One afternoon, you’ll find yourself in an auditorium filled with hundreds of other students, most of whom you don’t even know by name. You’ll all be wearing silly square-shaped hats and long-flowing, ridiculous robes. On that day, you’ll realize your own future is right in front of you – and it’s absolutely exhilarating. But also a little terrifying.
It seems like many older adults have forgotten just how daunting that can be. To be honest, that’s because it seems much scarier than it actually is. It doesn’t have to be a negative and frightening experience at all, especially if you’re interested in becoming a marketer.
Why would entering the world of marketing be a positive experience?
To understand the answer, you need a better understanding about careers in marketing.
What Do Marketers Do?
A career in marketing is certainly not for everyone. It can be both exciting and rewarding. However, it’s also extremely fast-paced. To find success in the field, you must possess a distinct set of traits and abilities. (We’ll get to what those are later.)
The truth is, a career in marketing can take you in several different directions, depending on where you decide to work and what job you decide to take on. It’s a pretty expansive field with many different positions and responsibilities.
There are many possible job titles that come with a marketing job, such as the following:
- Marketing account manager
- Marketing account executive
- Managing associate
- Marketing coordinator
- Customer service communications coordinator
- Database coordinators
- Email marketing specialist
- Print production specialist
There are more, especially various project manager titles. After reading that list, hopefully get the idea. The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to marketing and specialties.
In general, marketers handle everything from selecting the shape and scope of a project to generating awareness for a brand or company. The smaller the company is, the more roles a marketer tends to fill. For large companies, like corporations, there are generally entire departments dedicated to marketing. These departments are filled with dozens of employees, all of whom specialize in different areas.
Is Marketing the Right Career for You?
Since the field is in a constant state of fluctuation – with trends, strategies and methods ever-changing – you need to be quick on your feet and extremely versatile. Marketers tend to come from a variety of different backgrounds, but often possess similar skills and abilities.
They tend to be creative and self-motivated, while adversely being just as useful in a team-based environment. In addition, they’re often very detail oriented, able to plan accordingly and efficiently, yet they’re always open to last minute changes.
Finally, many of them are excellent leaders – in both thought and action – yet are loyal followers when it’s appropriate. Even so, there are many additional traits that are equally as important, such as staying up-to-date on trends, remaining actively optimistic, being highly relatable with consumers and more.
To shrink all of that into a smaller scope, the world of marketing is challenging and can often require a lot of you, but the end result is definitely rewarding.
If you possess most of those traits, or feel the description applies to you, that’s great! If you’re unsure about pursuing a career in marketing, answering these questions should help you decide:
- Is career that is endlessly changing in scope and demand exciting to you?
- Are you comfortable with being directly responsible for the reputation, vision and future of a brand, company or product?
- Do you like to remain in-the-know about all the latest market happenings and trends?
- Can you remain self-motivated under the influence of extreme pressure and strict deadlines?
- Are you a knowledge sponge, willing to absorb and analyze an endless amount of information, stats and data?
If you answered yes to any of these questions – or all of them – you’re likely well-suited for a career in marketing.
Marketing Opportunities and Potential Pathways
As an example, here are a few areas you can specialize in when pursuing a career in marketing, with important information about job specifics:
Internet Marketing and SEO Specialist
- Primarily responsible for generating engaging, quality content for online sites and social networks
- Average salary: $40,122
- Degree: Marketing, PR, English, Journalism and Communications are acceptable degrees. Also, an Internet Marketing or Digital Marketing Minor, if available. As of now there is no degree in SEO, but there are many ways to prepare for a career in this field outside of the classroom.
- Typical Skills: HTML, Web Analytics, Web Marketing, Email Marketing, Web Content Management, Search Engine Marketing, SEO Optimization, Social Media Marketing
Marketing Analyst (Research)
- Offers businesses insight into the marketing side of products and collects relevant data and research, and also comes up with ways to do so.
- Average Salary: $51,000
- Degree: Bachelor’s in Marketing, Marketing Research, Psychology and other related fields are great.
- Typical Skills: Project Management, SQL, Business Analytics, Strategic Marketing, Marketing Research, Software Proficiency, Email Marketing, Web Marketing, Outreach
Public Relations (Managers or Coordinators)
- Plan, manage and employ materials that will maintain or improve the public image of a business or brand.
- Average Salary: $93,310
- Degree: Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, English, Marketing and Business degrees are common.
- Typical Skills: Corporate Communications, Media and PR Relations, Social Media Marketing, Software Proficiency, Press Release Experience, Event Planning, Client and Customer Communications
- Works in cooperation with a team to identify and establish long-term goals and plans for a brand and its products.
- Average Salary: $63,000
- Degree: Bachelor’s in Digital Marketing and Social Media, if available. Similar degree patterns to Internet Marketing.
- Typical Skills: Business Strategy, Advertising, Web Analytics, Online Social Media Marketing, SEO Optimization, Software Proficiency
- Generally handles most – if not all of – advertising-related projects for a company or brand, which often includes working with a large team. The advertising industry is steadily increasing and offers great potential as more innovative advertising methods present themselves.
- Average Salary: $80,000+
- Degree: Bachelor’s in Advertising, Marketing, Design and Business
- Typical Skills: Advertising, Project Management, Software Proficiency, Self-Motivated, Online Social Media Marketing
College Degrees and Popular Majors That Specialize in Marketing
Often, marketing professionals come from various backgrounds and fields of study. This is acceptable because you don’t need to major in marketing to enter the field. While most jobs will take credentials into account, experience is very important in this career.
If you’re interested in becoming a marketer, here is a quick list of some popular college degrees (besides Marketing) for those entering the field. Keep in mind, this is not a list that describes the only reason each degree applies, but perhaps offers the most relevant reason.
- Psychology. This helps you better understand people in general, and how they might think or react to various marketing strategies. This is often referred to as consumer behavior.
- Public Relations. This is self-explanatory as it will prepare you for a role in PR, but it helps you prepare for working with clients and customers in general.
- Media Studies. A media studies degree can be used in many jobs, but it offers valuable experience working as a PR specialist or media marketer.
- Journalism. This degree offers great insight to public relations and media in general, since there is typically a lot of news going out in these fields.
- English. Majoring in English will prepare you for the heavy writing these careers sometimes entail, especially as content marketing continues to increase.
- Advertising. Knowledge and experience in business advertising is essential in most – if not all – areas of marketing.
- Digital Design. Marketers often have to create attractive and engaging media content for public consumption such as infographics, websites, marketing campaigns and the like.
Exploring careers in business? Be sure to check out the entire series of career exploration posts!
A Career in Real Estate
A Career in Marketing
A Career in Business Law
A Career in Finance
A Career in Accounting
A Career in Insurance
A Career in Supply Chain
A Career in Human Resources
A Career in Management
A Career in Sales
A Career in Consulting