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The employability attributes required of new marketing graduates

Neil Wellman (Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales Cardiff (UWIC), Cardiff, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 26 October 2010




The purpose of this paper is to inform the development of vocationally focused marketing curricula by identifying the employability attributes required from new and early career marketing graduates.


Existing literature was used to develop a matrix of previously identified attributes. Content analysis of 250 online person specifications for a range of entry‐level and early career posts allowed the matrix to be populated and modified. Like attributes were grouped and organised into clusters to provide profiles of common requirements.


Under half of employers demanded a degree and less than a quarter a marketing one. Experience is generally required, thus questioning the value employers place on marketing degrees. In total, 52 attributes, within 16 clusters, were identified, common ones included communications, interpersonal relationships, information and communications technology, planning, self‐management, decision making and problem solving. Within the subset of macro and meta competences, 22 personal traits, including creativity, responsibility, initiative, determination and confidence, were commonly required.

Research limitations/implications

Findings quantify desirable attributes but fail to address issues of definition, rationale, contribution and measurement. These will be addressed within further qualitative research.

Practical implications

Educators should consider how the identified employability attributes can be addressed within the marketing curriculum in order to enhance the employment prospects of graduates.


The research verifies and adds to previous data regarding desirable attributes for marketing graduates. However, it also offers new, UK specific, data and a novel model to differentiate between micro and macro/meta competences and inform how transferrable skills and personal attributes combine with subject skills and knowledge to create employable graduates.



Wellman, N. (2010), "The employability attributes required of new marketing graduates", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 908-930.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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