In a recent study, LinkedIn revealed that two out of three workers would recommend studying for a doctorate in marketing, with almost half (46%) planning to enter this field. It seems that the demand for marketing Ph.D. programs is on the rise.
But, what is attracting students to this academic route? We take a look at the most compelling reasons to study for a Ph.D. in marketing, as described by those already there.
The Evolving Industry: Jobs and Opportunities in Marketing
With the ongoing evolution of marketing as an academic discipline, it is not surprising that corporate R&D departments are seeking to hire marketing Ph.D.s to help develop innovative strategies for their product launches, and to shape consumer behaviour in their industries.
Just like many other high-demand fields, such as data science and analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, marketing is constantly developing as new technological advancements emerge.
In the coming years, we may see increased use of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality in marketing. (LinkedIn)
Decisions made primarily in digital space have a significant impact on consumers’ lives, and traditional marketing methods – such as advertising and marketing campaigns — are rapidly evolving to keep up with these new platforms.
For example, Facebook is investing heavily in virtual reality content and providing hardware such as the Oculus Rift for developers to create VR experiences. Twitter is also embracing new technologies, launching Twitter Space, a virtual reality app that allows users to engage with content in an immersive manner, and expanding its machine learning team by hiring experts in the field.
The demand for marketing Ph.D.s will therefore be high in an industry that is always evolving. (LinkedIn)
The Growth of Marketing
In terms of both quantity and quality, the practice of marketing is one of the most in-demand courses on campus, with over 250,000 students studying for a master’s degree in marketing, and over 30,000 students pursuing a Ph.D. in the field.
In the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., the number of jobs available in marketing rose by 14% and 7% in 2017, respectively. (LinkedIn)
With more and more people accessing the internet via their phones, the practice of digital marketing is also experiencing an increase in demand, as businesses seek to develop a mobile strategy and connect with customers on their preferred platform.
For example, Google sent 400 people to study for a master’s degree in digital marketing at the University of Washington last year, with over 150 graduate job offers available to them upon completion of the program. (LinkedIn)
It’s widely accepted that in order to succeed in the job market, you need to have a degree to fall back on. However, with increased demand and opportunities in the field, an advanced degree may not be necessary and individuals can instead pursue an apprenticeship and gain hands-on experience while also establishing themselves in the industry.
More Than Meets The Eye
From a purely professional standpoint, pursuing a Ph.D. in marketing allows you to dive into a range of topics, helping you to become an expert in multiple areas.
With a specialization in marketing research, for example, you could become an expert in analysing industry trends, analysing customer behaviour, and designing questionnaires.
Further, with a specialization in digital marketing, you could develop expertise in e-commerce, social media, or search engine optimization (SEO).
Not only does the field allow you to gain expertise in multiple areas, but with so much information available online, you could potentially specialise in a specific area and still remain highly informed of new developments in the field.
For instance, with the constant emergence of new technologies, individuals could potentially gain expertise in digital marketing, social media, and analytics, and remain highly informed of the most recent developments in the field.
Keep Your Options Open
One of the biggest challenges for students is narrowing down their choices following graduation.
With over 250,000 students studying for a master’s degree in marketing, and over 30,000 pursuing a Ph.D., it’s not uncommon for individuals to have numerous options available to them following graduation. (LinkedIn)
With so much information and such an array of specializations, it can be hard to know where to start. (LinkedIn)
But, instead of narrowing down their choices following graduation, students may feel more motivated to explore all options and create a winning strategy, building on each academic course and specialization to create a complete package.
The Need For Speed
With more and more people entering the field and established roles such as ‘marketer’ becoming more commonplace, it is no surprise that the job market is evolving to accommodate new talent. (LinkedIn)
With higher degrees in demand and a greater need for people with specialist knowledge, employers are increasingly prioritising candidates who have the relevant academic qualifications. (LinkedIn)
This trend can be seen across multiple industries and sectors, with the marketing department at Boston University reporting a 30% increase in the number of students applying for graduate positions, and a 26% increase in the number of students pursuing a Ph.D., after adjusting for 2016 comparisons.
A Degree That Meets The Industry
Not only does a degree in marketing provide you with the flexibility to work in a number of different industries, but it also sets you apart from other graduates.
With a degree in marketing, you could become an expert in an area such as e-commerce or social media, and with so much information available online, you could potentially specialise and focus on a single area.
The degree may also be accepted by employers in a wide range of industries, providing you with an advantage over other graduates. (LinkedIn)
An increasing number of companies are also recognizing the value of a marketing degree and are therefore willing to pay more for a graduate in marketing.
However, despite the benefits of a marketing degree, it’s not always easy to put it to use, as a recent Job Digest survey found that 44% of employers were unable to provide any realistic examples of how a marketing degree contributed to their business, and almost one in five (18%) were unable to provide any real-world application at all.
Overall, It’s An Evolving Industry
Overall, it’s an evolving industry with a lot of opportunities for those who pursue a Ph.D. While the number of jobs available may not yet be at an all-time high, with increased opportunities and a rising job demand, it seems that pursuing a degree in marketing is a sound decision, as employers are increasingly likely to value highly-educated, digitally-savvy individuals who can prove themselves to be effective leaders and strategists.