Are young grads uninterested in MR careers?

Editor’s note: This content from Fringe Factory originally appeared in a December 12, 2013, post on (The Belgian Association for Quantitative and Qualitative Marketing Research), titled “Fringe report: Is market research really a career?” The full report is available here.

To understand the perception young graduates have of market research, Fringe Factory, a small group of young researchers who work in MR around the world, conducted a quantitative study with the support of InSites Consulting, SSI and ESOMAR Next. Together, we surveyed over 1,800 graduates across nine countries to understand and assess how attractive market research is as a profession.Fringe Factory graphic

So how bad is it? Pretty bad. Market research isn’t even in the top 10 industries in which people would like to work and only 13 percent of the young graduates across the world would consider it as a career option. In addition to a lack of awareness, there’s an image problem: It is considered boring, one-dimensional and lacking impact.

The good news? Next-gen MR is providing huge opportunities to change this! What’s boring about the social media and digital tools we apply?

Increasingly, the industry needs a variety of profiles. With an emphasis on engaging internal stakeholders, participants and clients, MR is about people – not about being stuck behind a desk. And if we open up and share the MR stories behind the products and brands people love, we can demonstrate research’s impact on their daily lives.

The Fringe report highlights five eye-catching insights and four recommendations to make a change as an industry. Find the full report here and please share it – we’re in this together!

This entry was posted in Corporate Researchers, Employment Trends, Research Vendors, The Business of Research. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are young grads uninterested in MR careers?

  1. IMHO, there are several factors in play:
    1. If someone is seeking visibility or desires the authority of a final decision maker, they would find market research a bit too much “behind the scenes,” unless they are running their own practice.

    2. There are fewer entry level corporate research positions than there were 20 years ago.

    3. In the 1990′s the Agency career path transformed from that of a researcher to planner, requiring a more experienced skill set. As such, you are more likely to find an entry level Agency position in media planning than planning.
    4. “Research”, like “sales,” for some, has become a pejorative term and we find more people bearing titles that include “insights” or “intelligence.”

    5. The field itself is undergoing a transformation from a purely “survey-based” custom focus to one that draws from databases and social media. Consequently, many of the new positions will center around analytics, requiring better computing skills, as well as experience with statistical software beyond SPSS. Regardless of the data source, the challenge remains as it has always been – to be able to extract and communicate a meaningful story from partial information, requiring both a well honed set of analytic and communcations skills unique to the profession.

  2. Adedotun Kembi says:

    Paul, you mentioned a growing need for experience with statistical software outside of SPSS. Can you provide some examples?

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