A marketing degree can lead to exciting careers in consumer retail, business consultation, public outreach, and brand management.
In the fast-paced world of marketing, professionals can find employment as market research analysts, marketing specialists, and marketing managers. This versatile major also leads to opportunities in advertising, sales, and public relations. Marketing professionals research consumer demand for products and services, investigate pricing strategies, and build interest in new product releases through social media and advertisements.
This guide explores different types of marketing degrees, plus available career paths and resources for graduates.
Careers in Marketing
A marketing degree prepares graduates for roles in marketing, advertising, public relations, and sales. Marketing majors work for marketing firms, advertising agencies, and public relations agencies. They also work as marketing managers and supervisors.
Below, you’ll find more information about the job duties, earning potential, and projected job growth rates for common marketing degree jobs. In addition to these marketing careers, graduates can pursue opportunities in event planning, project management, media planning, and search engine optimization.
What Kind of Marketing Degree Jobs Are There?
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
|Median Salary (2019): $135,900||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 6%|
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers develop and implement promotional strategies for their organizations. They identify trends in consumer demand, make suggestions for the development of new products, and create pricing strategies to maximize profits. They also identify new markets for their organizations.
|Median Salary (2019): $126,640||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029): 4%|
Sales managers oversee a team of sales professionals. They develop policies for the sales team, set goals, and analyze data to find opportunities for improvement. Sales managers also create training and reward programs for their sales teams.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Public relations and fundraising managers oversee an organization’s public image and its fundraising strategies. They manage a team of specialists, set public relations or fundraising goals, and report to top executives on the progress and outcomes of their campaigns.
Top executives create long-term development strategies for their organizations. They may work as general managers, organizational managers, CEOs, CFOs, or chief marketing officers. Top executives work with other executives and managers to identify areas for growth and to implement new policies.
Sales engineers market scientific or technological products directly to businesses. They explain how products and services work, recommend upgrades, and help research new products.
|Median Salary: $72,850||Projected Job Growth: 7%|
Technical writers create documents to help users operate technical equipment or understand technical information. They may create instruction manuals and guides for consumers or write technical documents for internal use within an organization.
Market Research Analysts
Market research analysts collect and analyze data to determine consumer demand for products, potential sales for a new service, and pricing strategies. They measure interest in new products and help companies increase their market shares.
Public Relations Specialists
|Median Salary: $61,150||Projected Job Growth: 7%|
Public relations specialists are in charge of brand image for their employers. They develop a public relations strategy, manage social media programs, and write media releases to build positive public perception of their organization.
What Kinds of Marketing Degrees Are There?
Students can earn marketing degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Many colleges also offer marketing certificates that provide specialized training. Each degree prepares graduates for different marketing degree jobs. For example, marketing specialists typically need bachelor’s degrees, while many marketing managers hold master’s degrees.
Associate Degree in Marketing
An associate degree in marketing introduces learners to foundational business concepts. Students take courses in business, accounting, and finance, along with classes like strategic marketing and integrated marketing communications.
Earning an online associate degree in marketing takes two years for full-time students. After completing the degree, graduates can transfer to bachelor’s programs to advance their education. They can also pursue careers in direct marketing, sales, and administrative support roles.
Master’s Degree in Marketing
A master’s degree in marketing offers advanced training in marketing research, strategic marketing, and marketing management. During a graduate program in marketing, students strengthen their analytical and research skills. Depending on the program, they may also complete internships to develop practical experience. Graduates can pursue careers as marketing managers, social media managers, and internet marketing managers.
Earning a master’s in marketing typically takes two years, though some programs offer an accelerated option in which students can complete the degree in less time. In addition to online master’s in marketing programs, graduate students should consider master’s in internet marketing and dual master’s degree programs.
What’s the Difference Between a Master’s Degree in Marketing and an MBA with a Concentration in Marketing?
A master’s degree in marketing and a master of business administration (MBA) with a concentration in marketing both prepare graduates for supervisory positions in marketing department and agencies. However, a master’s in marketing emphasizes marketing research and management, while an MBA focuses more on general business and leadership skills.
