Product analysts are employed in companies that provide management, scientific, and technical consulting services; management of companies and enterprises; computer systems design and related services; advertising, public relations, and related services; and other professional, scientific, and technical services. For example, they may work for software companies, conducting interviews and gathering data on software users' experiences. Toy manufacturers hire product analysts to help them analyze and improve on existing toys and to also develop new toys. Even companies such as Disney hire product analysts to help them monitor and improve their product lines.
The Department of Labor does not provide data on product analysts. Jobs that share some of the same tasks and goals as those of product analysts include market research analysts and logisticians. In May 2019, there were nearly 678,500 market research analysts and marketing specialists and approximately 182,050 logisticians employed in the United States. A small percentage of these professionals worked in some sector of manufacturing durable goods, or products.
Many product analysts get started in their careers through internships while they are in school. They may receive job offers for entry-level product analyst positions once they receive their bachelor's degree. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship and entry-level job openings. Professional associations such as the Product Development and Management Association offer career-development support and job referrals. Find information at https://www.pdma.org/page/career_center. Search for jobs directly on companies' Web sites and on LinkedIn, SimplyHired, and other employment sites.
Product analysts with five or more years of experience may advance to become senior product analysts. They hone their skills in specific industries and product categories, and gain a reputation for their research methods, forecasting skills, and product recommendations. In large companies, they advance to become department managers, responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of product analysts and related professionals. They may advance by getting a master's degree in marketing, business administration, or another field. Advancement also comes in the form of increased participation in professional associations, such as speaking at conferences and teaching workshops. Some write articles and teach in colleges.
Tips for Entry
Find job listings and other resources by visiting the Product Development and Management Association's career center, https://www.pdma.org/page/career_center.
Get a part-time or summer job in a company that has a product development and product analysis department. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding job opportunities.
Learn more about research methods by visiting this Web site, https://www.qrca.org/page/about-qualitative-research.
Find information about product analysts and the types of companies they work for by visiting LinkedIn and doing a related keyword search.