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An insider’s view of the pricing profession
Is there a career in pricing?
The question of whether there is a career in pricing—and if so, what rewards and challenges it holds—should concern employers as well as individuals.
As little as 10 or 15 years ago, most prices were set by salespeople, marketers, or product managers as part of their overall responsibilities. Today, however, more and more companies are treating pricing as a job in its own right. For good reason: A strong pricing capability, one that uses the multitude of new pricing technologies and tools developed over the past couple of decades, can be a powerful way to bolster a company’s stock price and its bottom line.1 And the time and attention needed to get modern pricing right often means dedicating full-time resources to the job.
But despite the growing recognition of its value, pricing as a profession still suffers from something of an image problem. Many outside the field view pricing as a niche specialty without the status of longer-established functions such as finance or operations. Even some pricing specialists we’ve spoken with wonder if pricing can give them the same professional opportunities that they might find in other fields.
The question of whether there is a career in pricing – and, if so, what rewards and challenges it holds – should concern employers as well as individuals. Companies seeking to build a world-class pricing capability would do well to understand what attracts pricing professionals to the field, what they like and dislike about their jobs, and what employers could do to better find, keep, and motivate them.
To explore these issues, Deloitte surveyed 317 pricing professionals about their past experiences, current jobs, and future expectations. The results were revealing. Pricing, far from being a dead-end job, can not only be a satisfying career in itself but also provide a springboard to positions in other fields.
1“Clear and Present Value,” Deloitte Development LLC, 2008