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Is a PhD in Marketing Worth It?

Jul 15, 2018

A doctoral degree in marketing requires about five years of coursework and dissertation research, but it gives students the opportunity to expand upon their career choices. We'll look at five related and the requirements for securing such a degree.

Through the process of acquiring a PhD in marketing students learn about information technology, organizational behavior, political economics and marketing. To help you decide if the extra education is worth it, here is data related to five career paths that PhD holders tend to go into.

PhD in Marketing Careers/Salary

Individuals who choose to continue their education and earn a PhD in marketing will gain further understanding of consumer and business behavior and develop methods for helping improve upon the allocation of marketing resources. They will gain knowledge about how all aspects of marketing work and how to adjust their marketing strategies to fit a given situation. Having worked on marketing projects and attended seminars on the subject during their higher education, graduates will have developed the interpersonal skills and hands-on experience necessary to excel within their given field. In addition, they will have the preferred degree for many higher-end jobs in the field of marketing. Here are five careers that seek out those with graduate degrees.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Survey Researchers $54,270 2%
Financial Managers $125,080 19%
Market Research Analysts $63,230 23%
Sales Managers $121,060 7%
Postsecondary Education Administrators $92,360 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

PhD in Marketing Careers

Survey Researchers

Survey researchers help develop surveys and determine which collection methods they would like to use. Those with a PhD in marketing will have a good understanding of how to go about collecting and analyzing data thanks to their extensive coursework within mathematics and statistics. They will use this same educational background to solve problems with survey data collection and be able to create focus groups and market analysis surveys that accurately address the questions they seek. In addition, they will evaluate the effectiveness of survey performance and progress using mathematical calculations. Typically, these individuals must have a master's or PhD in marketing or a related field of study.

Financial Managers

Financial managers aren't required to have higher than a bachelor's degree, but most major organizations that offer higher pay prefer that job applicants have some form of graduate education. Their daily duties consist of monitoring departmental budgets and identifying areas where operational efficiency improvements and cost reductions can be made. Furthermore, these individuals research information related to market trends and use that information to formulate a plan for company expansion and the maximizing of profits. They help their employers make sound financial decisions and aid fellow employees who engage in budgeting and financial reporting.

Market Research Analysts

A job as a market research analyst allows prospective job applicants who have earned a PhD in marketing to put their skills associated with creating market forecast to work. In addition, they are able to use their extensive knowledge of marketing strategies to help employers create effective marketing plans. They conduct research related to market conditions within a given area and observe consumer preferences to figure out the sales potential for a given product or service. Those who have gained a PhD in marketing will be able to secure leadership positions later on and have a chance at greater pay.

Sales Managers

Sales managers spend their time resolving customer complaints regarding a product or service and help employers set pricing for items that they sell. They assign quotas and areas to employees, and create training programs which will help to foster greater sales numbers. In order to maintain profitability, these same individuals actively pursue new clients and develop plans of action that will help to facilitate new customer acquisitions.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators determine how many students they are able to admit into their educational institution and evaluate prospective students to determine if they should be admitted. They actively monitor students and use the data they've collected through the admission process to generate a system that helps them pick prospective applicants who have the best chance of success. Individuals within this job are also required to create promotional materials for their educational institutions, something that those with a PhD in marketing will be well versed in. For those seeking the position of dean, a PhD is a must at major institutions.

PhD in Marketing Graduation and Admission Requirements

In order to secure a PhD in marketing, prospective graduate students will need to complete a five year graduate program consisting of two years of coursework followed by a field examination at the end. After that, students will spend their time doing research toward their dissertation and partaking in seminars. Through their degree program, individuals will cover topics such as the economic, behavioral, psychological and administrative theory as it relates to marketing. Further coursework will be taken in business management and research methods. In order to complete their doctoral program, students will also be required to complete a teaching assignment during the course of a full academic school year. Those who wish to be admitted into such programs will need to have achieved a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, management, economics or a related field. Similar to other PhD programs, tuition cost aren't really a barrier for entry due to the fact that they are covered through teaching assistantships and stipends.

Your PhD in marketing will give you the education necessary to understand human behavior and be able to collect and analyze relevant data to craft marketing strategies that have a greater chance of success. Such a degree will expand upon your career choices and be reflected in your ability to gain access to higher paying jobs and more senior positions within your organization.


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