A third of respondents to the MRII survey on career satisfaction took market research as their first job and just stayed, while another quarter had planned to go into market research while in college. Others either transferred to market research from another position in the same company (10%) or assumed responsibility for market research when their company introduced it (7%).
The most common other reason given was simply looking for a job and finding one within the industry. Next-most common was a referral from a friend.
Millennials are disproportionately likely to have planned for a career in research from college: 34% vs. 12% of older researchers. Being younger, they are also more likely to have entered research as a first job and stayed.
Fielded to a panel and a house list, this survey differs from many industry studies in reaching a younger, less-connected audience within the research industry, including part-time telephone and field interviewers as well as project managers. Nearly a third of respondents have worked in the research industry less than a year, and the majority had worked in market research for just 1 to 9 years (59%). In fact, a third of respondents are employed only part-time, reflecting the only-as-needed staffing of interviewers.
Seven out of ten respondents (69%) were Millennials (1982 to 1999), aged 18 to 35 years old.
Almost 90% of the respondents have worked in market research for less than 10 years. The majority have worked in the industry for 1 to 9 years (59%), while a third indicated less than one year (30%). The sample is more junior than that of many industry surveys. (Those who have not worked in market research were screened out.)
For more details on the survey, please download our report, Market Researchers and the Love of Learning.