Good marketing determines how a business, company, or organization relates to its customers. Any company that wants to grow its customer base and boost sales needs a competent marketing professional, preferably with a marketing degree. With the appropriate marketing degree, you can find work as a marketing manager, social media manager, market research analyst, sales manager, or promotion manager, among many other roles.
In today’s digital-first world, a degree in marketing can lead you into fields such as social media marketing, digital marketing, advertising, public relations, fashion marketing, and market research. The marketing job you choose will depend largely on your capabilities and the type of education you acquire in the marketing industry.
In this article, we will explore the things you can do with a marketing degree, what marketing degree programs teach, the different types of careers you can take up with a degree in marketing, other degrees and certifications that can boost your marketing career, and the salaries you can expect to earn once you find a marketing job.
Read to the end to learn more.
What You Will Learn as a Marketing Major
Just like any other degree program, a marketing degree will teach you different aspects of the industry and essential job skills to help you secure employment faster and raise your chances of getting higher pay.
What is Commonly Included in the Curriculum of a Marketing Degree
The curriculum that each marketing degree follows depends on the degree level you are studying and the institution offering the program. However, there are key knowledge points that cut across the board as the accepted aspects of the marketing degree curriculum to equip you with the knowledge and skills that are in-demand on the marketing labor market. These include:
- Product development, pricing, and promotion
- Consumer Behavior
- Market and marketing research
- Information technology
- Digital marketing
- Social media marketing
- Business administration
Skills and Qualifications Demonstrated by a Marketing Degree
The main purpose of every marketing program is to prepare the marketing student with the right set of skills and qualifications to enable you to find work in the marketing industry. Different marketing degree programs will teach different skills, but some are common across all programs. Let’s split up these skills and qualifications into two different groups as hard skills and soft skills.
In addition to the skills outlined above that are included in a typical marketing degree curriculum, you can also acquire the following skills through a marketing degree:
- Marketing communication and Communication literacy
- Public relations
- Marketing and Web analytics
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Web design and website management
- Mobile marketing
- Conversion and optimization
The most common skills include:
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Stress management
- Exemplary leadership
Types of Jobs You Can Do With a Marketing Degree
As a marketing degree graduate, you can find a suitable marketing position as a public relations specialist, market research analyst, or a marketing communication specialist, among others. A bachelor’s degree can lead you on to a master’s degree as you advance your education. Each employer uses a unique market strategy to remain relevant, so be ready to adapt.
A marketing graduate can also join the workforce as an advertising, promotions, or marketing manager. According to the Bureau of Labor, the job growth for these three positions is expected to grow by 6% by 2029, with over 18,800 new positions created.
Types of Marketing Careers
The one good thing with a marketing degree is that it can either be used directly in the marketing industry or applied to other fields of study and work. This leads to a limitless number of careers you can get into after completing a marketing degree program. Let’s look at the different marketing roles you can take, and how you can apply a marketing degree to other fields of employment.
Common Marketing Roles for People With a Marketing Degree
The following are the most common roles for people who have earned a marketing degree from an accredited college or university.
1. Marketing Manager
A marketing manager manages the positioning and promotion of a brand or the products and services a company sells. The key goal is to attract and retain qualified customers. They also create and elevate brand awareness by creating marketing campaigns.
On a normal day, a marketing manager puts together budgets and estimates for each marketing campaign, works with selected advertising agencies, prepares sales and advertising contracts, reviews advertising material, and plays a part in key business negotiations.
Marketing managers also lead and collaborate with other marketing employees such as sales managers, salespersons, and brand ambassadors.
2. Brand Manager
A brand manager ensures that the branding for the company and its products or services is consistent across all its advertising and marketing campaigns.
3. Brand Ambassador
As a marketing professional, a brand ambassador works closely with the brand manager and marketing manager. The role involves helping businesses or companies raise their brand awareness and increase product or service sales. They may also go by the name corporate ambassadors or influencers.
4. Public Relations Specialist
A communications degree can lead to a marketing role in public relations whereby one works in the marketing department of a company or advertising agency to help the company maintain a good public image.
