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How Do I Become a Category Analyst?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Category analysts are marketing professionals responsible for helping companies to improve sales of particular products. For example, category analysts who work for supermarkets might specialize in improving the image of pharmacy centers located within their stores. These professionals use market research data that applies to specific areas or among certain demographics to advise marketing campaigns and retail initiatives. To become a category analyst, your first step should be to earn an undergraduate degree. A degree in marketing, management, or economics can be especially helpful for a person who wants to become a category analyst.

In some cases, disciplines outside of the business world might also be helpful for aspiring category analysts. Many marketing concepts and practices are based on principles of the social sciences, such as sociology and psychology. Degrees in these fields also can be valuable credentials for individuals on this career track. A person who wants to become a category analyst in a more specialized field, such as software development, might benefit more from an education in computer science or computer engineering.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Earning a graduate degree, particularly in marketing, is a good move for a person who would like to become a category analyst. Applicants often find that this level of education is preferred by employers, but not required. Individuals who have years of experience in a related industry might, in some cases, be more appealing to company recruiters.

Regardless of your level of education, if you want to become a category analyst, you should plan on working entry level positions in marketing departments. It is important that you prove that you can analyze data and get effective results. Category analysts often work with specific products or in specific markets, so you can benefit from choosing an area of specialization and sticking with it.

In many ways, category analyst positions are leadership roles. These professionals often must dictate guidelines for best practices to marketing teams. They communicate with the media and with shareholders and also might convey concepts of identity and image to workers within a company. To become a category analyst, you should take as much responsibility as possible. Prove yourself as a confident and trustworthy leader who is able to influence those around you.

It is a good idea to join professional organizations. These groups offer members opportunities to attend workshops, courses and seminars. Aside from providing current industry information, these organizations can offer valuable networking opportunities. To become a category analyst, you should work on developing a reputation among like-minded professionals in your field.

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