MA, Survey Research, 2009
Branch Chief, Survey Development and Administration Team, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Kenneth Pick graduated with his Master of Arts in Survey Research (MASR) in 2009. He is currently the Branch Chief for the Survey Development and Administration Team at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EIA conducts a wide range of data collection, analysis, forecasting, and dissemination activities to ensure that its customers, including Congress, federal and state government, the private sector, the broader public, and the media, have ready access to timely, reliable, and relevant energy information. In his position with EIA, Ken’s team oversees the design of energy-related questionnaires and works with his colleagues to reduce measurement errors. His team also works with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to receive approval for EIA data collections. Depending on the day, this may mean analyzing large sets of paradata, conducting cognitive testing with respondents, or behavioral coding the interviews conducted by enumerators. Prior to his current position, Ken was a senior survey methodologist for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), a survey methodologist for the U.S. Census Bureau, and a director of research for Global Market Insite, a technology and market research start-up based out of Bellevue, WA.
Prior to joining the MASR program, Ken graduated from the University of Washington with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Mass Media Studies. During his tenure at the University of Washington, Ken always enjoyed his research methods courses and when considering graduate school wanted a program with both a strong qualitative and quantitative curriculum. This is what drew him to UConn’s MASR program; Ken notes that “the MASR program is unique among the survey methodology graduate programs in that it offers a strong curriculum on qualitative methodologies, in addition to quantitative analysis.” It was this emphasis on qualitative methodology that helped him land his position with the U.S. Census Bureau upon graduation. Ken explains that “they [the U.S. Census Bureau] were particularly impressed with my knowledge of qualitative methodologies, specifically with cognitive testing. That, combined with my skills analyzing large data sets, made me a valuable new employee. And for that, I thank the entire MASR faculty, and in particular Jenn Dineen and Thomas Craemer.”
Ken’s advice to current students is to take advantage of the MASR alumni network and get to know the opportunities available to them once they have the MASR degree.