Jobs You Can Get with a PhD in Marketing

Learn about the different types of careers you can have with a Ph.D. in Marketing, their salaries and job outlook, plus program requirements and common courses. Schools offering Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers That Utilize a Ph.D. in Marketing

Marketing Managers

Marketing managers work with or for organizations to help them estimate the demand for products and services that the organization and its competitors offer, and identify potential markets that the organization's products would do well in. Other job duties include developing pricing strategies to maximize profits without upsetting customers and working with sales, public relations, and product development staff to ensure all aspects of marketing are being utilized. An individual with a Ph.D. in Marketing will have skills such as research, data analysis, statistics, and the psychology of marketing, all of which can be useful in a career as a marketing manager.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts gather data on consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits in order to help companies market their products and services. Typical research methods include interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, and literature reviews, and statistical techniques and computer software are used to gather and analyze the data. Strong research, statistics, and analytical skills are required, so someone with a Ph.D. degree in marketing who chooses to specialize in data analysis and/or customer choices would have the skills necessary to succeed in this career.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers are professors working in colleges and universities. An individual with a Ph.D. in an area of marketing is qualified to teach college courses on the subject and may conduct research in their field alongside teaching. Typical responsibilities are to create lesson plans, give lectures and assignments, grade assignments and exams, and work with other faculty in the same department to change, add, or remove curriculum for the degree program their courses fall under.

Top Marketing Executives

Top marketing executives work for companies and organizations and are in charge of managing and directing marketing policies, objectives and programs for the company's products and services. They direct and work with marketing management teams to develop business plans and strategies to achieve the company's objectives, as well as oversee market research, product planning, and advertising functions, and they typically report to a CEO. A Ph.D. in marketing can give someone a competitive edge when looking into this position since they should have a deep knowledge of marketing strategy and consumer and marketing firm behavior.

Top Executives (CEOs)

Top executives, such as CEOs (Chief Executive Officers), provide overall direction for companies and organizations. They manage company operations, form and implement policies, ensure company goals are met, and work with and direct other top executives. Someone with a Ph.D. in marketing would have the skills necessary to lead a marketing firm, since knowledge of consumer psychology, all aspects of market strategy, such as pricing and promotion, and experimentation and statistics on a large-scale level are taught in doctorate-level courses.

Job Title Median Salary (2018) Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Marketing Managers $64,403** 8%
Market Research Analysts $63,120* 20%
Postsecondary Teachers $78,470* 11%
Top Marketing Executives $235,885*** 6%
Top Executives (CEOs) $158,371** 6%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **, ***

How to Earn a Marketing Ph.D.

Doctorate marketing programs require students to have earned a bachelor's degree. However, a marketing degree is not required, and students must submit either a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score or a General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score; there is no minimum test score required. Typical marketing Ph.D. programs last five years and common courses include research methods, judgment and decision-making perspectives on consumer behavior, and data analysis. Let's look at these common courses in more detail:

Research Methods

Research methods courses focus on the methodology and practice behind gathering consumer data. Topics covered include the development of research ideas, data collection, and reliable measurement procedures, as well as experiment controls and variables. Illustrative examples are drawn from the psychology of consumers and managers. By the end of the course, students should have a broad knowledge of consumer research methods and how to logically and ethically conduct research experiments.

Judgment and Decision Making Perspectives on Consumer Behavior

Courses such as this that are focused on consumer behavior cover the total process behind a consumer's decision and how the process can be improved from the marketing perspective. Additional topics covered include how people process information when making judgments and decisions, rationality, judgment under uncertainty, biases, risk-taking, dealing with conflicting values, prospect theory, preference formation, and the psychology of utility. Students should come away from the course with a deep knowledge and understanding of what goes into a consumer's decision to purchase or not purchase a product or service, and how to use that knowledge to improve marketing.

Data Analysis

Data analysis courses with a marketing focus teach students about the different models for binary, count, and continuous data. This includes contingency table models, logistic and probit regression, ANOVA (analysis of variance), ANCOVA (analysis of covariance), conjoint analysis, and OLS (ordinary least squares). Additional topics include multidimensional techniques such as MDS (multidimensional scaling), cluster analysis, principal components analysis, factor analysis, and discriminant analysis. Students should thoroughly understand how to analyze data using the various methods that are standard in the marketing industry.

Individuals with a Ph.D. in marketing should have a thorough knowledge of topics such as data analysis, consumer behavior, and research methodology. This skillset can prepare them for careers in marketing consultation and research, postsecondary teaching, and top executive positions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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