Marketers question value of a degree

Life skills and bespoke training can be more valuable to marketers entering the industry than a degree, according to a report.


More than half of marketing managers do not look for candidates with degrees when recruiting new marketers, according to a poll by The Marketers Forum.

The research also found that 77% of marketing managers dismiss the notion that a degree is always worthwhile.

Almost one fifth (18%) of recent graduates surveyed by The Marketers Forum, which provides professional training, said that they would skip university and opt for professional qualifications instead.

Quentin Crowe, managing director of The Marketers Forum says that often graduates are leaving university without the right skills to enter any profession.

He says: “A lot of universities’ output sees graduates very good at processes but not so good at the holistic needs of a business. A degree is not always preferable and now people are questioning the value [of some degrees] and looking for alternatives.”

The trend, however, is refuted by a number of recruitment agencies specialising in marketing, who say that although there will be a shift in coming years as the impact of the increase in tuition fees is felt, having a degree remains a baseline expectation.

Simon Bassett, managing director of EMR, says that most of its clients expect candidates to have a degree, and around 90% of applicants short-listed will do.

He says: “A degree being a baseline expectation is a legacy and that legacy will start to change. There will be a shift in the way people recruit in years to come as a result of the cost of further education. We’ll start to see more CVs without degrees.”

It emerged recently that there was a rise in the number of marketing recruits from top end universities Oxford and Cambridge as perceptions of marketing as a profession improve.

The Marketers Forum, which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, surveyed more than 2,000 recent graduates, 100 marketing managers and 100 HR managers via One Poll in March.

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