5. Marketing Project Manager
Just as the title tells, a marketing project manager is a project manager whose work involves planning, managing, and executing projects like marketing campaigns. They manage both projects and the people involved such as sales representatives and brand ambassadors.
6. Account Manager
As a marketing specialist, an account manager is responsible for managing relationships with specific customers or clients for the company or organization. Such responsibilities include fulfilling sales, making targeted pitches for new and existing clients, conducting meetings and demonstrations for clients, and coaching new employees in some situations. Account managers usually have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, business, finance, economics, or a relevant area of study.
7. Marketing Associate
Marketing associates are entry-level marketing employees responsible for duties like editing marketing copy, handling a company’s social media, collecting customer dynamics data, and identifying and implementing advertising needs.
How a Marketing Degree Can be Applied to Other Fields
Although most marketing degree graduates typically work in areas that directly relate to marketing, the modern-day marketing graduate can find work in other closely or non-related fields. In the digital world today, it is easy to apply a marketing degree in nontraditional fields where companies provide online products and services. These are virtual items for which companies have to hire a marketer with digital marketing experience.
Each digital marketing job involves the use of internet-based marketing platforms like social media to promote brand awareness and increase the sales of digital products and services like coaching, software, and e-learning materials like e-books.
Event management is also a good field where a marketing degree comes in handy for people with strong organization, planning, and communication skills. Companies hire event planners to plan special events, conferences, and conventions. As a marketing graduate in event management, you’ll be responsible for coordinating trade shows and other corporate events, organizing meetings, and identifying and securing strategic venues to boost a company’s exposure or generate sales.
A marketing degree can also be applied successfully in copywriting for advertising or marketing agencies. As a copywriter, you will be tasked with producing marketing-oriented copy such as sales emails, website content, blog posts, newsletters, product descriptions, white papers, among others. Since this is a lot about writing and persuasion, a marketing specialist with strong communication skills makes a good copywriter and can earn an annual salary between $35,000 and $65,000.
If you like to ditch the direct employment system, you can use your marketing degree as an affiliate marketer for companies to help them market their products or services. Affiliate marketing takes different forms with varying sales, remuneration, and distribution systems. To make a good marketing career as an affiliate, it is important to work with companies whose products or services you love, are passionate about, and wouldn’t mind recommending to others. There is no ceiling to how much you can make as an affiliate marketer by leveraging various digital platforms like social media and affiliate websites.
The modern-day digital-first world presents another key area where you can use a degree in marketing. You can work for companies or entrepreneurs as a search engine optimization specialist to help improve web rankings on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You will be tasked with ensuring the company follows up-to-date and accepted SEO practices to bring out relevant search results and enhance the user experience, grow a site’s traffic, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.
Some schools now offer digital marketing degrees that lead graduates into roles and careers such as mobile marketing, pay-per-click, social media marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing. These are nontraditional business and marketing careers that have been enhanced by technological advancements and the internet.
Typical Career Path for Someone With a Marketing Degree
A marketing career may take different paths depending on the type of marketing degree first taken. From an associate’s degree, a marketer can raise the average salary they can earn by acquiring further education like a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree.
The most common entry-level marketing jobs include marketing coordinator, communications specialist, internal and external sales representatives, social media specialist, junior business analyst, account coordinator, marketing assistant, among others.
From the lower positions, a marketing degree graduate can rise the ranks to better-paying positions like marketing manager, business development manager, brand manager, public relations specialist, promotions manager, marketing project manager, or chief marketing officer.
The time taken to reach the higher-paying positions may vary from individual to individual depending on the company and how fast the individual acquires further education in marketing.
Other Degrees to Pair With a Marketing Degree
As mentioned earlier, it is possible to spice up your marketing career and set yourself up for better employment by combining a marketing degree with another degree from a different or related field. This will help you command better pay rates and expand your job prospects as you can now work in various fields. There are different types of degrees that you can opt to combine with your marketing degree. For example, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you can choose to pursue a master’s degree in a related field to gain a new set of skills.
