What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree, According to 14 People Who Have One

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A degree in marketing opens up a wide range of career opportunities.

These days, the need for exceptional marketing professionals has never been stronger!

Here are some notable career paths that you can pursue:

Emily Fritz

Emily Fritz

Marketing Manager, dio LLC

Simply put, marketers help a company, brand or organization grow. A marketing degree can lead to many different career paths:

  • Strategic marketing. Strategic marketers develop a marketing plan based on objectives, situational analysis, industry forecasts and customer outlook.
  • Marketing research. Marketing researchers review secondary and conduct primary research into key target markets, geographies, competitors and audiences, which directly impacts strategy.
  • Sales or new business development. Sales representatives engage with existing and prospective buyers and oversee accounts.
  • Marketing analysts. Data-minded analysts conduct financial and systems audits and identify efficient ways for growth while reporting on targets regularly, as well as evaluate marketing campaigns for effectiveness.
  • Advertising. Advertisers plan, design, produce and place promotional content.
  • Public relations. PR professionals build relationships with media and influencers to earn placements that maintain a favorable and credible public image.
  • Social media. Social media community managers oversee the business’s social media presence, scheduling outposts, replying to messages and responding to comments.
  • Content marketing. Content marketers write, design, create and produce a wide variety of content for marketing’s use, such as scripts, e-books, blog articles, social media posts, podcasts, etc.
  • Media planning and buying. Media teams negotiate rates and place advertisements across a variety of channels, such as TV, radio, online, out-of-home and print.
  • Digital marketing. Digital marketers manage websites, e-commerce, SEO, search advertising, display advertising, social media and other online content for brands.
  • Experiential marketing. Experiential marketers consider the customer experience at every touchpoint of the consumer journey and add more interactive, engaging moments to improve the customer’s understanding and perception.
  • Brand manager. Brand managers adapt the overall marketing strategy for individual brands, ensuring that all content adheres to brand standards and resonates with the brand’s unique audience.
  • Event marketing. Event marketers plan and execute events to promote the company, educate audiences or simply bring people together.
  • Retail marketing. Retailers design stores and in-person shopping experiences, merchandise goods/services and run promotions to generate more shoppers and sales.
  • Account-based marketing. Often part of a content marketing role, this marketer focuses on specific accounts and what they need in order to grow their business with you.

Today and into the future, more marketers across all roles will need to consider the experiences a customer or prospective customer has at each touchpoint.

These experiences shape the positioning, perception and public image, which directly correlates to growth opportunity. From how customers are surveyed to which ads they’re served to how they see a product on display all impacts their understanding of the brand.

Related: What Is Customer Perception and Why Is It Important?

Experience managers will be responsible for creating new interactive and engaging moments that will wow customers, as well as better communicate the brand’s authentic values and personality.

Experiential marketing elicits stronger emotions and deeper connections, and it is the direction that all marketing is heading. Digital marketers are incorporating more interactive rich media.

Retailers are creating destination shopping experiences. Events are becoming less sit-and-listen and more participatory. A holistic approach to experience marketing involves each channel.

In addition to the various roles a marketing degree can land you, marketing looks different at each organization. An agency works with multiple brands and accounts. A small business marketer may need to support all of the channels. A large corporation’s marketer may have a very specialized role.

Nonprofits may not have large advertising budgets but rather rely on more word-of-mouth, community outreach. There is a difference between B2C and B2B brands and how marketing teams need to resonate with each unique audience – from lifestyle to buying behavior

While growth is every marketer’s goal, marketing itself is a very varied profession.

Related: What Does a Marketing Manager Do

Crissibeth Cooper

Crissibeth Cooper

Director of Marketing, KNB Communications

What can’t you do with a marketing degree? I have a BBA in Marketing from Pace University, and I have had a variety of jobs within my 15-year career.

Marketing at its core is about understanding people and communicating value to them. This skill is widely applicable across any industry.

I have worked in non-profits, even starting one of my own. I used marketing to solicit donations, to promote events, and to grow awareness. I have worked as a compliance analyst, making sure a multi-national corporation was truthful in their marketing messages. I worked in business development and used marketing to locate prospects, nurture relationships, and position deals.

In my current position as the Director of Marketing for an agency, I work with many different types of marketers. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of people I oversee for campaigns regularly, many of whom I know have degrees in marketing:

  • Market researchers. These people devise studies and conduct primary research, or compile and analyze secondary research.
  • People who run messaging workshops for clients. They travel to a client’s place of business and help the clients understand how best to position their offerings, including differentiation and proof points.
  • Trade booth designers. They understand the look, feel, and feng shui of a trade show booth.
  • Graphic artists. They understand the art behind creating marketing collateral like case studies, one-pagers, ads, signs, and direct mailers.
  • Social media account managers.
  • Event planners.
  • Email marketers.
  • Programmatic advertisers.
  • Media salespeople.
  • Copywriters.

Ellie Shedden

Ellie Shedden

Founder & Director, THE-OOP.COM

A marketing degree is a great asset to have if you are looking to work in an agency, as it is often the first thing the recruiter will look for on your resume. Without a degree, no matter your experience, you may simply be disqualified from the job.

