As part of my involvement with the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS), I’ve been asked to present at a university careers day.  Now, for me, Market research wasn’t even a blip on my radar when I was university – but I’m looking forward to telling these students all the great things about market research and why they should consider it for a career.

We’re going to show the great video that AMSRS put together a few years ago on careers in market research…

We are also in the process of putting together a presentation for the event, which will cover the following topics

  • What are the types of entry level jobs in this profession?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What are typical career paths?
  • What skills are needed, (specific and generic) ?
  • What qualifications do people need? What post- university training/qualifications are required?
  • How do companies recruit?

But my questions to you are;

a) what are your words of wisdom for any potential young market researchers out there?

b) can you point me in the direction of any good careers information for market research?  where have you seen this done well?


I’d love to hear your thoughts!

4 thoughts on “Careers Day Ideas – what are your suggestions?

  1. Hi Victoria,

    Amazing video! It has definitely fueled my interest in the field. Did you finish the presentation covering the topics you mentioned above and film it? I would love to watch it. As a university student who is considering pursuing a career in market research but knows absolutely zilch on how to get started, it would be an absolute blessing to receive answers from those already working in the industry.

    Other questions i have are:

    What are the difficulties and challenges facing this field?

    Where are the opportunities for growth in this industry?

    What skills or experience would someone a valuable qualitative researcher?

    Kind regards,


  2. Hi Maria, we did finish the presentation and it was presented late last year. I’m sure we’ll be presenting it again at some point during the year, and I’ll let you know.

    You’ve asked some really interesting questions up here. The sorts of things I’d love to hear from others on as well.

    For me…
    The greatest difficulties and challenges facing the field?
    > The rise of ‘big data’ and its implications for the way the industry collects information. Will a survey still be relevant when we can collect real time data on participants’ behaviour online? Many other fields are using ‘big data’, and creating great outputs, which IMO threaten market research’s future in the provision of customer insight. The ways in which the industry responds to this change in the landscape will define what ‘the field’ becomes in the future.
    > Talent drought, researcher burn out and attracting and maintaining the best people. (Don’t get turned off!) Old working models need to change, the industry needs to focus on building talent and maintaining them once they are trained (many move sideways into other careers – marketing, advertising, etc etc). I see this changing slowly, but it is one of the areas I want to see more change!
    … there are others, but these two spring to mind

    Where are the opportunities for growth in the industry?
    > The people who are looking at the way the world is changing and making sure that the ways we both collect data and then also disseminate data will grow. Those with their heads in the sand, thinking things can keep going the way they’ve always gone will be in trouble
    > Industry leaders predict there will be growth in the use of qualitative research (yay!). It makes sense, qualitative researchers have the skills to look at data from a number of sources and find the common themes – as more and more data sources become available, this will become more and more important. Also, we can collect as much quant data from all the sources as we’d like, but we will always need to go out to people and actually talk to them!

    Skills/ experience valuable for a quallie?
    > Read widely and know what is going on in the world – it is important to be able to place things in context
    > Cultivate curiosity. Researchers come from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds, the one thing that brings us together is our curiosity. If you’re not interested in why people do what they do, then it will just get boring!!
    > There are many ways to get ground level experience in the industry whilst still studying. Casual recruiting roles at MRX qualitative recruiters, CATI roles (although, these are becoming rarer), working at focus group facilities, offering note-taking services for focus groups. If you want to go into qualitative research, the best way to do it is to watch as many groups/ depths as you can (preferably with different moderators), so you can see different ways of asking questions, dealing with difficult participants, ways of getting to a piece of information etc etc etc. When I first started I spent a good two years watching groups 2 or more nights a week (hosting and note-taking in my first role) – this was some of the most important training I did.
    > Get an understanding of quantitative research as well – I think it is important that researchers don’t specialise too early. I think in the first few years of your career, it is important to be exposed to / work on / learn both qualitative and quantitative studies (and other techniques – social media monitoring for example). Then you’ll have the knowledge to hear a client’s research problem and understand what techniques (qual or quant) will best answer this issue.

    Hope this helps!!

  3. Then there are people like me who had no idea the field of market research existed at uni.I started out as a travel agent, did a marketing degree part time and then worked for around 10 years before I got into the official field of market research. I am your typical on the job trainee no formal research qualifications. From my perspective, I am naturally an inquisitive person, I am interested in people and what makes them tick. I guess, you just need to be an all round genuinely ‘interested’ person. I was VERY lucky to have amazing mentors who made the time to teach me. If you find a great mentor, hang on to them. Life experience and wisdom make incredible insight.

  4. Wow! Thank you for your very comprehensive responses Victoria and Bronwyn! Your insights are very invaluable to me and have given me a lot to think about. I truly do appreciate your time and effort to respond to my queries.

    I look forward to catching the careers in market research sometime this year Victoria.


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