Boost Enrollment and Prepare Your Students for a Hot Job Market

March 23, 2023

Careers in marketing are spiking, and there is no indication of a slowdown.  Forbes wrote about growing employer demand in an article posted last month:  “As organizations are focused on driving more traffic to their website and converting online leads, there is a growing need for experienced and knowledgeable marketing professionals.” 

Gray looked at completions, enrollment, Google search, and employment data for a Bachelor’s in Marketing/Marketing Management.  There is generally good news for institutions considering whether to start or grow this program.  Traditional data on program growth (IPEDS) has been flat, but more current data on new student enrollment and Google searches showed significant gains.

Student Demand for Marketing Degrees

Gray’s software includes three metrics for academic program student demand:  IPEDS completions, National Student Clearinghouse enrollment, and Google keyword searches.  Each source has its strengths and weaknesses, as discussed in one of Gray’s recent blogs, so we use all three metrics to determine student demand.

Completions are Trending Up

Completions are an indicator of long-term trends and past behavior.  Total completions in marketing grew steadily until 2019 and then flattened out, most likely because of COVID.  There are 10,829 more completions in 2021 than in 2013, with a small dip in 2021 year-over-year.Marketing/Marketing management total completions - Bachelor's Award Level 2013 - 2022

Source:  PES Markets, Gray’s analysis of IPEDS data

Online completion volume is much smaller but has almost doubled since 2013.  It looks as though COVID accelerated growth during 2020 and 2021, bumping up online completions by 16.5% year-over-year.

Marketing/marketing management online completions (bachelor's award level 2013-2021)

Source:  PES Markets, Gray’s analysis of IPEDS data

Student Enrollment in Marketing Continues to Grow

Total enrollment in Bachelor’s of Marketing programs grew from 135,945 in Fall 2018 to 143,987 in Fall 2022, up over 8,000 students in four years.  Growth year-over-year was almost flat in Fall 2022, at one percent. However, this metric includes all students enrolled. Growth in new student enrollment is stronger.

Bachelor's in marketing: total enrollment (fall 2018 - 2022)

Source:  Gray’s analysis of National Student Clearinghouse Data

New student enrollment was also up in Fall 2022. It rose 7.5 percent year-over-year, quite a bit faster than total enrollment.

Bachelor's in Marketing: New student enrollment (fall 2018 - 2022)

Source:  Gray’s analysis of National Student Clearinghouse Data

Significant Growth in Google Searches

We saved the best for last:  in February 2023, Google searches for Marketing programs rose a whopping 87 percent year-over-year.  Among those searches, the highest volume in Marketing keyword details was for “marketing degree online,” with 74,730 searches out of the 158,838 total searches for marketing – nearing 50 percent.  This suggests that, over the next year, enrollment in marketing should rise rapidly.

Bachelor's in marketing Google search Volume (February 2022 - 2023)

Source: Gray’s Keyword Search Dashboard

Marketing Jobs Are Available

In January 2023, employment demand for Marketing Managers was strong relative to other occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree. Marketing Managers were the fifth highest in all job postings volume by occupation. Related fields in sales were also in the top ten.

January 2023 Highest job Postings

Source:  Gray’s Job Postings Dashboard

Not all people working in marketing management have degrees in marketing fields of study. In fact, only 21% of marketing managers in the workforce reported to the American Community Survey that they majored in a marketing field of study. This indicates that institutions may want to incorporate marketing skills in other programs.  Below are the top 10 degree fields of graduates going into marketing jobs.

Field of Degree by Occupation (marketing managers, standard occupational classification)

Source:  Gray’s analysis of the US Census’s American Community Survey

For higher education institutions looking to grow enrollment and improve student employment options, the data indicates that a bachelor’s program in Marketing is a winner all around. Student demand in completions, new student enrollment, and Google searches is trending upwards, and job opportunities are high for graduates.

Monica Bilson

Senior Project Manager

Monica produces webinars and conference presentations, contributes to blogs, and manages internal projects for senior leadership. She is the designer and manager of Gray DI's course with Bay Path University, Academic Program Evaluation and Management.

About Gray DI

Gray DI provides data, software and facilitated processes that power higher-education decisions. Our data and AI insights inform program choices, optimize finances, and fuel growth in a challenging market – one data-informed decision at a time.

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