Editor’s note: Bob Ferro is the managing director at Trusted Talent LLC. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “Why you should choose a career in market research.” 

Marketing research is a very niche industry, but those that enter tend to make a very long career of it. There are various roles for everyone, from focus group moderating to positions utilizing intense data analytic software and techniques. If you are looking for a change or for a new career field, you may want to consider including marketing research positions in your search.

There are two general types of research roles: roles on the supplier side and roles in corporate research. Researchers aren’t locked in to one side or the other – many go back and forth over the course of their careers.

Supplier companies are companies whose main function and offering is performing market research. Client companies are those whose main function and offering is something else (retail brands, restaurant brands, etc.) but have market research or consumer insights teams on staff. Client companies usually outsource a lot of their projects but have been insourcing market research much more frequently.

There are many types of people that would be great in the market research industry, but here are just a few of the main traits of a person that would excel.

The whole industry is built on curiosity. Whether that centers around consumer behaviors, their reasoning or market trends, a natural curiosity will help push someone to get the best insights.

Things don’t change at lightning speed in this industry, but they do change over time. There are continuously new trends and a good researcher must keep up with them.

Market research is not about selling to people but is in fact about solving problems and fulfilling the needs of consumers. Having empathy for them can help researchers understand and...