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Almost 50% of Gen Z considering marketing career

Almost 50 percent of Gen Zs (16-24-year-olds) say they are considering careers in the marketing industry, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Over a fifth of the young people surveyed also perceive marketing as a safe career choice, signalling a surge of fresh talent is to hit the industry.

The survey of 1,000 16-24-year-olds undertaken by CIM revealed 46% we interested in marketing careers and that as a result there has been a rise in the number of students starting marketing courses.

The University of Liverpool Management School reported that demand for its BA Marketing course has been exceptionally high for the year 2021-2022. The establishment attributes this to a variety of factors including a shift in how marketingis perceived as a discipline by business leaders, which they say correlates with the rise in marketing roles being offered.

The qualitative survey also showed that many of the CIM-accredited study centres enrolled saw an increased number of self-funded marketing students while furlough schemes were in operation.

Maggie Jones, director of qualifications and partnerships at CIM said: “We’ve seen two things happening during the pandemic. The first is that young people have recognised the resilient and adaptive nature of marketing and want to pursue a career in this field.

“The second is that many marketing professionals have invested in their own development and have self-funded additional learning and qualifications while being furloughed. It’s clear that people want to thrive in marketing.”

While incumbent industry professionals may have been funding their own development, the research showed that over 70% of Gen Z newcomers to the industry expect their training to be funded by employers.

Jones added: “Students and young professionals are coming into the industry after a unique couple of years. To ensure they don’t fall behind through a lack of practical experience, Gen Z expects employers to invest in training opportunities to compensate for the loss of skills during the pandemic. This highlights the need for employers to reassess their training programmes.”

Out of the CIM accredited universities and Study Centres surveyed, they all reported that students value CIM accreditation and understand that it better prepares them for the world of work.

In response to an open question in the study, Dr Elvira Ismagilova, BSc (Hons) Marketing programme lead from The University of Bradford stated that students chose their Marketing and Management MSc as the CIM accreditation ‘reflected the high quality of the programme and post graduate employability along with access to resources and networking opportunities’.

CIM offers a range of professionally recognised marketing and digital marketingqualifications designed to develop the core skills needed to succeed within the marketing industry. Many of these courses are available through over 100 Accredited Study Centres (ASCs) across the UK and internationally.

In addition to qualifications, CIM works with UK and international universities to offer practical work experience for Gen Zs through real-life business project challenges, by delivering The Pitch competition. The competition, aimed at undergraduate students in their second or third year of university allows them to pitch their ideas to a panel of industry leaders in the marketing industry by responding to real life marketing challenge. CIM believes that not only having the right marketing skills, behaviours and technical abilities is key, but students need to gain transferable business capabilities to enhance their employability.

To find out more about CIM marketing qualifications, click here:

Age divide in marketing training creating ‘significant’ digital skills deficit

Marking Learning at Work Week 2021 (17-23 May), the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has revealed research which uncovers a significant age divide in the upskilling of UK marketing professionals.

CIM’s latest report ‘Digital Vision, living on the cutting edge’ found the majority of marketers over the age of 55 had received no training at all in the last two years, sparking concern that senior marketers may not be keeping up with the rapid digital pace of change in the sector.  

This comes after it emerged the number of unemployed people aged over 50 in the UK rose to 371,000 in 2020, a 33% rise compared to the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital, yet the CIM research reveals that as the pandemic hit, large swathes of marketers had not updated their skills for a number of years.

  • Training deficit – One in three marketers (35%) had not attended any internal or external training courses, events or conferences in the past two years.
  • Age divide – This lack of training and upskilling increases dramatically with age – 44% of 45-54 year olds, 62% of 55-64 year olds and 74% of those over 65. By contrast only 7% of those aged 16-24 had received no training.

Senior professionals overlooked for learning and development – Four in ten (41%) senior marketing professionals did not participate in training, a higher proportion than at all other levels of seniority. 

The low levels of training among older marketers are occurring despite an acknowledgement among 71% of marketers that young people are ahead of older generations in digital marketing skills.

Meanwhile nearly half of professionals (44%) say marketers who don’t have formal training could pose a risk to their organisations.

In some critical areas, such as data and analytics, social media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it is clear junior staff have focused on their development, improving their digital skills to address key customer requirements or to further their careers.

The specialists have become more expert, improving their knowledge but not breadth of digital skills, whilst managers and heads have spread their skills and, in some cases, fallen back.

The report is the latest in CIM’s Impact of Marketing series which surveyed more than 1,200 marketers, from across both private and public sectors. The report finds widespread concern about the dramatic changes in the skills required of modern marketing professionals:

  • Rapid change – Six in ten marketers (63%) say the pace of change in marketing is greater than ever.
  • A completely different skill set – Six in ten marketers (62%) agree that the marketing skill set has completely changed over the past ten years. Only 9% disagree.
  • Struggling to keep up – Almost half of marketers (44%) say that they find it difficult to keep up with the changing demands of marketing.

Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing said: “The marketing sector has been through a huge transition in the past few years; adapting to new rules on data protection; evolving to incorporate an array of new digital channels; and responding to changing social attitudes. 

“It is worrying that so many of our peers, especially senior level marketers, have undertaken no training to help them adapt to these changes. We can understand why they might be prioritising the training of less experienced members of their team and feel they don’t have the time to fit training in, but keeping up to date in this fast paced industry should be a priority, especially when accessing learning and development is easier than it’s ever been. 

“In a sector that has faced such dramatic change in recent years, marketers who fail to upskill may be putting both their careers and their organisational growth at risk.” 

60% believed that a complete focus on digital skills can come at the expense of core marketing skills. This is felt significantly more keenly amongst 25-44 year olds. With content development at the heart of marketing it was surprising to see 59% felt good copywriting wasn’t common in the sector. Data analysis was also seen to be in decline with only 61% perceiving it as a common skills gap.