Careers in Marketing

The term “marketing” covers a fairly broad spectrum of business and business activities. It is the marketing professional who typically develops and sells a businesses’ brand. The marketing approach and plan that a company devises determines how their service or product will be seen in the public eye. As a marketing professional, the name and reputation of a company is often set on your (and your fellow marketing teams’) shoulders. Because the marketing profession is so broad, professionals in this career field tend to have an array of duties and responsibilities. Marketers, in general, must have a strong capacity for in-depth research to gain a thorough understanding of their customer base, recognize changing societal circumstances that might require an altered marketing strategy, and understand competitor goals and strategies.

Entering the professional marketing world demands a high level of specialization. Common tasks that marketers take on include product packaging, branding, pricing, advertising, promotions, distribution, and much more. While the salary and benefits will vary from one organization to another, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median salary for a professional in marketing areas including advertising, promotions, and marketing management at $108,260 per year. The job growth for marketing professionals is believed to be about as fast as average in the U.S. at 14%, with 216,800 jobs available in the market in 2010, according to the BLS. However, remember that these numbers are projections rather than guarantees.

Required Education for Marketing

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most entry-level marketing positions in the professional world. Because marketing positions encompass such a wide array of tasks and skillsets, many employers consider candidates with a variety of educational backgrounds. However, some employers prefer advertising or marketing management positions to be filled by individuals with a bachelor’s degree specific to business marketing. Degrees in advertising and journalism are also specifically sought after for marketing professionals.

Courses that might be relevant for an individual wishing to enter a marketing career might include classes in market research, consumer behavior, sales, communication, visual arts, photography, and technology. Courses like business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, and statistics can be extremely useful to students looking for a leg up in the competitive job market. Traditional or online business marketing degree programs help students develop the strong analytical skills, creativity, interpersonal, and management skills they need to become successful in a marketing career.

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