Is a Marketing Degree Important?


As you may or may not know I am on the hunt for a career. Not just a job, I have had lots of those. What I’m looking for is somewhere I can move, develop and really have an impact. So as I’m sure all final year students are doing at the moment I’m furiously applying for jobs (instead of revising for those all important exams!). As you can imagine when I got an email asking me to go for an interview I was a bundle of nerves and started doing the normal thing of trying to find a situation in which I had to make a difficult decision in etc etc.

The one question I didn’t count on was ‘Do you think that a marketing degree is really important in this industry?’. This stumped me slightly. So I gave my answer and thought that would be it, but since the interview I haven’t been able to stop thinking, am I really getting more out of doing a degree than I would have if i’d learnt on the job? I suppose there are pro’s and con’s to both sides.

Do you think that a marketing degree is
really important in this industry?’

I’m now going into the marketing industry with more marketing models than you can shake a stick at and a pile of books on various aspects of marketing as tall as me (albeit I’m very small but you get the jist). What most University students don’t have is specialized marketing experience. As I said earlier I’ve worked many jobs from getting shouted at in a complaints centre to cleaning saunas (that’s not one of my better jobs), but these roles aren’t directly related to my field. Yes I have developed transferable skills such as patience and an ability to blank out the grime i’m cleaning, but nothing focused. Thankfully I did a placement year in which I did have relevant marketing experience, but this isn’t always the case with students. So does this make your  hard work at Uni void?

Me and my friend Ellie at her graduation!

Me and my friend Ellie at her graduation!

On the other hand not going to Uni and having knowledge in only one area could give you a very narrow view on the marketing industry. If you have only ever worked for one company or sector, how versatile are you? what is the stretch of your creativity?

I think what I’m trying to say is, after much consideration as to if I have wasted 4 years of my life pouring over books and staying up till all hours of the morning, the answer is: Yes a marketing degree is important. I think my degree has given me an insight into all aspects of marketing; PR, strategy, digital, marcomms to name a few. Its allowed me to decide what I want to do and what I certainly do not want to do. Its important because I now have a foundation that I can take into industry and build upon by gaining experience. No I’m not going to take Kotler’s theories into all my meeting and start sketching out noise reduction models, however, it is important, it allowed me to have experiences I wouldn’t have got outside of the Uni bubble. I’ve grown up (some may disagree) and I know a million and one things I didn’t know before I started. I thinks it a fantastic stepping stone and is important but in no ways a necessity.


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