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Thinkingahead
IF YOU'RE ALWAYS STRIVING TO DISCOVER NEW THINGS, AND YOU ENJOY
CHALLENGING YOUR LITTLE GREY CELLS, A CAREER IN RESEARCH COULD
MEAN YOU MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO THE WORLD AND ITS PEOPLE...

2 6 0 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S

research to work towards a PHD. You
may even be able to receive funding for
research training - contact the research
organisation directly. Around half of
researchers work within Academia after
their doctorate, while the other half
work in other fields of industry, such as
engineering, science, maths and biology.
And it's not just recent graduates
who opt for a career in research. Many
more experienced people go on to study

a doctorate, often after having a break
from work or if they are changing careers.
The Research Councils UK (RCUK;
www.rcuk.ac.uk) is an excellent place
to start looking into how you can get
your research career underway. RCUK
is a partnership of seven research
councils, and supports research in a
wide range of subjects from social
sciences, medicine, arts and humanities,
to physics and engineering.

Be a... market researcher
Employed to collect
and analyse data, market
researchers provide
information to their clients
which helps them make
informed political, social
and economic decisions.
As a market researcher,
you may be employed
directly by a company
(known as client-side),
where you would collect
information on customer
opinions, investment and
marketing decisions.
The majority of market
researchers, however, are
employed by marketing
agencies that range in
size. Work is carried out
on numerous projects
for a variety of
companies and
industries.
* Market
researchers
often specialise

in either quantitative or
qualitative market research.
Quantitative research
involves working with
statistics and percentages
and can deliver quick
results. Qualitative research
involves analysing opinions
and can provide the
reasons behind certain
percentages. Qualitative
research is a longer process
and can last for years.

Duties include:
* Meeting and liaising with
clients to negotiate and
agree research projects
* Preparing briefs and
commissioning research
* Formulating a plan/
proposal and presenting
it to the client or senior
management team
* Writing and managing
the distribution of surveys
and questionnaires

* Briefing interviewers and
other researchers
* Moderating focus groups.
* Undertaking ethnographic
research (observing
people in their homes
and other environments)
* Conducting qualitative
or quantitative surveys,
which may involve
field, interview or focus
group assessments
* Using statistical software
to manage and organise
research information
* Monitoring the progress
of research projects
* Analysing and interpreting
research data to identify
patterns and solutions,
including surveys and
focus group transcripts
* Writing detailed reports
and presenting results
* Advising clients/senior
management on the best
use of research findings

Words: Katharine Kavannagh. Images: Getty Images, Shutterstock.

t takes action to
create change,
but before action
can happen you
need thought.
Would you excel
in a career that
allows you to explore an exciting world
of knowledge and new technologies and
experiences? Working as a researcher
will give you opportunities to explore
some of the world's biggest challenges,
altering the way we live and work, and
changing the lives of millions of people
worldwide. Exciting prospect, isn't it?
Researchers are needed in every field
of industry. In the sciences, for example,
you could investigate how to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions or work out
the best way to produce sustainable
energy supplies. In the humanities and
environmental fields, you might use your
research skills to find out how society has
changed over time by studying the way
people lived in the past; or work out how
future digital technology might shape
society and industry. For example, you
could work on systems that turn waste
heat from vehicles into electricity, or
create clean energy from waste materials.
Whichever area you decide to specialise
in, you'll be pushing the boundaries
of knowledge and exploring new
ideas. Along the way you'll develop
lots of useful transferable skills,
such as the ability to design and
carry out experiments, how
to communicate with people
at all levels, and how to work
efficiently as part of a team.
To become a researcher you
will need a degree, then you'll
need to go on to do postgraduate


http://www.rcuk.ac.uk

Jobs & Careers with Piers Linney

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