Businesses and organizations increasingly rely on data and information acquired through research. The research track of the master of arts in career and technical education is designed to build upon your undergraduate knowledge and occupational expertise to prepare you for the job opportunities of research, whether in private business, industry, education, or related fields.

Computer and Information Research

Computer and information research scientists create new approaches to computing technology—improving ways to sort, manage, and display data—and seek innovative ways to use existing technology. Frequently, they work in business, science, medicine, and other settings. 

Their research may lead to the invention of new computing languages, tools, and methods to advance the way people use computers. They may develop software systems and design experiments to test their operation. Computer and information research scientists often work at a more theoretical level than their colleagues in the computer field.

Employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 15 percent through 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because companies are reporting difficulties in finding employees with such skills, computer research scientists are likely to enjoy “excellent job prospects,” says the bureau.

Market Research

Market research helps companies determine what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price. Top research positions often require a master’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 32 percent through 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations, says the bureau. Employment growth will be driven by an increased use of data and market research across all industries to analyze the needs and wants of customers and to measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies.

Operations Research

Operations research analysts isolate and define business problems such as those in sales, logistics, or production. This may involve surveying employees and researching databases. Ultimately, research analysts may advise managers and executives on the impacts of potential courses of action to solve problems. Most operations research analysts work in teams. 

Operations research analysts may work in finance and insurance, computer systems design and related services, manufacturing, state and local government, and management of companies and enterprises. 

Employment of operations research analysts is forecast to grow 27 percent through 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As technology advances and companies seek operations efficiency and cost savings, demand for operations research analysis should continue to grow.

Social Science Research

Those working in social science research typically assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research. They may also assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management, under the direct supervision of a social scientist.

Survey Research

Survey researchers design and administer surveys for scientific, public opinion, and market research purposes.

Scientific researchers collect data for education, social sciences, health, and government. Public opinion surveys collect information about opinions and attitudes concerning the economy, culture, health, social issues, or political issues. Market research surveys, developed by market research analysts, help businesses identify products and services to meet consumer needs and wants. 

Survey researchers are employed with research firms, polling organizations, government agencies, colleges and universities, nonprofits, and corporations.

Employment of survey researchers is forecast to grow 18 percent through 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job prospects should be good for those with an advanced degree, says the bureau.

  • EDPS 641 - Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychological Research (3 credit hours)
  • EDPS 642 - Intermediate Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • THES 698 - Thesis (6 credit hours)

See all program requirements for the master of arts in career and technical education, under which this track is available.