How to Get a Market/UX Research Job

STEP 1: WHAT Are Tech Research Jobs ALL ABOUT?

Market research survey

Market research survey

  • AKA: Market Research, UX Research
  • Overview: Understanding users from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective.
  • Example project: Design a survey to understand what content Apple TV users prefer.
  • What you do all day: Plan studies, conduct research (both digitally and in-person), analyze results, make recommendations
  • Roles: UX Research (analyzing how customers use products), Market Research (analyzing how customers think and buy)
  • What they look for: People with psychology, design, or statistics backgrounds
  • Example job: UX Researcher, Pinterest


Ask yourself if you'd love doing these kinds of things all day:

  • Designing research studies
  • Conducting quantitative analysis on survey and market data
  • Managing qualitative research - interviews, user testing, focus groups
  • Converting data into actionable insights
  • Presenting findings to business partners

If your answer is "Yes" to the majority of activities, you'd likely be a good fit for Research jobs.


For each major activity, I've listed the most common keywords from across dozens of job descriptions, as well as a sample resume bullet:

·      Designing research studies

o   Keywords: methodologies, research methods, collaborate with business partners, understand business needs, applied research

o   Sample Bullet: Designed a research study to explore student attitudes towards email, leading to a new product that reached 2M students in its first year

·      Conducting quantitative analysis on survey and market data

o   Keywords: quantitative research methods, analysis, visualizations, R, SQL, Python, data mining, data sources, sampling, experiments, structured and unstructured data, surveys

o   Sample Bullet: Conducted a survey of our Facebook fans; used SQL and R to analyze the results, generating three new marketing ideas for that channel

·      Managing qualitative research - interviews, user testing, focus groups

o   Keywords: user experience research, qualitative research, field interviews, usability studies

o   Sample Bullet: Led usability studies for our website, identifying font size as a major culprit for the site's high bounce rate

·      Converting data into actionable insights

o   Keywords: insights that inform product and business decisions, package insights

o   Sample Bullet: Identified trends across qualitative and quantitative research that pointed to a coming downturn in app engagement; worked with product team to implement changes that prevented this dropoff

·      Presenting findings to business partners

o   Keywords: syntheseize and communicate research findings to any audience, business partners, executives

o   Sample Bullet: Presented UX findings to senior leadership, earning endorsement for wholesale changes to our flagship product's interface


If you want to brush up on any of these skills, check out Amanda Stockwell's UX Research Fundamentals course on Lynda. I like two things about this course in particular:

  1. It covers all the modern tricks of the trade - card sorts, eye tracking, A/B testing, etc. So that way, you'll walk into any research interview fully versed on the latest lingo.
  2. It applies to all kinds of researchers. While its title suggests a focus on UX research, her sections on designing and analyzing studies are just as useful for those who want to go into a more quantitative research arena.