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Career change from a marketer to researcher

Published on
Sunday, 25 July 2010 17:31
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Dear Career Doctor,

I'm currently working as a marketing executive for shopping malls in hk and have been in the communications and marketing field for years since my graduation.

I hold a degree in business management (overseas university) with a master degree in Journalism (local university) followed right after the 1st degree.

I'm approaching 30 this yr and am planning for a change in my career as a researcher, preferably market research (if possible) so as to minimize the risk and utilize my skills and knowledge gained in marketing before. My desire to opt for a change is that I'm tired of the unprofessionalism in frontline marketing (especially when it comes to the time in choosing creative or handling daily logistics, there're often no right or wrong, no ground or supporting facts, but solely subject to management's preference) and my personality doesnt really fit the field.

But I won't narrow myself to the market research field, I will try the research posts which are available in the market and of my interests, but will avoid Finance area which I'm not strong at.

To start off, I plan to take a diploma/certificate course in market research & data presentation with statistic analysis this Oct. Meantime, I plan to quit my job and fully gear up for the job search and career change. A few questions here:

1) I've tried to send several applications for researcher posts since June, but there's no feedback so far. I guess it's becos of my irrelevant past working experience and degree (even I did learn the research subject, but it's been years back which the employers won't really consider). Is there a better chance in getting a researcher job if I revisit the subject and take the course related to research and statistics? What's your advice? (I know it's risky to quit the job first, but I don't want to waste my time there anymore and it's hard for me to look for a new job and well prepared myself if I'm occupied by my current job)

2) I've done some research on the career as a researcher, but did not manage to get much info. What is the researcher career like (esp. market reasearcher)? How is the opportunity in the market? How's market researcher compared to business analyst? What kinds of task are mainly involved in the respective positions? What are the traits a person need to have, in order to be successful in researcher field?

3) What kinds of firm is good for a start-off for this career? And what's the career ladder?

I'm sorry for this long-winded background and questions. I'm at the cross road and very much appreciated if I can have your advice as early as possible.

Thank you very much.

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