According to a recent OECD report, the average proportion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees at bachelor’s level (across 38 member countries) is 23.4 per cent. In other words, a quarter of all graduates are vying for positions in STEM fields. That number is likely to grow further in the coming years as societal growth continues to be driven by tech and data.
A STEM degree can lead a graduate neatly down a linear career path in a corresponding role, but it doesn’t have to. The skills and knowledge acquired during can lend themselves to a number of adjacent fields.
For instance, if your degree is in a STEM field, you might not have considered a career in marketing. But graduates with STEM backgrounds are particularly in demand in this field, thanks in no small part to the rise of digital marketing. From developing cutting-edge campaigns to leveraging the latest technology to engage with customers, digital marketing can offer an exciting and dynamic career path.
The depth and breadth of opportunities available within marketing mean that professionals can find a niche that will suit their interests and skillsets. Plus, with the industry changing at a rapid pace, there is always something new and exciting to learn.
Recent statistics confirm this. Over the last five years, demand for technical skills in the industry has grown by 47 per cent. Among companies that frequently participate in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – where marketers gather to discuss trends and innovations in the industry – 67 per cent said they have noticed a rise in requests for technical skills. Respondents reported a decline of 32 per cent in the requirement for creative skills during the same period. Companies are therefore actively seeking out those who can use data to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies.
Technical skills have become a crucial element of many organisational marketing strategies. Today’s marketers are often required to analyse large amounts of data to inform decisions about advertising spend and targeting audiences, as well as to measure the success of campaigns.
Beyond creating catchy slogans or designing beautiful ads, marketing is now about understanding consumer behaviour, analysing data and using that data to create effective campaigns. Having a background and training in subjects such as mathematics, statistics and computer science makes STEM-educated individuals uniquely equipped to do this. Furthermore, as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, marketing will become increasingly intertwined with AI and machine learning. As a STEM-educated individual, you will be well-positioned to understand these technologies and incorporate them into future marketing strategies.
Marketing could be an excellent career path for you if you have a STEM background. Not only is the industry in need of your skills, but it also offers a dynamic and exciting work environment. With the rise of digital marketing, you could find yourself working on projects that include developing social media campaigns, optimising websites for search engines, or analysing customer data to inform marketing strategies.
As someone with an aptitude for data analysis, statistics and coding, you’ll be able to analyse complex datasets, identify patterns and draw meaningful insights. These skills are essential in the modern marketing world, where data analysis is more important than ever.
In addition to digital marketing, there is also a growing need for STEM skills in other areas of marketing, such as product development and market research. Companies developing new products must consider a variety of factors, such as materials science, manufacturing processes and sustainability. Having STEM graduates in these positions will make these organisations well-equipped to handle these challenges and make informed decisions about product development. Similarly, market research is another avenue to consider as it involves the use of data to understand consumer behaviour and market trends.
As our industry continues to evolve, the rise of AI is set to have a significant impact on the field. From data analysis to chatbots and more, AI is already playing a major role in shaping the future of marketing. As such, there has never been a more exciting time to enter the industry and help shape its future.
A career in marketing offers a wealth of opportunities and challenges that can be both personally and professionally rewarding. Whether you’re interested in traditional marketing or the cutting edge of digital marketing, there is no shortage of exciting paths to explore. So why not consider a career in marketing and join the ranks of skilled professionals working to shape the future of the industry?
Imogen Tostevin is Head of Client Success at RAPP. She has more than 20 years of experience working in marketing agencies, with experience of transforming businesses through marketing data and analytics, product development and delivery, marketing tech strategy and implementation, marketing production and automation, marketing analysis, operational management and workflow management.
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