What Kind of Jobs Are Available for Marketing Majors?
Updated : July 29th, 2022
Getting a marketing degree is a good way to gain exposure to many different facets of the business world, qualifying you for a career path that’s flexible and ever-changing. In fact, people who currently are working toward earning a marketing degree likely will someday hold jobs that don’t even exist yet. If you’re fascinated by what makes people purchase certain products or make other consumer decisions and you want to help influence their choices, a degree program in marketing can be a great first step along that path.
What Can You Do With a Marketing Degree?
- Market Research Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Assistant
- Public Relations Specialist
- Data Analyst
- Social Media Manager
A degree program in marketing can open up a world of potential business opportunities, teaching invaluable skills in creative problem-solving and providing long-term options for both career development and job security. Marketing students typically graduate with effective communication skills and strong creative thinking – skills that are always in demand within just about any workplace.
Marketing majors usually have no trouble finding jobs. Most companies need the expertise of a good marketing professional to unearth consumer insights and raise overall brand and product awareness. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the future remains bright for students completing marketing degree programs, with the job market continuing to expand well into the future. Jobs in marketing remain in high demand, and demand for some roles, like marketing research analyst, are expected to grow by as much as 20% in future years.
What Is a Marketing Major?
A marketing degree program allows students to study both the art and the science of what consumers want and how they make decisions when they choose products to meet those wants. The term “marketing” is a fairly large umbrella that encompasses many different disciplines associated with developing and promoting goods and services that are meaningful to the end consumer.
Because the topic is so broad, a marketing degree program provides exposure to a wide variety of topics, including market research, advertising and promotion, business administration, public relations, economics, consumer behavior, supply chain management, finance, integrated marketing communication, digital marketing, business management and sales, just to name a few. Those who work in marketing must be both strategic and creative, understanding what the data tell them about consumer motivations and preferences and engaging with consumers in the ways most meaningful to them.
What Does a Marketing Major Do?
There are many marketing career options available for graduates with a marketing degree. Here are just a few.
Market Research Analyst
Those who participate in market research make it their goal to fully understand the needs, behaviors, habits and motivations of the target consumer. In short, market research analysts gather, analyze and make business recommendations based on data about their consumers and their competitors. They also may analyze overall market conditions to help their companies better understand potential sales of a particular product or product extension. Through their data collection and analysis, market research analysts help the decision-makers at their companies understand the needs of their target consumers, along with what products those consumers may buy and how much they’ll be willing to pay for them.
Market research analysts may design surveys and run focus groups or design other qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to get the consumer information that’s most important to their organization or their client(s).
In many cases, those who study marketing may end up being a brand or marketing manager for a particular product or line of products. In this typically more senior role, the marketing manager participates in efforts to understand the needs of the target consumer and also provides insight into product development and promotion. In this way, the marketing manager serves as a voice for the consumer and can help guide product development and marketing strategy to meet the consumer’s true needs – not necessarily the needs assumed by product engineers. Working as a marketing manager typically gives someone a voice about every area of product development, including product attributes, packaging, pricing and continuous improvement and iteration.
In addition, marketing managers are responsible for generating consumer interest, trial and brand loyalty among key consumer groups. They are experts at using communications, advertising and digital marketing tools to make sure people know about their products and have as few barriers to trying those products as possible. Many marketing managers begin their careers as sales representatives, public relations specialists, marketing specialists or marketing coordinators before eventually moving into marketing management positions. Those interested in these types of roles should have strong interpersonal relationship skills, plus strong creative and strategic planning skills.
Marketing assistant is typically an entry level position that entails supporting a marketing team as it executes marketing strategy on behalf of a particular product or company. Supporting activities may include collecting feedback from consumers, creating presentations or reports to share with company leadership and leading some of the day-to-day administrative tasks associated with keeping a campaign focused, such as tracking digital marketing analytics.
A position as a marketing assistant is a good role for learning as much as you can about running marketing and advertising campaigns – marketing assistants typically help all members of a marketing team at a wide variety of levels, so they get good insight into what it takes to effectively market products and services.
Public Relations Specialist
A public relations specialist typically deals with the “earned” type of product or service promotion – they may work with mainstream reporters, bloggers, social media influencers, or other types of partners who can help spread the word about a particular brand, company, or product. In this role, they may develop news releases and media advisories and host news conferences on behalf of clients. They may pitch stories to bloggers and reporters and be a resource to partners who have questions about the brand or organization.
