Editor’s note: Ed Keller is executive director of the Market Research Institute International (MRII). 

As we navigate the ever-changing world of work, one component remains stable – investing in people is core and crucial. Great organizations shape the lives of the people who work for them and lead the market by example. 

During this time of tremendous change in the research industry, this is particularly true. With the rapid rise of research technology comes great opportunity. It also brings with it the need to train professionals at all levels on the fundamentals of research excellence. It is a key priority for employees and should also be a key to management. How do we know? We did research!

Market Research Institute International (MRII) and our educational partner University of Georgia recently conducted “For the Love of Learning: Career Development in a Changing Market Research Industry,” a global survey of market research and insights practitioners. The study, executed by QuestionPro, provides a deeper understanding of the state of our profession and reveals a blueprint for areas that research professionals believe need to be a focus for the future. 

Nearly two thirds (62%) of market research professionals surveyed say they are “very” or “completely” satisfied with their job. These findings are favorable for our industry when looked at in comparison with a recent study by Pew Research that found only half (51%) of Americans in general are highly satisfied with their jobs. 

The study also found that career satisfaction in the market research industry is over 50% across subgroups. However, it is higher among males (with 67% saying they are highly satisfied) versus females (59%); and also varies by tenure in the industry, with 67% of those who have been in the industry for 20+ years saying they are very satisfied with their jobs, versus 57% of the least tenured (less than 10 years) an...