Survey Researchers Career Video
Description: Plan, develop, or conduct surveys. May analyze and interpret the meaning of survey data, determine survey objectives, or suggest or test question wording. Includes social scientists who primarily design questionnaires or supervise survey teams.
These days, talk of big data and internet algorithms can give you the sense that we already have all the information we need. In reality, it also takes the skills of survey researchers to gather and interpret data, so that accurate and representative information is available. Survey researchers design surveys, conduct interviews and focus groups, and analyze data. The data they collect varies— from employment and salary information to public opinion on a product or proposal. Survey researchers’ regularly use communication skills— both to gather information and to present results to clients. They must know how to choose the right method to gather accurate data on a particular topic, fine-tune surveys to solve any design problems, and be detail-oriented so they don’t miss anything in their analysis. Survey researchers are employed by research firms, polling organizations, non-profits, corporations, colleges and universities, and government agencies. They usually work alone in an office, though some work on teams, and may travel to meet clients or to reach a targeted group for their research. Usually survey researchers work regular full-time business hours, but deadlines may sometimes call for extra time. Many positions require a graduate degree in a related field, such as marketing, survey research, statistics, or the social sciences. A related bachelor’s degree qualifies a candidate for some entry-level positions. Experience performing research, using statistics, and analyzing data, increases employment prospects.