How to become a research methodologist #MRX

Once you know what you really want to do, how do you get there? I’ve been asked a few times how I became a research methodologist and can someone else become a methodologist as well. It’s really quite simple. It’s not easy, but it is simple.

The advice I give is don’t wait for someone to offer you a job as a methodologist or to declare that you are a methodologist. If you know what you want, then it is your job to make it happen. No one else.

  1. If you are a project manager and you want to be a methodologist. Start tweeting about methodology. Share educational white papers and intriguing blog posts that helped you learn about methodology.
  2. If you’re in report prep and you want to be a methodologist, start a blog about methodology. Share your thoughts and opinions about good and bad methodology in easy to read, weekly or monthly opinion pieces. Be brand and bold and take a stand.
  3. If you’re a data analyst and you want to be a methodologist, stay a few hours late after work and re-analyze datasets with methodology in mind. Analyze speeding rates by survey topic, straightlining rates by number of grids, random responding by demographics. Then write a paper and share with your colleagues.

No matter what your current role is, you can find a way to incorporate what really excites you into your day. If you do it well, a good boss will find ways for you to expand into that space. And if your current boss doesn’t, one of your Twitter followers or blog readers will. Enjoy your new job!


2 responses

  1. It seems research methodology has been through a few phases since I started out in it.

    Phase 1: No academic track available, people were often promoted from coder or data entry positions when they showed a real understanding and trainability

    Phase 2: Academic programs available and academic background increasingly expected

    Phase 3 (current): Academia can’t keep up with the changing flow of business. Many departments popping up and adapting. Background/expectations quickly changing, not very settled.

    It might be that your advice is the best out there for the state of things. I’m not sure what advice I would give an up and comer. I think it really depends on the people doing the hiring. Some people value experience more, some value academic background, some will value independent research, and some will value social media participation. But the degree to which any professional values any of these will really vary.

    1. In the end, it has to be up to you. If you want something, then you need to actively pursue it in any way you can imagine. If you don’t have the academics, you can’t let that stop you.

%d bloggers like this: