PPLS students are often curious about where they can use their research skills, other than in academia. If this is you, then you might like to look into Qualitative Research, and the AQR (Association of Qualitative Research) website, is a good place to start.
In case you’re wondering just what Qualitative Research is, here’s the definition from the AQR website –
‘Research designed to help organisational decision-making, focusing on understanding the nature of phenomena and their meaning, rather than their incidence. It tends to have the following characteristics:
- direct face-to-face contact between the primary researchers and those being researched;
- in-depth examination of small-scale samples or small numbers of observations;
- unstructured interviewing guides which are responsive to context and may be amended throughout the project;
- the researcher and his/her interpretative input is key to the process.’
It’s part of the Market Research mix, though whereas Quantitative Research focuses on the statistical and analytical, and structured questionnaires, Qualitative uses different techniques, as outlined in the above definition.
So if you’ve enjoyed the qualitative aspects of your UG/PG research, explore the AQR website to find out more about this career area, and how to get into it.
You’ll find a list of companies offering graduate training programmes, plus the AQR Directory, for speculative approaches – as is says on the AQR website,
‘your best chance of finding a job is to contact companies directly. But do your homework first!’
Get advice on how to contact companies directly via the Careers Service website.
And finally – read about 2 recent grads – one psychology, one history (stressing the philosophical nature of some of his research too) – have made successful careers in Quantitative Research.
- Psychology grad – quantitative research (“If you find human nature fascinating and are interested in business and marketing then I would highly recommend pursuing a career in qualitative research. It provides you with experience of various aspects of marketing strategy: from evaluating clients’ business problems to assessing potential creative solutions.‘)
- History grad – quantitative research (“Much of the work we do is highly creative and has a very conceptual, philosophical element to it, which I thrive on. I would say it’s a great career choice for anyone who loves to come into contact with lots of different people, enjoys travel and wants to be intellectually challenged on a daily basis.”)