If you are worried that taking up another degree will overwhelm your budget, you can seek financial aid to cover some of the expenses.
It is also important to note that you don’t have to worry too much about finding time for a new degree if you are already working. It is possible to find a suitable degree program that will allow you to work as you study.
There are accelerated or fast-tracked degree programs that you can join to earn the new degree faster and at cheaper rates, especially when you opt for an online program. If you are still doing an undergraduate degree but looking for a suitable degree as a marketing degree enhancer, you have to strike a balance between the two to ensure that none proceeds at the expense of the other.
How You Can Combine a Marketing Degree With Another Field of Study
To combine a marketing degree with another one, you can follow two routes. Firstly, you can join an accelerated degree program that allows you to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree much faster than doing them separately. For a closely related marketing field, you can find a program that gives both undergrad and grad credits for certain courses so that you complete the curriculum faster. In this system, you may begin the second degree or graduate school in your senior year of the marketing bachelor’s degree.
Secondly, you can take up dual degree programs that allow you to simultaneously pursue two bachelor’s degrees.
The following combinations can work out for you if you are looking for ways to combine your marketing degree.
1. Business Degree and Marketing Degree
Although traditionally marketing has been offered as a major within business courses, there has been a remarkable shift whereby some schools now offer the two separately. You can thus combine a marketing degree with a business administration degree. When you study a four-year marketing degree, you obtain a BS, BS in Business Administration, or a Bachelor of Business Administration. From there, you can proceed to an MBA with a concentration in marketing.
Some institutions now offer a Business Administration degree with a Digital Marketing concentration to help the graduate take up a digital field like social media manager and lead an organization’s social media marketing front.
2. Project Management Degree and Marketing Degree
It is possible to combine a marketing degree with a project management degree. As seen earlier, marketing project management is one of the most common jobs for marketing professionals. You can take this combination to best help you effectively manage projects like marketing campaigns for your organization.
3. Public Relations Degree and Marketing Degree
A degree in public relations enables graduates to work as public relations specialists to manage the public image of their organization. You can pair up a pure marketing degree with a public relations one to best help you promote the company’s brand and image within the target market since companies do not only sell their products or services but also their ‘brand and image’.
Benefits of a Marketing Degree as Part of an Interdisciplinary Education
When you study a marketing major as part of an interdisciplinary program, you will be able to address specific interests that you would otherwise not meet through a separate degree. You will be pursuing two interests at once. For example, taking a marketing concentration in a business administration degree means that you will quench your thirst for both business management aspects and marketing topics simultaneously. Such combinations prepare you for a targeted role such as a marketing manager.
The interdisciplinary nature of a marketing degree exposes marketing students to a broader scope of study and understanding since as different disciplines explore marketing, marketing topics then become a theme for interdisciplinary instruction. This means that you are exposed to different approaches on the same subject or theme, so to say, and this widens your overall understanding and knowledge. The business administration teacher might teach you how to assume responsibility in marketing management positions, while the public relations expert might teach you how to approach marketing to endear a brand to its public and maintain an overall positive image.
Benefits of Pairing a Marketing Degree With Another Degree
There are many benefits of pairing a marketing degree with another degree from a different field.
- Improved Employment Chances
You will enjoy the ability to find employment in several fields when you combine your marketing degree with another one. The duality means that you are eligible for work in different company settings where the two degrees normally apply. If you take a project management-marketing degree combination, you can easily find work in marketing companies that require extensive knowledge in project management to manage different marketing projects like marketing campaigns, trade fairs, and expos.
- Room for Experimentation
An interdisciplinary approach in a marketing degree allows students enough room for experimentation on what is best for them depending on their capabilities and talents. A student with strong interpersonal and communication skills makes a good marketing professional, but they need actual marketing education to know how to deal with real marketing situations like negotiations, sales, and product distribution. It is possible to test the waters and see what to best combine with a marketing degree, or you can match your capabilities with already tried and tested combinations. With good business acumen, then a business-marketing degree combination is for you.
