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Australia – Education providers not meeting employers’ needs

24 October 2013

Educational institutions and businesses need to play a greater role if Australia is to meet the demand for qualified and experienced senior digital marketers, says recruitment firm Hays. According to the recruiter, few applicants have digital marketing experience or qualifications, creating a significant skills shortage in Australia.

Peter Noblet, Senior Regional Director of Hays Sales & Marketing, said: “The current skills shortage has come as a result of education providers not preparing graduates with the foundations and competencies needed to plan and execute world-class digital initiatives.”

“Furthermore, the predicament is exacerbated by the business community’s unwillingness to foster digital marketing skills by fully investing in digital marketing initiatives. We are seeing that industry requires digital marketing as an essential component of the marketing mix. However, there is a lack of investment in training and resources that will enable marketers to be savvier when it comes to extracting actionable insights from data,” he added.

This view is supported by Aisha Dani, General Manager at the Australian Digital Marketing Institute: “Consumer behaviour is pushing businesses to smarten up on their digital marketing efforts. This has caused a shift in demand for qualified candidates and for businesses to get up to speed on their digital marketing strategies.”

There is a wide range of undergraduate and post-graduate academic qualifications in marketing on offer in Australia, but there is concern that the topics taught at university are not keeping pace with rapid advancements in the industry.

In comparison, the UK has been quick to adopt changes in digital marketing and is embedding vocational marketing qualifications into undergraduate and postgraduate studies, enabling marketers to graduate with solid practical skills.

Mr Noblet added: “In Australia we need to see the widespread incorporation of digital marketing at undergraduate level, along with dedicated digital qualifications to ensure entry-level marketers are educated in digital early in their careers. This will give graduates an opportunity to compete in a booming market desperate for skilled personnel.”

Mr Noblet went on to suggest that marketing professionals must ensure that they are well educated on the fundamental principles of marketing, while also keeping abreast of industry developments.

He explained: “Firstly, more collaboration with industry bodies is needed to provide students with data analysis skills that will enable them to make sense of the mountain of new data produced by brand interaction in social and digital environments.”

“Then, by converging and integrating traditional university education with vocational marketing qualifications, marketing professionals can forge a digital future in which they can feel confident about extracting actionable insights from data.”

According to Hays Sales & Marketing, a good undergraduate degree backed up with work experience should go a long way in securing an entry-level position in a strong organisation.

“This is a good foundation for a successful marketing career, but the learning curve doesn’t stop there. It is important to ensure your continuing professional development,” Mr Noblet concluded.

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