What Can I Do With a Marketing Degree?
In today’s fast-paced work world, in-depth marketing knowledge provides a competitive edge. This field has always held value, but it’s even more vital in an age of social media.
These days, branding and online outreach are central components of business success — and those who understand how these swiftly-changing techniques work (and where they’re headed in the future) provide clear value to employers. Hence, the value of a business marketing degree, which equips aspiring professionals with both foundational knowledge and the ability to adjust quickly in an evolving digital landscape.
Types of Marketing Degrees
If you’re interested in studying marketing, you might initially feel overwhelmed by the sheer range of options available. Not only are marketing degrees offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, programs that heavily emphasize marketing are often known by completely different names. Below, we break down the main options currently offered to help you determine which program best fits your situation.
Associate Vs Bachelor’s Vs Master’s
From associate to master’s degrees, marketing programs are available at every level. Which type of degree you select will depend on your prior level of education and which kinds of marketing jobs you want to pursue following graduation. In general, it’s best to opt for a bachelor’s in marketing at minimum, as this is the lowest barrier to entry for many jobs.
Online Vs In-Person
Many marketing programs are available both online and in-person. Either option can be valuable, depending on your location, schedule, and personal preferences. An online marketing degree can be great for working students who want to get a leg up in their career but need the flexibility to balance their marketing education with a full time career.
Business Administration Vs Communications
Another key consideration when choosing a path to studying marketing in college? Whether the program should primarily focus on communications or business. Both options involve marketing to some extent, but other areas of study differ considerably.
Specific types of marketing (and marketing-related) degrees worth pursuing include:
Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing
While the term marketing may not always be explicitly included in this degree’s name, it can still be a central component of the program. Beyond this, however, business administration is important for understanding essentials such as accounting and finance, which are valued skills in many marketing positions. Top courses offered in this program include:
- Marketing Management
- Marketing Research
- Consumer Behavior
- Advertising and Promotions
These required courses can be accompanied by valuable classes that delve into information systems, microeconomics, managerial finance, and more. Students emerge equipped with the ability to excel in both marketing and managerial positions.
Bachelor of Arts in Communications
This interdisciplinary degree exposes students to a variety of relevant subjects that will be of value to them as they hit the job market. It’s a great option for anyone with an interest in marketing and also wants to develop transferable skills that will open the door to other career paths. By specializing in business communication, students can gain practical skills that will be of value in areas such as human resources, public relations, and, of course, marketing. Foundational communication courses that also promote a greater understanding of marketing concepts include:
- Intercultural Communication
- Communications Theory
- Research Methods
Upon graduating, students can pursue positions as social media specialists, content strategists, promotions coordinators, and more. Many obtain further training at the master’s level.
How Strong Is the Demand for Marketing Professionals?
When determining whether to study marketing, it’s only natural to be curious about job opportunities and the likelihood of quickly finding work after graduation. The good news? In general, marketing shows strong demand. This varies based on the niche and the job title, however.
At the upper level of the profession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights a job outlook of 10 percent between 2020 and 2030 for the category including advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. With an average growth rate of 8 percent across all professions, this places this group of professions slightly ahead of the growth rate of the ‘typical’ job.
The future is even brighter for market research analysts, as the BLS anticipates an outlook of 22 percent in the next decade. Those who study marketing sometimes end up in public relations, which holds a reasonable outlook of 11 percent. Recent data is less accessible for the myriad of other job titles that relate to the marketing field, but for most niches, marketing degree jobs are plentiful.
Many marketing majors feel confident that they can find work once they graduate, but their earning potential may still be left up to debate. Thankfully, the strong demand for highly trained marketing professionals allows graduates to seek a strong salary, as many employers are willing to provide exceptional wages for the best candidates.
Because pay can vary so significantly from one marketing niche to the next, we’ve outlined the current average annual earnings for several common positions, with data supplied by PayScale:
- Social media manager: $52,326
- Digital marketing manager: $68,059
- Content strategist: $62,350
- Promotions manager: $54,639
- Experiential marketing specialist: $66,381
- Search engine optimization manager: $72,139
- Corporate communications manager: $84,530
- Senior marketing coordinator: $60,052
Things to Consider When Deciding if a Marketing Degree Is Right for You
If the career outlook and salary data highlighted above are any indication, marketing is a great degree if you want job security. Still, that is just one of many considerations to keep in mind as you make important decisions about your field of study. Other factors to take into account include:
1. Career Goals
Long-term career goals should play heavily into deciding whether to obtain a marketing degree — and more specifically, which degree to pursue. Any type of marketing degree can improve job prospects, as many employers list upper-level education as a minimum requirement. Beyond this, however, you’ll want to determine how relevant your selected degree is to the type of position you desire.
If you hope to work in a corporate or managerial capacity, a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing may be the best fit. If you want to master skills that help you excel not only in marketing, but also in broadcast media, public relations, or even education, an interdisciplinary communications degree might be a better fit. Ultimately, however, any type of degree that includes a strong emphasis on marketing has the potential to help you achieve your most ambitious career goals.
2. ROI for a Marketing Career
The return on investment in marketing can be significant, especially when you combine a relevant degree with a few years of experience. Still, it’s important to consider the other side of the equation: the cost of tuition and the need to set aside time for classes.
When considering how to fund this investment, remember many students are able to pursue their degrees while working. At the undergraduate level, paid marketing internships are common and may lead to lucrative positions. Other students may be able to work entry-level jobs on a full-time basis as they seek the education to prepare for a promotion. Beyond this, scholarships and grants can help many students complete their degree before they go on to secure excellent earnings.
3. Personality & Interests
Yes, the ability to find stable work matters, but ideally, this will not come at the cost of career satisfaction. In marketing, both are possible for those with the right personality and natural talents.
A variety of people discover a passion for all things marketing, but the field is particularly appealing to those with the following traits:
Personal interests are also worth considering, especially as you determine your preferred marketing niche. If you’ve always been intrigued by advertising and digital outreach, you’ll find plenty in the marketing world to pique your interest.
Can You Teach Yourself Marketing Instead?
Some aspiring professionals assume that they can DIY their way into a successful career. This is occasionally possible, but in most cases, unlikely. After all, the majority of entry-level marketing jobs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
What’s more, while insights into select subjects can be gained through the school of hard knocks, many others require targeted instruction from experts. Finance and accounting, for example, are preferably not learned on the job, where tough lessons could lead to huge losses for both ill-prepared professionals and the companies that employ them.
Summing It Up: Why a Marketing Degree Is Definitely Worthwhile
We began this discussion with a simple question: Is it worth it to get a marketing degree? By now, the answer should be clear: Yes! That said, you’ll need to select the right degree and concentration — and be in the right mindset to commit to your marketing program. Your academic efforts will prove incredibly rewarding and could ultimately lead to your dream career in marketing.
Are you ready to pursue a future in marketing? At Siena Heights University, we have the marketing degree program you need to make the grade in and out of the classroom.