Education and Training Requirements
Strong analytical, mathematics, and writing skills are required for product analyst work. Be sure to take math and statistics classes, as well as science, economics, social studies, and English. Computer science classes are also essential. Knowledge of a foreign language is useful for working with global companies.
A bachelor's degree is required for most product analyst jobs. Degrees may be in business, marketing, or a related field. Coursework includes math, statistics, marketing, research and analysis methods, communications, economics, and consumer behavior. Classes in data analysis software are also essential. Product analysts that advance to become managers usually have a master's degree in marketing and statistics, or in business administration.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Product analysts receive voluntary certification to enhance their knowledge and skills and demonstrate their professional competency. The Insights Association offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) designation to professionals who have three years of opinion and marketing research experience and pass a certification examination. Product analysts may also get certified as project management professionals (PMPs), which employers look on favorably because managing projects is part of an analyst's job. The Project Management Institute offers the PMP designation to individuals who meet education and work-experience requirements and pass a four-hour certification exam.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
A bachelor's degree and two or more years of experience is required for product analyst work. Entry-level product analysts receive training while on the job. Strong analytical and critical-thinking skills are essential in this profession. Product analysts must be able to read and review many reports and a large amount of data and summarize their findings in ways that others can understand. Clear writing skills are important for organizing thoughts and recommendations into written reports and presentations. They must have ideas that are original and productive for companies. The abilities to work independently but also collaborate with others are also important. Strong knowledge of mathematics and statistics is critical. Analysts must be technologically savvy, with skills in Standard Query Language, Oracle PeopleSoft applications, and Microsoft Office Suite programs. Those who do best in this field have initiative, are detail oriented, and are reliable and responsible, able to meet deadlines and fulfill obligations.