Public relations specialists also may help plan special events and appearances at trade shows for many brands. Overall, a public relations specialist may be charged with helping support and maintain a positive image for clients, organizations and brands as part of a larger marketing strategy. A specialist position typically is an early marketing career position, and those who choose the public relations route may continue to rise into director or manager roles, eventually even becoming a chief spokesperson or chief communications officer.
Much like a marketing research analyst, a marketing data analyst is a key function of any successful and strategic marketing department. The data analyst is simply more specialized. Whereas a marketing research analyst may hold a leadership position that has input into organizational decisions and marketing strategy, the analyst focuses more intently on the data themselves.
For example, a marketing data analyst might spend the majority of their time cleaning, organizing, and exploring very large data sets to look for patterns that may help drive business decisions. They may create hypotheses and use advanced business analytics tools and tactics to test those hypotheses against their consumer or competitor data.
Data analysts work in tandem with their professional sales teams, providing any insight that is relevant to consumer trends, market conditions and competitor analysis. A data analyst is likely also to work on the same team as a marketing research analyst, serving as an important part of the group that can make sound business recommendations based on patterns present in the organization’s data sets. Data analysts often also visualize their data through various charts, graphs and other images to help illustrate their recommendations and findings.
Data analysts often are well versed in computer programming, math, statistics and data engineering, along with being strong communicators who can use data to tell a story and to support a recommendation.
Social Media Manager
A social media manager helps develop, curate and maintain a company, brand or product’s online image by developing effective digital marketing strategies that cross all digital assets and also developing appropriate content to support this marketing strategy. Social media managers often are charged not only with raising visibility of a brand, but also with increasing consumer engagement through the two-way tools of social media and digital advertising.
A social media manager develops day-to-day content for their brands, using digital marketing tools including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube. Content is carefully adapted to suit different channels and audiences.
A fundraiser often is to the nonprofit world what a professional sales associate is to the for-profit world. Fundraisers use their expertise in strategic marketing to help drive philanthropic support for their organizations, helping donors match their passions and resources with the needs of the organization and those it supports. Fundraisers work to raise awareness of and engagement in the important work of their organizations, much like a marketing manager raises awareness and engagement for a particular brand or product.
How Much Can I Earn with a Marketing Degree?
Your overall earning potential will depend largely on the specific jobs you take and the industries those positions serve. For example, a nonprofit fundraiser will likely make considerably less money than a chief marketing officer for a large corporation. It’s always important to balance the salary you make with the life your position allows you to build.
It’s also important to think about your own professional development after you earn your undergraduate degree. Some marketing majors choose to pursue graduate degrees that allow them to further refine their specialized knowledge. Many go back to business school to pursue MBAs, while others specialize in international business, brand management or business management.
When it comes to entry level salary, you’ll find jobs that range in compensation from $35,000 to $80,000 per year. And depending on industry, a seasoned Chief Marketing Officer can make well upwards of six figures per year. As recently as 2020, the median annual salary for U.S. graduates with marketing degrees was $54,500. Those with marketing degrees who work in technical, scientific and professional service industries tend to be the highest earners. These are all important factors to consider, especially if you need to pay back money you received in financial aid for your marketing degree. It’s good to know that a marketing graduate with a bachelor’s degree typically makes more money than a marketing graduate with an associate degree.
Is a Marketing Degree Right for Me?
Ultimately, you’re the only one who can answer the question of whether a marketing degree program is right for you. It might be wise to take an introductory marketing class just to see how the subject resonates with you. There are some other important questions you can think about – like whether you enjoy solving intricate intellectual puzzles, whether you enjoy learning about people, including why they behave the way they do or why they make the choices they do.
Don’t let the cost of college be a deterrent. Students can find many different options for financial aid, including scholarships, Pell Grants, and federal student loans that can help you make pursuing a marketing degree a reality.
Do you have thoughts, ideas and potential approaches to make products appeal to consumers? If your mind works this way, a marketing degree program may be right for you. If you’re able to work with a career coach or other career services professionals, they can help provide more insight into the roles and responsibilities of various strategic marketing positions.
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