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4 college majors that could lead to online survey jobs

The global market research business market generated over $40 billion in 2013, according to global market research company ESOMAR. More than that, North America specifically was the fastest-growing region on the planet.

There's a lot of business in market research. That's the industry Opinion Outpost operates in. This organization, and others that distribute surveys for money, work by providing the answers you give to companies designing products and offering services. It's a measured approach businesses can take to protect their investments. The information is incredibly valuable and, as ESOMAR noted, companies in North America specifically are willing to pay top dollar for those insights.

Naturally some soon-to-be college students are interested in industries with a little job security, so market research might be a career worth looking into.

But if you're trying to study the subject, what majors would be worth taking?

1. Consumer economics
At the end of the day, market research is one big lesson in consumer economics, which basically studies the behaviors of consumers in micro- and macroeconomies. Students are taught theories and best practices regarding price points, economic forecasting and specific math principles that cover the broader business spectrum. With those skills, you may gain a basic understanding about what a business is attempting to achieve when they decide to build online paid surveys.

2. Statistics
But you can't fully analyze the results from online paid surveys without a strong background in statistics. The art of market research and opinion polling involves collecting answers from a small sample size of people that will provide insights about a much larger population. That's exactly what statistics explores. Students receive the math lessons and technical expertise to use programs that can turn survey numbers into accurate predictions.

3. Business
Business is a very broad major filled with specialties and focuses. However, the lessons can help students identify business goals and management practices. That can make understanding where paid surveys fit into a company's goals easier. More than that, classes may cover branding, computer sciences and management skills that may apply to an organization designing a survey to meet particular strategies.

4. Business Analytics
However, there's a more data-intensive side of business that's gaining a lot of traction now. Many schools are offering majors called business analytics, which primarily study the concept of "big data." Big data involves exploring huge swaths of information gathered from Web traffic, telecommunications, online surveys and other sources and using those numbers to find broader patterns and trends. 

The business analytics major functions like a combination of computer science, statistics, business and math. However, students may have the choice to explore very specific programs and courses that cover economic, marketing and other perspectives as well. This is like a catch-all for people interested in the online paid surveys business. Not only could this line of study lead to a job with a company that uses and analyzes those questionnaires, but it could lead to work with companies that distribute them, too.


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