The study, commissioned by specialist marketing recruiters EMR, found that the average post-graduate marketer earns £62,524 per year, which is £9,378 more than the average marketing salary. Qualifications were not restricted to marketing disciplines, the research found, and included everything from banking to business and administration.
Those who have gone on to gain qualifications beyond their degree are typically awarded better bonuses, amounting to 17 per cent of their basic salary compared to 13 per cent for those without.
Marketers with accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) receive salaries that are 2.2 per cent higher than the average at £54,812, the research found. However, marketing experts with MBA qualification earn significantly more, commanding salaries of £76,738, 43 per cent higher than their peers and an average bonus of 25 per cent.
Simon Bassett, managing director of EMR, says: “The reality is that the role of the marketer has changed significantly over the last 5 years, which is seen in the importance marketers now attribute to a digital element in marketing qualifications. But there’s also much more pressure for marketers to produce a tangible and demonstrable ROI and today they are required to have as much an analytical head as a creative head – hence the value of post-grad qualifications and the particular premium attached to an MBA.”
Despite the clear financial incentives to gain further qualifications, most (80 per cent) of the marketers surveyed believe it is not key to career progression.
The same amount of respondents also felt marketing degrees were not matching the shifting demands of the job, which is becoming more commercially focused and demands a deeper understanding of digital media. Additionally, only 21 per cent of marketers felt that marketing qualifications, which include degrees and post-graduate courses, were “adequate”.
For digital qualifications, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) said the discipline should be given priority in marketing degrees and courses. But marketers are planning to close the knowledge gap with two thirds (66 per cent) planning to receive additional digital training over the next 12 months, a marked improvement on the 35 per cent a year ago.
The number of digital specialists has increased from 5 per cent of between 2010 and 2011 to 25 per cent between 2013 and 2014, said researchers.
Marketers hoping to set their stalls out as digital experts will need to specialise in one of the more niche areas such as search or user experience. The influx of social media executives has pushed down average digital marketing salaries. However, those that can code or understand paid and natural search could reap the benefits due to demand outstripping availability, according to the report.
The findings were pulled from a poll earlier this year of 751 marketing professionals.