhere in the world. Basically, working in data science is a no-brainer for those interested.

    However, during the dreaded job search, many of us run into a situation where experience is required to be hired while in order to gain experience you need to be hired first...

    Pretty familiar, right?

    Having run into many situations myself where companies are often looking for candidates with 20 years of work experience before the age of 22, I understand the aggravation that comes with trying to look for a job when you’re a new graduate, someone looking for a career change, or even a cat, with no relevant work experience.

    However, this is no reason to become discouraged. While many data science jobs require work experience, there are plenty of ways to create your own work experience that will make you an eligible candidate for these careers.

    All you need is a little creativity, grit, and perseverance.

    It’s not about what you know. It’s about who you know and who knows you.

    In countries similar to Canada where having some form of university qualification is becoming the norm (in 2016, 54% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 had a college or university certification), it’s now no longer about what you know. Instead, it’s about who you know and who knows you.

    Google “the importance of networking”, and you will be flooded with articles from all the major players (Forbes, Huffington Post, Indeed, etc.) on why networking is one of the most important things you can do for your career. Forbes says it best:

    “Networking is not only about trading information, but also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.” — Bianca Miller Cole, Forbes

    While networking is a phenomenal way to get insider knowledge on how to become successful in a particular career, it can also serve as a mutually beneficial relationship later on down the road.

    I got my first job in tech by maintaining a relationship with a university colleague. We met as a result of being teamed up for our final four-month-long practicum. After graduation, we kept in touch. Almost two years later, I got a message saying that the company they work for is interested in hiring me to do some work for them. Thanks to maintaining that relationship, I managed to score my first job after graduation with no work experience thanks to my colleague putting my name forward.

    In other words, it’s important to make a few acquaintances while you’re going through university, to attend networking events and actually talk to people there, and to put yourself out there so recruiters begin to know your name.

  • How people from different backgrounds are entering the data science field

    How people from different backgrounds are entering the data science field

    Data science careers used to be extremely selective and only those with certain types of traditional credentials were ever considered. While some might suggest that this discouraged those with hands-on experience from ever breaking into the field, it did at least help some companies glean a bit of information about potential hires. Now, however, an increasingly large number of people breaking into the field of data sciences actually aren’t themselves scientists.

    Many come from a business or technical background that has very little to do with traditional academic pursuits. What these prospects lack in classroom education they more than make up for with hands-on experience, which has put them in heavy demand when it comes to hire people for firms that need to tackle data analysis tasks on a regular basis. With 89 percent of recruiters saying that they need specialists who also have plenty of soft skills, it’s likely that a greater percentage of outside hires may make it into the data sciences field as a whole.

    Moving From One Career to Another

    The business and legal fields increasingly require employees to have strong mathematical skills, which has encouraged people to learn various types of skills that they might not otherwise have had. Potential hires who are constantly adding new skills to their personal set and practicing them are among those who are most likely to be able to land a new job in the field of data sciences in spite of the fact that they don’t normally have much in the way of tech industry experience.

    This is especially true of anyone who needs to perform analytic work in a very specific field. Law offices who want to apply analytic technology to injury claims would more than likely want to work with someone who has a background in these claims because they would be most capable with the unique challenges posed by accident suits. The same would go for those in healthcare.

    Providers have often expressed an interest in finding data analysis specialists who also understand the challenges associated with prescription side-effect reporting systems and patient confidentiality laws. By hiring someone who has worked in a medical office, organizations that are concerned with these rather unique problems posed by these issues. The same is probably true of those who work in precision manufacturing and even food services.

    By offering jobs to those who previously handled other unrelated responsibilities in these industries, some firms now say that they’re hiring well-rounded individuals who know about customer interactions as well as how to draw conclusions from visualizations. Perhaps most importantly, though, they’re putting themselves in a better position to survive any labor shortages that the data science field might be experiencing.

    Weathering Changes in the Labor Market

    While countless individuals naturally always struggle to find their dream job, the market currently seems to be in favor of those who want to transition into a more technically-oriented position. Firms that have to enlarge their IT departments might be feeling the crunch, so creating a resume might be all it takes for someone to land a new job. Since companies and NGOs have to compete for a relatively small number of prospects, it’s making sense for them to hire those who might not have otherwise even thought about working in the tech industry.

    Firms that find themselves in this position might not have been able to get anyone to fill these jobs if they didn’t do so. That’s also creating room for something of a cottage industry of data scientists.

    The Growth of Non-traditional Data Science Firms

    Companies that perform analytics on behalf of someone else are starting to become rather popular. Considering the rise of tracking-related laws, small business owners might look to them as a way to ensure compliance. Anything that they do on behalf of someone else usually has to be compliant with all of these rules per the terms of the agreed upon contract. This takes at least some of the burden off of companies that have little to no experience at all with monetizing their data and avoiding any legal troubles associated with doing so.

    While it’s likely that many of these smaller analysis offices will eventually merge together, the fact of the matter remains that they’re growing for the time being. As they do, they’ll probably create any number of additional positions for those looking to break into the data science field regardless of just how far their old careers were from the tech industry.

    Author: Philip Piletic

    Source: Smart Data Collective

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