Students considering an MBA can research online MBA programs with no GMAT requirement.
Doctoral Degree in Marketing
A doctorate in marketing prepares graduates for the most advanced roles in the field. For example, marketing professors typically need doctorates before they can pursue tenure-track roles. Senior marketing executives and market researchers can also benefit from earning doctorates in marketing.
During an online doctoral program in marketing, graduate students specialize in areas like consumer psychology, pricing strategy, or business marketing research. After meeting coursework requirements, learners must pass comprehensive exams and complete original research projects or dissertations. Doctoral candidates must successfully defend their dissertations to graduate. Earning a doctorate can take 4-7 years.
Certificates in Marketing
A certificate in marketing typically focuses on a marketing specialty. For example, students can earn certificates in digital marketing or strategic marketing. Many professionals pursue certificates to add specializations to their training or help them transition into new fields. Some certificates require prior professional marketing experience or a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Earning an online marketing certificate can take several months or over a year, depending on the program. After completing a certificate, marketing professionals can move into specialized roles, like digital marketing specialist or social media specialist.
Accreditation for Marketing Programs
Prospective marketing majors should research accreditation before applying to marketing programs. Regionally accredited schools meet high standards for educational excellence. Many employers only hire graduates with accredited marketing degrees, and professional certifications may also require an accredited degree.
Some marketing programs also hold programmatic accreditation, usually through the business school. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business grants accreditation to business programs, including marketing programs.
Marketing Professional Organizations
- American Advertising Federation AAF dates back to 1905. Today, the organization represents advertising professionals through over 200 local chapters across the U.S. Student members benefit from career support and access to job opportunities through a career center. AAF hosts local and national conferences, holds career fairs, and offers advertising awards for students.
- American Marketing Association This leading association for marketing professionals publishes scholarly journals and marketing news to keep its members current in the field. Members can also participate in virtual training opportunities or attend virtual conferences to connect with other professionals. AMA also offers certifications, webinars, and chapter events.
- Society for Marketing Professional Services Founded in 1973, SMPS advocates for marketing professionals who work in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. This organization offers networking opportunities, educational resources, and access to research in the field. Members can also access professional development tools, the Marketer journal, the Marketing Resource Center, and leadership opportunities.
- American Association of Advertising Agencies 4A’s promotes the advertising industry by offering brand management resources, information on client relations, and agency compensation data. Members can also access industry-specific resources on healthcare, technology, retail, and other industries. 4A’s also publishes resource guides on agency financials, business leadership, project management, and strategic account planning.
- Mobile Marketing Association MMA supports mobile marketing professionals through educational programs, working groups, and best practices resources. The association also publishes benchmark studies, mobile cognition research, and mobile economic impact studies to help marketing specialists adapt to the changing marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Career in Marketing Stressful?
Marketing can be a fast-paced career with long hours. As a result, some find a career in marketing stressful. However, others find that it is an exciting career path.
Is a Marketing Degree a BA or BS?
Marketing majors can earn a BA or a BS in marketing, depending on their school and program. Typically, a BA includes more foreign language, humanities, and social science courses, while a BS includes more math and natural science courses.
Does Marketing Pay Well?
Many careers in marketing pay above-average salaries. Market research analysts earned a median pay of nearly $64,000 per year in 2019, while marketing managers took home a median annual income of nearly $136,000.
Are Marketing Majors in Demand?
Many marketing jobs report strong demand. BLS data projects that employment for market research analysts and marketing managers will grow at faster-than-average rates between 2019-2029.
What Is a Marketing Degree Good For?
Marketing majors can use their analytical and research skills to pursue careers in business, sales, public relations, advertising, and marketing.
Is Marketing a Good Career Choice?
Careers in marketing report above-average salaries and strong projected job growth rates, making marketing a strong career choice. Many entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Header Image Credit: PeopleImages | Getty Images