Employers hire graduates for positions within their firms. The marketing field requires significant "hands on" experience in order to function fully. Because it is a dynamic field much of the skills will need to be learned on the job but there are a few things universities can do that will help improve student's abilities to function within new positions. Gaining actuation experience while in school and designing curriculum around employer needs are just a few.
Employer perspectives on graduate readiness to immediately work within their field is at a mismatch (Walker, et. al., 2009). The researchers interviewed 14 graduates and 14 employers to obtain their results. There is a lack of skills to fit the organization. Specifically, this relates to obtaining and applying relevant skills. The authors recommend that students gain some level of real business case experience, develop closer business-university relations, and switch from seeing higher education as an extension of high school to an entry point for business.
Real experience could come through internships or actually working on businesses cases that reflect what they will be doing in the outside world.
Developing stronger relationships with the business world could be found through partnerships, surveys, and actual development of a community of executives that like to review curriculum objectives.
We think of education as an extension of knowledge. While this is ok, we way also want to ensure that we are specifically focusing for our jobs and giving the right components based on industry needs.
Walker, I. , et. al. (2009). The development of competent marketing professionals. Journal of Marketing Education, 31 (3).