How universities are trying to balance theory with practice to better prepare budding marketers

Do marketing degrees provide students with the right balance of theory and real-world practice to enable them to hit the ground running? It’s a topic often debated and one which was raised again this summer by a number of senior marketers who suggested existing courses are not fit for purpose.

Facebook’s global CMO Antonio Lucio (speaking while still CMO of HP) questioned whether marketing will be able to recruit the necessary talent to operate in a world powered by data, artificial intelligence and ecommerce, while Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar claimed brands’ ability to hire the best talent is being hindered by “archaic” university curricula.

“What they are teaching and the marketing grounding that’s being imparted is not exactly what life is like today and from that perspective getting the right talent and training your core marketing is a huge challenge that’s been keeping me awake at night,” said Rajamannar at Cannes Lions.

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