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Can China’s education system meet demand for digital marketers?

Updated: 14 Apr 2016
Educational institutions and businesses need to play a greater role if China is to meet the demand for qualified and experienced senior digital marketers, says recruiting experts Hays in China.
According to the recruiter, few applicants have digital marketing experience or qualifications, creating a significant skills shortage in China.
“Education providers need to prepare graduates with the foundations and competencies needed to plan and execute world-class digital initiatives,” says Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China.
“Furthermore, the predicament is exacerbated by the business community’s unwillingness to foster digital marketing skills by fully investing in digital marketing initiatives.
“We are seeing that industry requires digital marketing as an essential component of the marketing mix,” says Simon. “However, there is a lack of investment in training and resources that will enable marketers to be savvier when it comes to extracting actionable insights from data.”
There is a wide range of undergraduate and post-graduate academic qualifications in marketing on offer in China but there is concern that the topics taught at university are not keeping pace with rapid advancements in the industry.
The UK has been quick to adopt changes in digital marketing and is embedding vocational marketing qualifications into undergraduate and postgraduate studies, enabling marketers to graduate with solid practical skills.
“In China we need to see the widespread incorporation of digital marketing at undergraduate level, along with dedicated digital qualifications to ensure entry-level marketers are educated in digital early in their careers,” says Simon. “This will give graduates an opportunity to compete in a booming market desperate for skilled personnel.”
Forging a digital future
So how do marketing professionals ensure they are well educated on the fundamental principles of marketing, while also keeping abreast of industry developments?
“Firstly, more collaboration with industry bodies is needed to provide students with data analysis skills that will enable them to make sense of the mountain of new data produced by brand interaction in social and digital environments,” says Simon.
“Then, by converging and integrating traditional university education with vocational marketing qualifications, marketing professionals can forge a digital future in which they can feel confident about extracting actionable insights from data.”
According to Hays, a good undergraduate degree backed up with work experience should go a long way in securing an entry-level position in a strong organisation.
“This is a good foundation for a successful marketing career, but the learning curve doesn’t stop there,” says Simon. “It is important to ensure your continuing professional development.”
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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About Hays
Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.
Hays Specialist Recruitment  (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.
Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company with more than 7,840 staff operating from 239 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.