A marketing degree is a two- or four-year degree found at colleges, universities, and trade schools. Marketing students take on formal studies in almost every area of marketing including:
- Marketing management
- Marketing science
- Marketing research
- Marketing strategy
As you complete your marketing degree, you quickly learn that there are many disciplines involved in the field. From behavioral psychology to statistics, the subject relies on both the social and mathematical sciences to achieve its ultimate goal: sales.
Marketing is a popular degree for those interested in business and psychology in part because it’s a continually evolving field. Marketers have a vital role in any business, and they are on the front lines of adapting to new technology.
Have you thought about a marketing degree? We’ll show you what kind of degrees are available and what you can do with one.
Types of Marketing Degrees
You can earn a marketing degree at any level of academia including:
- Associate Degree
- Bachelor Degree
- Master’s Degree
- Doctorate Degree
Many companies looking for marketers hope for at least an associate degree from job applicants, but employers increasingly look for bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
Still, unlike other fields like law or medicine, a degree isn’t necessary. You may find that with the right practical experience, you may secure an entry-level job with an alternative degree or no degree at all.
What Courses Prepare Students for a Career in Marketing?
As a student, you’ll take a combination of core courses required to cover the foundation of marketing and a mix of optional electives.
The core courses are broad in nature because of the practical implications of marketing. You’ll take classes like:
- Economics (Macroeconomics)
- International Business
- Marketing Research
- Consumer Behavior or Psychology
Across these courses, you’ll learn about issues like:
- Current trends in practice and service
- Sales and sales management
- Applied research methods and practice
- Marketing and communications
Why Get a Degree in Marketing?
With so much training available online, why do employers look for degrees? More importantly, why should you get a degree in marketing?
Employers use degrees as a reference point for filtering through the best candidates.
Degrees provide a comprehensive level of theoretical knowledge that’s often on-par with what practicing marketers currently use. They see someone with a degree as someone who knows the basic tenets of the discipline so that both the employee and employer speak the same language.
Employers also value the commitment to learning and success that comes with a high level of academic attainment. No one will tell you that you can’t have a successful career in marketing without a degree, but you will find it is easier to start your career with a degree.
Finally, a marketing degree gives you the opportunity to specialize in the field. With a focus on creative writing, psychology, or mathematics, you’ll find more ways to sell yourself as employers and stand out as a candidate.
What to Do with Marketing Degree
One thing that students love about a marketing degree is that they don’t pigeonhole themselves when it’s time to enter the workforce. With a marketing degree, you can use the skills gathered during your study and apply them to your interests.
Almost every organizational type hires marketers including:
- Commercial and private business
- Public sector bodies
- Graduate training schemes
- Small business and start-ups
- Finance sector
- Charities, non-profits, and NGOs
You can even skip the traditional route and head straight for self-employment by working as a freelancer or contractor.
Fresh from graduation with little job experience? You’ll start in entry-level marketing jobs.
Here are a few jobs to keep an eye out for:
As a marketing assistant, you’ll dive straight into almost all the major marketing tasks under the supervision of the marketing manager.
One of the benefits of this position is you get involved in end-to-end processes that round out your knowledge of theory. You might write content and press releases, work or communicate with clients, implement research projects, or manage a marketing plan.
The role includes a good mix of administrative and technical tasks that help new marketers understand the practical breadth and scope of a career in marketing.
Did you focus heavily on research, statistics or business studies? Try out a marketing analyst role.
Marketing analysis work even more heavily with data than the assistants or even marketing managers. Much of the data relates to customer satisfaction, which you gather via surveys.
Research methods are essential in this role because you want data that provides actionable insights. As a result, you’ll write, disseminate, and analyze surveys and data via the internet, focus groups, interviews, and as part of marketing campaigns.
As a marketing analyst, you’ll work for two parties: the business as a whole and the marketing team. You gather insight into the customer that’s valuable for operations and development, but you also work with the customer relationship management system that informs communications.
Marketing Sales Representative
Do you love the sales aspect of marketing? Then, you’ll enjoy an entry-level career as a marketing sales representative.
A marketing sales representative works with customers to help them decide what services they best need. You’ll work both with leads and face-to-face with customers to give presentations, offer proposals and run up contracts.
Interpersonal skills are the critical marketable skill for the position, so be sure to highlight your communication experience.
Marketing Account Executive
A marketing account executive blends the sales representative job with that of the marketing assistant.
In this job, you’ll work closely with clients to ensure your products and services continue to meet their needs. You’ll sell, manage contracts, and work together with the marketing team to service the client.
As an account executive, you become the face of the advertising agency for its clients. Get ready to learn to balance priorities, manage daily output, and manage customer satisfaction.
Marketing roles extend up through organizations, and some companies even include marketing in the C-level executive suites. If you grow your marketing and leadership skills simultaneously, you can work your way up from assistant to manager and even into specialist roles that pay well and place you at the forefront of marketing within your chosen industry.
The steps between entry-level roles and these jobs often depend on your organization’s hierarchy, but here are a few posts you can expect to see along the way.
Demand Generation Manager
A demand generation manager offers specialist skills in lead generation and strategic marketing that they’ve developed over the first few years of their work experience.
Your goal is to oversee the processes that gather leads and then turn leads into customers. To do so, you’ll work between marketing and sales to perfect your contribution to the sales funnel by creating the most effective advertisements possible.
Marketing directors tend to have a degree with at least five years of experience in their field. They work in communications, advertising, and marketing management typically in product or strategic marketing.
The marketing director oversees all marketing operations for a specific product or strategy, and they often report to the senior marketing director. They offer a delicate balance of marketing and communicates knowhow with management and leadership skills.
Where might you go from here? You can grow your career from Marketing Director to Senior Marketing Director and all the way up to Vice President of Marketing (with a few more stops in between).
After around ten years (or less for the best and brightest), you’ll find yourself prepared to enter the role of creative director.
Creative directors typically start in an advertising or media position with technical skills across the Adobe suite and branding. Your focus is becoming a leader for the creative teams that work on graphics, music, media or in another similarly creative field.
From here, you can work your way up to the head of your department or even as far as the Vice President of Marketing.
Chief Marketing Officer
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role is the highest-ranking, and usually, the highest-paying position a marketer can reach that falls explicitly within the field of marketing. You’ll need to stick with your career to enter the job because the average person doesn’t get here without twenty years of experience.
As the CMO, you’ll know online, product, and strategic marketing and have a real head for business development. Most CMOs also have an advanced degree like an MBA or higher in their field.
You might not associate executive positions with marketing right now but know that a marketing degree is an excellent way into and through the C-suite. Twenty-percent of CEOs started as marketers and worked their way up.
Where Will Your Marketing Degree Take You?
A marketing degree can take you from an entry-level career to the leader of a Fortune 500 organization. Along the way, you’ll develop creative, analytic, and interpersonal skills designed to set you up for a long career in a dynamic field that almost every organization relies upon.
Have you thought about a career in marketing? Where do you hope it will take you?