3 Tips for Getting a Job in Survey Research

Written by on January 14, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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From measuring public opinion when creating presidential polls to determining which features people want most on a new mobile phone, survey researchers play an important role in modern life. A person working in survey research will develop questions, collect answers and analyze data to help businesses and organization to make important decision. For those interested in working in this field, here are three tips to help them find a job in survey research.

Higher Education

Most people who work in survey research as a career hold at least a bachelor level degree. Common college majors include business and psychology. However, a variety of majors can qualify a person to work in survey research.For example, political researchers might employ political science graduates while those with degrees in mathematics, statistics or communication could qualify for work in any area of survey research.

For the best opportunity to advance in a career in survey research, a person will likely need to obtain a graduate level degree. Masters and doctorate level programs exist in survey research, market research and other related fields. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree can also be useful for those seeking employment in survey research.

Obtain Experience

Though experience is important in any field, experience is of vital important in survey research due to the amount of competition for higher paying jobs. Those interested in working in this field should try to gain as much entry level experience as possible to make themselves a more attractive candidate for career level positions.

Though holding a clipboard and asking question to shoppers at the local mall or working as a telemarketer may not be a lot of fun, they are both easy ways to gain experience in the survey research market. These jobs also commonly provide flexible scheduling making them ideal for high school and college students needing to work around their class schedule.

Working an entry level position in survey research can not only help a person to gain experience, but can also help a person to develop business contacts in the field and to help the person to determine whether or not he or she really wants to work in field.

Maintaining Skills

Survey researchers work to determine public opinion on a large number of issues. To be able to properly communicate with survey participants on a wide range of issues, survey researchers must work hard to stay informed about current events, business trends and the survey field in general.

Independent study or continual formal education may be needed to stay current with the newest trends. Those working in survey research will also need to stay familiar with advances in computer software as the job will require researchers to use computers to create surveys, analyze information and to communicate with co-workers, survey participants and others.

With these three tips a person can work to develop a rewarding career in a growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand in survey research is expected to grow by over 20% in coming years. This job growth can help recent graduates and others who are prepared to work in survey research to find career level openings.

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This is a guest post.  Sam Roberts is a social researcher and guest author at Best Sociology Programs, where he contributed to the guide to the Best Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs.

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