In my experience, I truly didn’t gain many practical marketing skills as part of my degree. They were still highly focused on the old way of marketing and marketing theory, rather than actually putting techniques into practice.

Digital marketing

In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, you really need to stay on top of tricks and trends to keep up with the ever-changing algorithms and new technologies.

For this reason, the best thing that you can do while studying marketing is to take on a part-time junior role either in-house or with an agency, where you can learn the ropes and find out how marketing works in the real world.

Analytics

Although I don’t think a marketing degree equips you to be a great marketer, I do believe there are a few topics that you should focus on in order to stand out amongst the crowd.

For example, analytics is now the most important skill an all-rounder marketer can have, and it’s super important that you can make marketing decisions based on real-world data. Learning what to measure, how to measure it, how to interpret results and make future decisions based on those results is the key to being a successful marketer in 2019 and beyond.

Start your own business

What’s more, if you want to start your own business a marketing degree can be a great initiation. Most institutions include an element of business management (eg. basic finance, basic HR) as part of the course, and these practical skills will give you the knowledge to kick off your own business from scratch.

Dr. Sandi Webster

Sandi Webster

Co-Owner & Chief Learning Officer, Pandi, LLC

When you have a marketing degree, you can work for any company. Every single business or individual needs marketing—and will always need marketing in some format.

  • Every business needs marketing to sell their product or service, regardless of the size of the business.
  • Every individual need marketing to sell themselves – whether in a job interview or as a consultant.
  • With a marketing degree, you should be able to find a job in most business areas because when you have a degree in marketing, you learned all the different aspects of a business – how to analyze a campaign, how to manage a budget, customer service, and today, social media.
  • You can move easily to other fields such as advertising, sales or market research.
  • Salespeople cannot do their jobs without marketing material.
  • If you are a woman, marketing departments are overwhelmingly female so you have a slight advantage.
  • With a marketing degree, you can become an expert in specific areas such as multi-cultural marketing, digital marketing, customer retention, small business, marketing, strategic planning, etc.
  • A marketing degree allows you to work in other countries because the fundamental marketing skills are the same.

Safwan Khan

Safwan Khan

Founder, Startupily

I have a masters degree in International marketing and I think marketing is one of the best degrees to have. These days, marketing is tough as you need to convince people to buy your product or service. Whether you work for a company or start your own venture, you will need to market to your ideal customers.

With a marketing degree there are a few things you can do:

Start a business on your own

By using your marketing knowledge and experience you can work on growing and expanding your business. once your business begins to grow you will be able to hire more people to join the team.

Marketing department

If you work in a company, you can handle a specific area within the marketing department. For example, SEO, digital marketing, print media, social media, blogging, content writing, etc. All these are different areas and some companies require individual people who are good at what they do.

Sales

If you have a marketing degree you can also work in sales. Sales & marketing are in a way interconnected and go hand in hand. Through marketing the product or service you can increase sales. Even though sales is also art on its own, having a marketing degree will give you an extra edge over other employees.

Brian Greenberg

Brian Greenberg

Founder & CEO, True Blue Life Insurance

When I got out of school with a marketing degree I wanted to find a company and work my way up to be a marketing manager. When applying for jobs close to and after graduation, it was harder than I expected.

I found it near impossible to land a marketing position with little to no work experience. I was looking for a position that paid over fifty thousand to start. Instead, I found small salaries or draws plus commission.

Sales jobs

What you find is that a marketing degree is more synonymous with a sales job when starting out. This is not a bad thing. Starting in sales is a great way to learn what motivates customers to buy. In marketing, having sales skills serves you throughout your career.

Online marketing

There is a saying that “the twenties are for learning, and the thirties are for earning.” Learn what you don’t like. What I found is that digital marketing is a great industry.

The online marketing field is growing and provides different areas of focus. It requires both marketing and sales skills. You can start off with freelance work on the side. Hone your writing skills.

After you build up experience, more opportunities open up. While companies are hesitant to hire entry-level workers, they seek out those with experience. You’ll have access to creative positions, management, startups, and executive positions.

Be prepared to work your way up. Don’t be in a hurry. Marketing is a great field to be in.

David Peterson

David Peterson

Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy at HealthMarkets

A marketing degree can open doors to a variety of opportunities in really any industry.

There are still the traditional creative roles many think of when they think of marketing, requiring the ability to ideate and create different types of advertising, utilizing graphic design, creative writing, and editing.

But these days, there are more marketing roles geared toward research, measurement and data analytics that require marketing skills along with mathematical skills.

Of course, the digital world we live in – with social media and the various forms of digital communication that exist – also present various opportunities for marketers.

You can be involved in the creation and implementation of specific products or services utilizing a marketing degree – or you can start a sales career. And then there are roles that blend the creative aspects with analytics – the opportunities are truly limitless, in my opinion.

