The value of marketing qualifications & training courses

Only 38% of marketing professionals get training courses paid for by their employer as a benefit; yet our recent Marketing Salary Survey results found that marketers rank training (paid courses) as the third most important benefit to them, after flexible working and contributory pensions.

marketing qualifications

An article on states that training courses are a way of improving the effectiveness of the workforce, and they really hit the nail on the head when they described training courses as being an attractive benefit for ambitious people. Ambition is a key characteristic of a successful marketer as, after all, so many marketers’ jobs are driven by working towards and achieving goals and objectives.

Working in marketing involves keeping ahead of the curve, being up-to-date on technological/digital advancements, and providing ROMI (return on marketing investment) for the business. And as such, if an employer wants a forward-thinking and influential marketer in their business, they need to encourage and nurture this attitude through the likes of training courses and qualifications, not hold it back. As written in our Marketing Recruitment Review & Salary Survey, ‘a good marketer by nature will want to continue to improve, learn, and grow – but they need their employers to allow them the opportunity and training to do so’.

Given that the most common reason marketers gave for wanting to leave their current role in our Marketing Salary Survey 2018 was lack of progression/career advancement; surely one solution to help retain employees and combat this feeling amongst marketing teams could be for employers to offer training and qualifications as a benefit? Perhaps, marketers might feel like they had more opportunity for career advancement and were progressing, if they were supported by their employer in strengthening and sharpening their skills and knowledge through further training?

Marketing is an industry in which work experience is equally important, if not more important, than formal qualifications; yet there still is no doubt that qualifications are something employers will look out for and consider when hiring within marketing. In fact, after Degrees (71%), employers told us as part of our Marketing Recruitment Survey that the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing (27%), CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing (22%) and the CIM Foundation Certificate in Marketing (20%) were the three qualifications that they look for most when hiring for marketing roles.

Training courses also hold value from a recruitment point of a view. For example, if a company is struggling to find the ‘perfect’ candidate for a role they’re hiring for, sometimes it can be worth considering candidates who have some of, but not quite all, the right experience for the role, and consider putting them on training courses to cover off any areas that they’re not quite strong enough on. And if a reduction in basic salary is needed as a compromise, the new hire can then be incentivised to learn by outlining that they will get an increase once they’ve completed their qualification or courses. This is especially relevant when companies are requiring new or rare marketing skillsets.

Qualifications, like those from the CIM, provide marketing and communications professionals with practical tools and techniques, as well as a more strategic understanding, which they can then apply to their job roles. All CIM courses are based on research and ongoing feedback from real employers who have told the CIM which skills and knowledge they require from marketers. As such, qualifications and training courses have many benefits for employees, and employers alike. For employers, training courses can encourage a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce, and increase employee loyalty amongst the most ambitious and keen to develop members of staff. Naturally, some marketing qualifications can be more ‘expensive’ than others, and it is not uncommon for employers to reduce the perceived ‘risk’ on their end by offering to sponsor the studies under the condition that, if the employee leaves the business before a certain time-frame, they will have to pay back some of the cost of their course.

“The importance of marketing qualifications and continuous training cannot be understated. Our 2017 research report, The Value of Marketing, found that from a panel of senior marketers, 87% held at least one CIM qualification. Investing in your future by upskilling through continuous learning is essential for marketers at all levels, who must navigate an increasing complex business environment.” – Chris Daly, CEO, CIM

So, if your employer doesn’t offer training courses as standard, would it hurt to ask them if they’d consider it? We would certainly recommend speaking to your boss in your next appraisal about opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge further, as if anything it only shows a willingness to learn and develop, as well as a dedication to your chosen line of work.

Download our Marketing Recruitment Review & Salary Survey 2018/2019 for all our survey results and statistics. 

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