Educating students to give them a sustainable competitive advantage

Christopher D. Hopkins, Mary Anne Raymond, Les Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


With an increasingly competitive job market, this study focuses on what marketing educators can do to help students develop a sustainable competitive advantage. The authors conducted a survey of students, faculty, and recruiters to develop a better understanding of what skills and characteristics might be of value to each group of respondents and to ascertain where differences might exist across respondent groups. Although the basic skills (i.e., critical thinking, communication) recruiters seek have not changed much from previous studies, recruiters rated critical thinking skills, such as problem solving, much higher than either faculty or students. Graduates must be accountable and show the impact and rationale behind decisions. In other words, educators must continue to stress reading, writing, and "arith-metrics." The lessons learned herein include ways to engage students, strengthen communication skills, incorporate skill development workshops, use professional speakers in marketing organizations, and promote services available outside the classroom as well as help students develop multiple skill sets in class. Educators should also encourage students to be open-minded, creative, and explore opportunities including internships and positions that may not be their current career choice. Finally, educators should discuss pros and cons of going straight through school or working before attending graduate school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • classroom activities
  • competitive advantage
  • desired skill sets
  • interview skills
  • job placement
  • resumes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Marketing


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