The first MRBA Skills: Back to School event took place on 18th October. Organised by the Market Research Benevolent Association’s spokesperson Viginia Monk and by James Endersby, CEO of Opinium and Significant Insights, the webinar aimed to help young researchers develop their skills with the Market Research Society Advanced Certificate. The event also gave young researchers the opportunity to hear a panel of industry experts discuss upskilling and receive tips from those in the know on how to advance their careers.

Joining James and Virginia on the panel to share their MRBA Skills experience was Debra Harding of MRS, Sinead Hasson of Hasson Associates Recruitment, Jasper Darby of Touchstone Partners and Paula Dabrowska of Research Partnership. Over the course of the hour the panel touched on topics such as the value of upskilling in the insights industry, how to advance in your career using the MRS Advanced Certificate, diversity in the insights & market research industry and how young researchers are climbing the company ladder.

At the top of the hour James provided eight top tips on how to convince your manager to provide you with training or buy you a ticket for your favourite industry event.

  1. Ask: Simply ask your employer if you can receive extra training. There is no harm in asking

  2. Increased efficiency: let your manager know training is better than trial and error whilst working.

  3. Great payback: your skills will be transferred to your colleagues, increasing team efficiency.

  4. Competition knowledge: conferences and events will allow you to see how your competition are doing things.

  5. Networking opportunities: events and conferences are the best place to meet others in your industry and could result in potential client leads.

  6. Show benefits: put your lessons into action and make your bosses job easier. Offer to train and feedback to peers.

  7. Good for company and boss: high performing team reflects well onto your manager. Money spent on you benefits all.

  8. Become an MRS member: if your manager is unwilling to train, become an MRS member and enter their mentor scheme.

Many young researchers are wanting to advance in their careers and these steps put forward by James are the ultimate guide to getting there. And the panel agreed, as Debrah said, “you are your best asset”. Market yourself to your managers and you can advance. An MRS Advanced Certificate allows for a holistic and grounded view of the industry.

Insights and Market Research firms are currently struggling to hire, is a job short industry at the moment. The hiring and retaining of new staff is more expensive than the upskilling and advanced training of current staff, Paulina states that focusing on the internal staff can increase efficiency and reduce costs. At the moment, the industry has low levels of diversity and engagement from possible employees. To counter this, the Research Apprentice Scheme, has recently been launched to encourage more diverse backgrounds to enter the sector. The exciting new venture should see more racial, socio-economic, gender and age diversity entering the sector. During the panel Sinead pointed out that diversity breeds creativity, which is especially important in the Market Research and Insights sector.

The MRS advanced certificate is an exciting opportunity and has been taken up by 7,500 candidates across 40 countries. The certificate is a degree level vocational qualification for the Market Research and Insights industry. Panellist, Jasper is a recipient of the MRS Advanced Certificate and told the audience how useful it was for him in advancing his career, by showing his manager and colleagues that he is capable and understands each step of the research from start to finish.

To find out more on MRS Advanced certificate click here: