Entry-Level Marketing Salary: Expectations Vs. Reality
Published on: 30 Sep 2022 | Author: Jorge Uceda
The Great Resignation is upon us, and in 2022 it’s one of the big concerns for companies. Beyoncé called it; her newly released song “Break My Soul” seems to be the anthem of a whole generation—namely, Gen Z—posting their resignations on social media.
So we wondered: what is the expectation for an entry level marketing salary and how does it compare to the reality of the market?
In general, branding and marketing students expect to get 19% more than what the market is able to offer them.
Most companies offer a net salary range between €1000 and €1500 for entry marketing students, which is more than a 50% decrease from students’ expectations, who mostly expect a salary of €2000.
In most countries, women expect to earn 5% less than men do. However, results differ from country to country, with Spanish and German women expecting more than men do.
In Spain, the average expected net salary from students is €1534 and the average salary offered is €1222, making both the lowest salaries among the countries surveyed.
Overall, it is the second-highest gap in our survey, in which graduates can expect up to 25% more than what the market can actually offer them.
Surprisingly, Spain is the country in which women can expect a salary of up to 50% more than men do, all the way to €2141 from €1412, making it the highest gap of all markets in this regard. The majority of the Spanish women in our study came from the region of Andalusia.
There is reason for marketing graduates in Germany to rejoice: the HR departments there revealed they have the highest entry level marketing net salary offer among the rest of the countries surveyed.
Companies are ready to offer an average salary of €1882, just 10% less than students’ expectations of receiving an average of €2071.
Alongside Spain, Germany is the other market in which women can expect to earn a higher net income than men. The latter expects an average of €2000, while the former a 12% higher average salary of €2240.
Most of the responses from the German female students in our survey are derived from the region of Hesse.
France is the country where students’ expectations are most in agreement with the market offering, with a net salary expected to be only 5% higher than the reality.
In France, a marketing student expects to earn €1864 when the average net market offer is €1777.
The average net salary expectation of a male student in France, €1946, is 8.41% higher than that of a female student, which is €1795. Most of the French male students in our survey are based in the regions of Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France.
By far, Belgian marketing students have the highest net salary expectations of all markets in our study, and also face the biggest gap when those expectations are compared to reality.
On average, Belgian students expect to receive an average of €2500, higher even than the general average of all markets combined. The net market offering for those students, according to HR departments throughout the country, is €1806.
Even though it’s only the second-highest salary offer in our survey (after Germany), it makes for a 38% gap compared to students’ expectations.
Male Belgian students expect to earn almost 19% more than female Belgian students, placing it alongside France. On average, men expect €2667 and women €2250. The majority of these male students come from Brussels and Flanders.
The disparity between entry level marketing salary expectations and what they can actually receive seems to be another factor contributing to the Great Resignation phenomenon in the marketing field.
Even students in countries where the expectation mismatch begins to disappear, such as France, are left with the same issue in regard to their gender, as it seems that women expect to receive a lower net salary than men.
Especially in countries like Spain and Belgium, where income expectations are not met, marketing students may turn elsewhere to find an economic compensation that suits their needs and desires, and they will spare no efforts in letting the world know—via social media.
The study was conducted between April 4th and April 8th, 2022, among 500 marketing graduate students and newly employed marketers, as well as 100 HR teams in 4 countries: Belgium, Germany, Spain, and France. In the study, we asked students about their net salary expectation for their first job, and HR departments about the average salary offer for each of their markets. The responses are anonymous.
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