Salary Expectations With a Marketing Degree
The annual salary for someone with a marketing degree varies depending on several factors. To give you an overview of what to expect in terms of salary across different degrees, this section will explore different starting salaries and the highest-paying marketing jobs.
Starting Salary for Someone With a Marketing Degree
The starting salary for a marketing degree graduate varies depending on the employer and the position. The salaries for different starting roles are as discussed below.
- According to Payscale, the average annual salary for an entry-level marketing associate whose experience is below one year is $437,661. This average changes as the years of experience increase, rising to as high as $61,928 for marketing associates with over 20 years of experience.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a marketing manager was $136,850 in May 2019. The highest-paid earned $185,320 while the lowest-paid earned $97,710.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not list a brand manager role as an occupation on its own. However, Payscale reported that the average annual salary for brand managers in 2020 was $71,032. The figure ranges between $50,337 for entry-level and up to $82,896 for those with over 20 years of experience.
- The median annual salary for a market research analyst in May 2019 was $63,790 according to the BLS. The typical entry-level education is a bachelor’s degree in marketing, but some research roles require at least a master’s degree with strong analytical and math skills.
- A marketing consultant earns an average of $63,753 per year with entry-level jobs offering about $40,000. The highest-paid marketing consultants earn up to $107,000 as experience builds up.
- A marketing analyst earns an average salary of $56,473 per year, with the top 10% making $80,000 each year. The entry-level marketing analyst makes about $39,000 annually.
Highest-paying Marketing Jobs
Most of the best-paying marketing jobs for people who have mastered the modern-day role of marketing are in the digital marketing world. These positions are open to people who have earned an appropriate marketing degree or specifically a digital marketing degree. Some of these positions include:
1. Director of Digital Marketing
This is a marketing specialist who spearheads an organization’s digital product marketing strategy, increases a brand’s online presence, and drives conversions and sales from digital campaigns. As a marketing executive, the director of digital marketing works with marketing managers to implement digital marketing strategies that usually include SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, public relations strategies, digital advertising techniques, among others. The salary range for directors of digital marketing is $60,000 to $148,000, with $99,000 as the annual average.
2. Content Marketing Director
This marketing specialist has roles revolving around matters of content, including content strategy, content marketing, content development, and content scheduling. They work with and manage content creators like writers and video producers. They earn between $56,000 and $139,000, with $95,854 as the average.
3. Product Marketing Manager
A product manager as a marketing executive works around product marketing to launch new products or support ongoing marketing efforts. They do research, messaging, positioning, and launching of different products or services. They earn between $60,000 and $130,000, with an annual average of $90,769.
Other top-paying marketing jobs include:
- Demand generation manager – up to $171,000
- Director of email marketing – up to $161,000
- Director of marketing research – up to $193,100
- Director of corporate communications – up to $173,000
- E-commerce marketing director – up to $148,500
- International marketing executive – up to $282,100.
How Salaries Vary Between Marketing Roles
Several factors determine how much salary levels vary between different marketing roles. Since these factors are not a constant across the country, there may be huge discrepancies between what people in marketing roles earn from one region to another.
1. Marketing Role
Different marketing roles attract different salary ranges because some entail less demanding tasks while others require more responsibility. A content marketing manager has fewer responsibilities, and therefore earns less than a content marketing director who has to execute the overall content marketing strategy.
Salaries for different marketing roles also vary by state. In 2019 for example, marketing managers earned up to $186,350 in New York and $169,200 in California.
The term employer here means the company, business, or organization in which an employee works. Different employers offer varying salaries for the same marketing role. For example, Adobe, Blue Wolf Group, LPL Financial, Dell, and DuPont are some of the employers that pay the highest rates for marketing consultants. For example, Adobe pays $107,000 versus $92,000 at DuPont.
With the right marketing degree that fits your capabilities, there are endless opportunities that you can get into in different fields from manufacturing, media, technology, finance, health care, retail, telecommunication, among others. And there is no upper ceiling to how much you can make as long as you remain relevant by acquiring further education to enhance your marketing degree.