Alexandra Marin

Alexandra Marin

Co-Founder & Director of Design, Code Crew

A marketing degree opens the world to you – it’s that dire first step that opens so many doors in the business realm in the US. Like any college degree, it lets an employer know that you’re capable of sticking through years of work that requires critical thinking.

With a marketing degree specifically, you open more doors than you would with many other degrees. Every company needs a marketing team and there’s always a vacant position, so you have nearly guaranteed employment for life – not a bad deal!

With this degree, you can explore each niche of marketing and go all-in, or even switch to a different part of the marketing world a few years after you graduate – really, a marketing degree is broad enough to give you the opportunity to try your hand at various channels, yet vital enough to always allow you to find a job somewhere. A marketing degree is a golden ticket.

Sales

Personally, I’ve used my marketing degree in a few ways – I started off doing sales with it, believe it or not, because through gaining market experience in school, you learn some of the ins and outs of the sales process as well, at least in the larger scheme of the conversion funnel.

Email-marketing

From there, I dabbled in general marketing – paid ads, search, etc. It wasn’t until a couple of years in that I found my niche by happenstance, but have been in love with it ever since – email marketing.

Thankfully, since I had a marketing degree – again, broad enough to allow me to try different marketing channels, I had the opportunity to land in an area that I really loved – my friends with finance degrees, accounting, and non-business degrees never had that opportunity, and it’s made a world of a difference in terms of my overall happiness with work.

I can’t recommend a marketing degree enough to any high school or college student – it’ll open more doors than anything else, and you’ll find something that you enjoy.

Natalie Jaeger

Natalie Jaeger

Director of Growth Marketing, Zoe Financial

Having a marketing degree is an underrated asset. A general marketing degree lends itself to many different industries and marketing professions.

From overarching roles like a general marketing specialist to something as specific as an email marketing specialist, there is a role for everyone. An integral part of deciding how to use a marketing degree is deciding which part of the marketing you gravitate towards the most.

Brand strategy, organic content, paid advertising, digital or traditional advertising are all common areas to think about.

But at the end of the day, all businesses will require some sort of marketing efforts in order to acquire and retain clients.

If you’re currently struggling with how to find a job with your degree, be proactive. Attend MeetUp and industry events, join LinkedIn groups, find alumni networks and network. You will find your niche in the space and make an impact!

Sierra Robertson

Sierra Robertson

Founder & Content Creator, Madison and Vine Consulting

I graduated from the University of Washingon, Foster School of Business in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing.

Marketing Coordinator

Immediately after graduation, I was the marketing coordinator for a small helicopter flight school that offered tour and charter services. I utilized my degree as I created a social media strategy, composed emails and replied to customer service emails, and revamped our entire website and online booking system.

Community Manager

After that, I was offered a position as a community manager for a social media marketing agency, where I managed the social media profiles of 16 clients and wrote the social media copy for 4.

Freelancer

Later, I left that job to start my own freelance role from home, and have used my knowledge of marketing to land multiple clients, and I currently have a 5-figure revenue business that I run completely from home, and which has allowed me to start a family. I now provide email and social media copywriting and light administrative support for my clients.

My knowledge and connections from university directly led to my career path, and without the strong background in marketing, I do not believe my business would be as successful as it now is. I have the flexibility to do as much (or as little!) work as I want because of my marketing degree.

Alex McCormick

Alex McCormick

Content Executive, It Works Media

If someone is undecided on which course they want to study at university, they should definitely consider taking a marketing degree.

Marketing is a great course because it opens doors to an array of different career paths.

It covers a wide range of business areas without being too general, meaning you gain a specialism without being pigeonholed into one niche career.

When I began searching for jobs after I graduated, I found that therewas a wide range of roles I was qualified for. This is because marketing covers a number of areas, including advertising, PR, product management, strategy, communications and pricing strategy, to name just a few.

As well as these, there is also the option to go into digital marketing, which opens up a whole other catalog of careers, such as social media management, SEO, PPC, email marketing and web content. So, if there’s an aspect of the profession you’re not as interested in, you can simply move away from it to focus on one of the other areas you enjoy more.

Personally, I’ve started my career as a content executive for a digital marketing agency in Leeds. My degree was hard work, but it was worth it, as I managed to get a job just a few months after graduating.

The communications aspect of my degree helped me to refine my writing skills, while the digital marketing aspect gave me a good understanding of SEO principles and how to write content which is SEO optimized. This combination of writing skills and digital marketing skills made me a natural fit for my current role.

Plus, I still have plenty of other skills to utilize should I wish to branch out into other areas of the profession, so there are plenty of career options for those who choose to study marketing.

Sam Harrison

Sam Harrison

Empowering Speaker, Zing Zone | Author | Coach

My undergrad marketing degree gave me fundamentals on general business skills and, perhaps more important, insights and perspectives on how and why consumers buy and use products and services.

Marketing focuses on how consumers (which is all of us) think and live, and that educational background provides a variety of opportunities in the business world.

My marketing foundation—supplemented with studies in design, journalism, and communications— has served me well in a creative, widespread career that has included marketing, product design, branding, event planning, public relations— and led me to where I am now as an author and speaker on creativity-related topics.