Of researchers with the opportunity to learn and grow at work, 45% conducted research in a market that was new to them, 42% used a technology that was new to them, and 41% attended training. About three in ten had the opportunity to manage a larger project than they had before or to use a methodology that was new to them. Only a quarter had the opportunity to take a class (as opposed to attend training).

North American researchers were just more than half as likely to be able to attend training as those elsewhere: 31% to 56%. EU researchers were more than twice as likely to use a methodology that was new to them as researchers elsewhere in the world (44% vs. 21%).

Company-provided in-house training (42%) and formal schooling (39% of respondents[1]) are the most common ways that researchers learned their market research skills. For formal schooling, 16% of respondents learned research as part of their undergraduate major and 27% through a graduate degree (4% took both). Three out of ten obtained their skills by reading on their own.

The industry is not providing sufficient onboard training. Only 28% of those who have worked in market research for less than a year had received employer-provided in-house training as compared to 48% of everyone else.

Of those who planned for a career in research from college, 56% learned the skills they needed from a graduate degree in contrast to 18% of other respondents.

Reflecting the fact that Millennials are more likely to have planned for careers in research than old researchers, Millennials are more likely to have learnt the skills to be a market researcher in college: 34% with graduate degrees vs. 15% of older researchers, and 22% with undergraduate majors vs. 6% of older researchers.

For more details on the survey, please download our report, https://www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/courses/market-research-report Market Researchers and the Love of Learning.

[1] 16% with undergraduate major + 27% with graduate degree – 4% who took both = 39%

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.