In order for companies to prosper, market research analysts are always needed. This is why the government projects rapid employment growth in the coming years. In greater Los Angeles, these professionals earn an average annual salary of around $60,000, with top analysts raking in yearly wages nearing $74,000, according to current data.

(Photo Courtesy of  Dr. Shirley Stretch)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Shirley Stretch)

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in market research, most employers expect qualified applicants to have taken courses in such integral subject matters as math, economics, computer science, communications, psychology and sociology. This is why Dr. Shirley Stretch – an accomplished educator, researcher and author of more than 40 marketing publications – encourages future analysts to become well-rounded students of the ever-evolving landscape of commerce.

“In today’s world, the consumer is becoming more complex, knowledgeable, technology-based, proactive, impatient and demanding,” said Stretch, a professor in the department of marketing at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). “If marketers cannot utilize marketing theory, technology, consumer data and insight from a multiple-disciplinary perspective only achieved through college degrees, they will not be able to meet the demands of a competent marketing analyst.”

How is CSULA preparing analysts for L.A.’s expanding marketplace?

“We have several new courses, certificates, minors and programs addressing marketing analytics forthcoming, coupled with several existing educational opportunities, including social media, that will give students a complex, multi-tiered view needed to fully understand the broad field of marketing analytics.”

What defines an accomplished analyst?

“Successful market analysts are inquisitive and creative. They think outside the box, embrace technology and like to combine numbers and visual assessment. They solve problems, so they can alter the way things are done to enable solutions that work for the consumer.”

How must prospective analysts prepare for solid careers?

“Candidates need to constantly learn about new innovations, especially consumer technologies, like mobile marketing. They should know how to integrate new consumer concepts and understand the ethics of using data to market to consumers.”

What is your message to aspiring analysts?

“Endeavoring analysts should seek multi-functional training, where numerous perspectives, such as technology, anthropology and statistics, are all integrated into the marketing program.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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