Market research analysis is now one of the fastest growing career fields, with opportunities for cleared personnel in government and the private sector. For experienced veterans with the right skills, the key to successfully landing these jobs is all in the translation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects market research analysis jobs to grow more than 30 percent over the next eight years. That growth is driven by the increasing shift to use of data and analytics across all industries. The business environment is changing, companies are getting leaner and there are more competitors in the market. With all those factors in play, staying in business means understanding what drives customers and where resources should be targeted in order to measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies.
Who needs you and your clearance?
If you want to know why your market research analysis skills have such value, consider the federal procurement process. The government remains the biggest buyer of goods and services. But saving money and becoming more efficient are now government mandates. This drives the need for market research analysis jobs to support acquisitions and justify purchases.
If you’re looking for these jobs, the key word is analyst. Agencies will preface their analyst needs depending on the agency and the requirements. For example, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is looking for policy analysts with experience evaluating, analyzing and managing IT and cybersecurity programs and solutions. Cleared veterans with skills matching these requirements can earn $125,000 to $157,000. Likewise, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking for portfolio analysts to monitor financial matters for DOE loan programs. The salaries range from $63,000 to $98,000.
Cleared market research analyst jobs continue to pop up throughout defense contractor companies. Boeing is currently looking for cleared strategy analysts to research and develop strong business cases in order to compete for government awards. BAE Systems is searching for imagery analysts, with requirements that only cleared veterans can meet: Six months of deployment in a combat zone, experience using Google Earth and ISR Forensics Tool, and the ability to test and evaluate new equipment and systems. These jobs typically pay between $75,000 to six figures.
In almost all cases, requirements for market research analysts include a bachelor’s degree. Good skills to highlight include mathematics, analytics, business analysis, social psychology and statistics.
Making your case to hiring managers
With the right resume and a clearance, veterans can up their chances of success by ensuring that in cover letters and interviews their words match the job description. Key to remember: It’s the process, not the product.
“Service members who’ve engaged in any type of research into improving the efficiency, functionality or usability of military equipment, for example, can easily transition this to new product research in a corporate marketing research environment or even new product R&D teams,” said Bruce McCleary, market research analyst. A consultant and frequent industry speaker, McCleary sees the growing shift toward greater market research analyst jobs as great cleared career paths for veterans. “Those with statistical analysis backgrounds can find roles in data mining or big data to help companies understand how customers view their brands and products.”
McCleary advises veterans to do their homework when applying for civilian jobs, to learn the culture and the “corporate speak” of the company.
“The research discipline and statistical tools are the same,” he said. “It’s only a matter of applying it in a different arena and learning their jargon. The wording is the key. Hiring managers need to see an easy match between what veterans have done and how it applies to their companies.”