To become an industry analyst, you must be skilled in gathering marketing intelligence for a particular industry. Such knowledge is obtained primarily through academic training but also through experience working as a junior analyst or account manager in a marketing role for a company. Typically, industry analysts need at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in order to be hired. Professional industry experts who desire to manage may either stay at a company long enough to be promoted or go to business school in order to secure a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
As a university student interested in becoming an industry analyst, your primary academic goal is to choose in which field you will become a trusted authority, and strive to learn as much as possible about that field. For instance, if you have a disposition toward the pharmaceutical industry, then you can major in the biological sciences or chemistry to learn more about that field and its products. If you are inclined to consulting within the technology sector, then it is advisable that you major in computer science or engineering so that you can become familiar with the subject and the industry which surrounds it.
You need not major in an industry's subject in order to become an industry analyst in that field. It is entirely possible to gain this knowledge through prior experience, summer internships, and self study. If the majority of your coursework consisting of research and analysis related to your industry of choice, however, you will be more prepared to advise others on problems that are specific to that industry.
Taking a variety of analytics-related classes will also be useful to the aspiring industry analyst. Being an analyst oftentimes means keeping abreast of any changes or trends within the target market of the industry, and staying on top of such a volatile task can be challenging. University-level analytics classes will teach you how to dissect the massive amounts of marketing data in order to arrive at a sound and actionable solution. These courses also allow you to develop and practice quantitative skills that are essential for any industry analyst. Building predictive models and visually representing numerical data are both important tasks that an industry analyst will perform regularly.
Obtaining a bachelor's degree is sufficient, but you may also consider obtaining the MBA degree. Getting an MBA will open you up to more lucrative management positions as an industry analyst. You will also have the opportunity to manage junior analysts, mentoring them and advising them on the best course of action.