Interview for "Expert" magazine

Updated: Feb 20

The younger generation chooses marketing

Marketing has become the most popular area of study among HSE undergraduate programs.

The results of admission of applicants to educational institutions from the top 25 RAEX ranking in 2021 showed a sharp increase in the demand for marketing programs. This direction has begun to crowd out computer science and software engineering programs that have been popular in education in recent years. The reasons for the growing popularity of marketing in Russia, according to the Higher School of Economics, lie in the promotion of the idea of ​​such education in general, the development of online sales and a sharp increase in demand for specialists in this field.

So, in 2021, the HSE Graduate School of Business undergraduate program took the first position in the university in the competition for a place - 72 people, while showing one of the highest passing scores for the budget among the leading universities - 96 points. In 2020, the percentage of students who chose the HSE Graduate School of Business precisely because it has a specialized marketing program has grown to 10%, and in 2021 to 18%.

This became possible, explains the academic director of the educational program of the university "Marketing and Market Analytics" Daniil Muravskii, by promoting the idea of ​​marketing education in general. “For several years, we have been actively explaining to schoolchildren and their parents what marketing is, that decisions related to it (target audience selection, positioning, naming, branding, product design, etc.) are in many ways the most interesting, what is in business. This is what the same schoolchildren dream of becoming entrepreneurs for,” he says.

As the expert noted, in Russia marketing is not a specialty, but a specialization. “And most schoolchildren do not even know that such an option exists upon admission. We explain that marketing is not sales, not advertising, but what the business as such is built on. After all, no business is possible without consumers,” Daniil Muravskii points out.

Indeed, those who have grown up or studied abroad in their time can hardly be surprised by the popularity of marketing among applicants: in Europe and especially in the USA, this area of ​​study has long been one of the most popular not only in top business schools, but also in large general universities. The image of an entrepreneur-marketer became a symbol of the American success story at the end of the last century. But the same could not be said about the attitude towards marketing and marketers in our country: the heyday of the direction abroad fell on the period of the Cold War in the USSR.

However, over the past decade, due to the development of globalization, the change in the generation of company managers and the growing popularity of digital marketing practices, attitudes towards marketers have improved significantly. Due to the need to manage social networks, online communities and the transition to new advertising media, the activities of a marketer could clearly form in the mind of a Russian manager. She finally separated from the functions of IT, sales and advertising. In all ratings of the leading recruiting agencies, marketing professions began to occupy the top places as the most demanded and highly paid.

Today, the sharp rise in the popularity of the marketing profession in higher education is due to a number of factors. The economic crisis associated with the pandemic was in many ways similar to the effect of the 2008 crisis: marketing budgets began to collapse sharply, the useful life of research results rapidly decreased in response to a rapidly changing epidemiological environment.

However, a feature of this crisis was the forced transition to new distribution channels: online delivery, online shopping and other contactless service technologies. This, in turn, has led to an increase in the demand for specialists who can quickly and accurately find and understand a new target audience and rethink the path of an existing client, rebuild customer interaction processes, and create and communicate new value propositions.

Meanwhile, the growing interest in marketing education, which began even before the pandemic, has affected all levels of education: undergraduate, graduate, additional education. Marketing specializations became more and more popular in comparison with other areas of management and were often restructured into separate programs. So it was in 2017 with the undergraduate program "Marketing and Market Analytics" at the Higher School of Business of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

However, the market quickly became saturated with low-quality, short-term marketing programs from private organizations and individuals. Arguing the value of integrated marketing training in the framework of two-year master's programs has become an important challenge for Russian education.

Daniil Muravskii, Associate Professor, HSE Graduate School of Business, Director of the Educational Program "Marketing and Market Analytics"

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“Modern marketing is digital marketing, these things are inseparable. During the first session, our students learn the classic marketing concepts according to Kotler, and during the next session, they learn how to program in Python and, for example, collect consumer data based on discussions on social networks. We do not insist that a modern marketer must necessarily be a top programmer, but he must certainly understand well how to organize and carry out data collection, how to analyze it, in order to effectively build all his decisions on numbers, and not on assumptions or someone else's intuition. ", - says Daniil Muravskii.

The HSE Graduate School of Business' integrated portfolio of marketing programs is a response to the modern consumer's demand for studying marketing at all levels of education, the university noted. By 2021, the HSE Graduate School of Business, through the expertise of its own employees and the involvement of international specialists and practitioners from leading companies in Russia and the world, has formed both ready-made educational solutions (bachelor's and master's programs) and customized programs (additional professional education) in the field of marketing. These programs are implemented both in offline and online spaces (for example, the online master's program in Marketing Management).

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