If you are considering the possibility of pursuing a marketing degree, ask yourself, “Why?” What is it about that field that interests you? Is it because no matter where you go in the world people recognize “The Golden Arches” of McDonald’s, the Nike swoosh, or even the red and white soda can of Coca Cola? Each of those logos is a part of the most successful marketing campaigns on the planet.
If the prospect of getting to put your creativity and artistic skills to work earning a paycheck instead of following the starving artist path sounds alluring, marketing might be for you. Or, if you enjoy interacting with people on many different levels and platforms through various mediums, marketing can be an excellent career choice. Whatever the reasons you’re considering a marketing degree, there are some things you need to know about what a career in marketing is like before you commit to pursuing that path in college.
Because of the diversity of the course content required for a marketing degree, it can set you up to pursue more than just marketing. Many of the classes in the core curriculum will help you to be successful in areas public relations, market research, advertising, and the business realm in general. A marketing degree includes coursework in finance, economics, and business management, so even if you decide to switch majors or pursue a business path after graduation, you’ll already have a solid business foundation. In fact, many marketing majors go on to pursue their MBA’s.
Marketing is a field that is wildly popular right now. With the explosion of technology, e-commerce, and digital advertising, the marketing and advertising worlds have grown to keep pace. That’s a great thing for those who can get their marketing degree and find an entry level position post-graduation to get their foot in the door. The bad news is that because the field is so popular, it is becoming saturated – meaning it’s becoming harder and harder to find those entry level jobs.
Something that most college students aren’t made aware of, however, as they are plugging away at their coursework is that almost all careers in marketing will require starting out in sales after graduation. That’s right, you’ll go to college for two or four years taking classes in creating campaigns that will convince consumers to buy products, but when you land your first job, it will most likely be in sales. While nearly all companies and businesses will want someone who has a marketing degree, they will want you to have the actual experience of selling so you know how to best use all the knowledge you gained in college.
The reason for that is because ultimately, marketing and advertising both boil down to convincing people to buy things. The belief is that if you can’t sell something to potential customers through a current marketing campaign, you won’t be able to construct an effective marketing or advertising campaign on your own. You need to learn how consumers think and react to different approaches and learning it on the job is the best model for that. It is known as the experiential learning method.
In the end, a marketing degree is a smart move for those who enjoy being creative team members that employ various methods across multiple platforms and mediums to strategically target consumers for advertising campaigns. And for those who don’t mind cutting their teeth in sales, a career in marketing can be both exciting and prosperous.