Choosing a Degree

What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree?

If there’s one degree that covers the gamut of business, social sciences, humanities, communication, digital and technology, it’s marketing. Marketing offers a hot job market for qualified graduates who can think strategically, create relevancy and deliver measureable results.

With the exception of information technology, this widening field may be responsible for more career innovations than just about any other.

Think about it.

A generation ago, marketing professionals had no concept of social media. There was no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter. And no need to work any of that into the marketing mix.

Today, marketing continues to evolve at warp speed.

Right now, there’s a huge need for savvy marketers who can position organizations to understand, leverage and capitalize on all the powerful things digital has to offer.

More importantly, in today’s high-tech society, the next big thing is always right out in front. So companies big and small, agencies, internet marketers and ecommerce retailers need well-prepared college graduates who can help them build community, draw qualified traffic, influence followers and deliver return on investment (ROI).

With a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you can develop and refine your skills in such key areas as:

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Ecommerce
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Market Research and Analytics
  • Promotion
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media

Is marketing right for you?

Marketing is everywhere. Every industry, every type and every size of business needs – and relies on – marketing for profit and success.

Marketing, says Bruce Ramsey, MSC, MBA, chair of the undergraduate marketing program of Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, is an interesting and growing field.

“Contrary to what people think, marketing is not limited to advertising and sales,” he says. “It’s also not limited to agency careers, though that is an option. There’s a whole other side we call the ‘client side,’ which means working for a company who uses marketing to generate business success.”

Which, Ramsey says, is part of what draws students to marketing.

“The majority of our adult-learner marketing students are not currently working in the field,” he explains. “Most are career changers who want to move up in their own organization or move into the marketing department. An undergraduate marketing degree is a good fit for working people who want to move into marketing without becoming really specialized in something like, say, marketing research. A general marketing degree lets you participate in helping your organization figure out what to do to become more effective at what it does, whether that’s creating product or selling services.”

Done right, marketing can help organizations:

  • Boost customer engagement
  • Build brand awareness
  • Drive organizational performance
  • Increase the bottom line
  • Influence purchasing behavior
  • Promote goods and services
  • Strengthen customer loyalty

Without marketing, none of that can happen in the best, most efficient manner.

From marketing theories and methodologies, to research and planning, to smartly structured communication and strategy, a bachelor’s degree can prepare you to help your employer or organization maintain a competitive edge.

Are you right for marketing?

As a general rule, there two types of people who typically are drawn to going back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Are you one – or both – of these?

  1. Communicators. This includes writers, bloggers, journalists, storytellers and others who like to express themselves through words. This personality type thrives on certain aspects of internet marketing such as content creation, blogging and social media.

Is creativity your thing?

That’s a really good start, says Ramsey. “Most of our students are surprised that marketing is not just about being ‘big C Creative.’ Sure, a big part of marketing is creativity, but not in the way people think; it’s more about having the ability connect creativity to strategy and then being able to explain it. I call it ‘purpose-driven communication’ because a good idea is not worth anything unless you can articulate it in a compelling way.”

  1. Analytics. This includes number crunchers, data geeks, predictive analytics and others who enjoy interpreting information and synthesizing findings. This personality type enjoys many of internet marketing’s most important skills, including understanding purchasing behavior, optimizing conversion through split rates and beta testing, and measuring digital efforts through web analytics and other tools.

According to Ramsey and other marketing professionals, marketing as a profession requires a fair amount of ingenuity blended with analytical, communication and problem-solving skills.

Here’s a list of other success skills for those planning on a career in marketing:

  • Collaborative, cross-functional approach
  • Comfortable with themselves and with telling a story
  • Computer literate
  • Deadline oriented
  • Good oral and written communication abilities
  • Is energized and learns better when actively engaged
  • Prefers a high-energy environment
  • Presentation capabilities
  • Self-disciplined
  • Successful at multitasking and shifting priorities

As long as the inclination for those things is there, the right degree program can teach you the rest.

Pursuing your degree in marketing should give you a foundational knowledge of the terminology, theories, frameworks and methodologies used in the marketing profession. But the real game-changer? Application in the real world.

“One thing I like to see students get out of their studies is to learn how to frame their ideas in a way that’s compelling,” says Ramsey. “The thread that runs through our classes and program curriculum is giving presentations and practicing how to tell an influential story.”

Careers and Employment Outlook

If you decide to major in marketing, your studies will help you add a variety of sought-after skills to your résumé. Plus you’ll be better prepared for career positions in which earnings potential and job outlook is very good.

As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that marketing careers will increase far better than average—by 17 percent by 2025. By 2025, there will be estimated 1.3 million marketing jobs in the United States. And, with a median income of $44.27 per hour according to Emsi, a Career Builder company, the field is considered well-paying, too.

“It’s long been recognized that in some fields you need a degree,” says Ramsey. “For example, in finance you need an accounting degree. Unfortunately, that’s not been the case with marketing. Sometimes people migrate into it without a degree, but that always shows up in their performance and ability to advance.”

Here are just a few of the job titles you’ll be ready for when you earn your bachelor’s in marketing:

  • Account Executive
  • Advertising/Promotion Manager
  • Brand Manager
  • Copywriter
  • Marketing Manager
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Media Planner
  • Production Manager
  • Promotions Coordinator

Or, if you want to focus in digital marketing, you might consider:

  • Digital Media Director
  • Digital Optimization Analyst
  • Director of Internet Marketing
  • Director of Web Analytics
  • eCommerce Manager
  • New Media Manager
  • Digital Marketing Analyst
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Paid Search Specialist
  • SEO Manager
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Web Marketing Manager

One of the most interesting things about marketing is that jobs are available in a variety of industries.

“Former students of mine are working for law firms doing marketing. Banks, too. And anyplace where relationship marketing is needed. Really, no industry is off limits,” Ramsey says.

While the majority of marketing graduates will start out at junior- and associate-level positions, advancement to mid- and upper-level management can be swift, depending on performance.

“CEOs have traditionally come more from the finance area,” says Ramsey, “but that’s shifting because of the strategic aspects of marketing. Now we’re seeing more and more executives, including chief marketing officers (CMOs) come out of marketing.”

Ready to take the first step toward an exciting career in marketing?

Learn more here.