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Get involved in a professional association for product analyst and development professionals to meet people working in the field and learn about potential career opportunities. For example, the Product Development and Management Association offers educational programs and events, https://www.pdma.org/events/event_list.asp. A part-time job in the product analyst and/or product development department of a company is an excellent way to gain valuable experience in the field and see if this type of work is a good fit for you. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding job listings. You can also conduct your own online search through Web sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and SimplyHired, and by contacting companies directly.
Product analysts help companies improve their products and services and develop new ones. They work for companies in management, scientific, and technical services; finance and insurance; wholesale trade; publishing companies; media and entertainment, and much more. Some examples of companies that employ product analysts include software companies and toy manufacturers.
Product analysts use data analysis software to research the costs and marketing trends of products, to determine the areas in which products can be improved. They work closely with different departments of companies, such as marketing, product development, and finance. They study competitors' products to see where there may be gaps in the marketplace. They also review data on customers' experiences with the products. They conduct interviews with the current users, as well as potential users, of the products; these interviews may be in focus groups, individual meetings, or online surveys.
Product analysts put their findings and other research data into detailed reports, presenting clearly written recommendations for improvements to current products and identifying new products that have the potential for development. The job requires strong statistics knowledge and technology skills. Analysts must have advanced Standard Query Language (SQL) skills and be well versed in Oracle's PeopleSoft and Microsoft Office Suite applications.