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

STEP 2: WOULD YOU BE A GOOD FIT FOR Tech Research?

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.


STEP 3: WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED 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


STEP 4: WHAT Research TRAINING DO YOU RECOMMEND?

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.

STEP 5: HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY GET A Tech Research JOB?

To help you convert your passion and skills into an actual job, I've put together a step-by-step course that covers how to:

  • Design a resume that will mark you as an insider to tech recruiters
  • Make sure you find every single great tech job across multiple sites
  • Get a referral at just about any tech company - even if you don't know anyone directly
  • Prepare for every kind of tech interview question with point-by-point formulas