By almost any measure, marketing academia is in a better shape than it has ever been. Job prospects for PhD students have improved substantially in recent years. According to the 2017 Marketing Academia Labor Report, there were 1.83 candidates per new assistant professor (“rookie”) position compared to 2.85 to 1 in 2010. Moreover, there are 37 open positions for advanced assistant professors with only 14 people looking for such positions. The median 12-month salary for entry-level positions is $190,000, up from $162,260 in 2010. Colleagues in the School of Arts & Sciences, as well as most people in the government or private sector, would gladly enjoy such opportunities.
These positive developments are underpinned by an increase in interest among undergraduate and MBA students in marketing, a consequence of the global financial crisis which has brutally uncovered flaws in the finance system. No longer do marketing departments need to play second fiddle to finance departments.
Yet, well-justified satisfaction with where we are should not make us complacent. Looking forward, our field must recognize and formulate a response to developments around the two major dimensions of our work as marketing academics: teaching and research. In this editorial, I present my views on these issues, informed by working 35 years in marketing departments at four universities in three countries, including chairing departments at two universities for nearly 20 years, and leading the graduate program in business at a third university. You may agree with some ideas and disagree with others. That is fine. Keep in mind that there is no single way to Rome. The key is to think about these developments and formulate responses that best fit the culture and tradition of your own business school and marketing department.