Majoring in Marketing: What to Expect as a Marketing Major

Thinking about majoring in marketing but don't know what to expect? Here are some of the marketing degrees and common jobs for marketing majors.

If you're interested in entering the business field but enjoy more creative challenges, like figuring out how to get consumers interested in certain products and services, you've probably thought about majoring in marketing. Without effective advertising and promotions, companies can't get their products and services into the market, and marketing positions offer unique opportunities to help shape the stories through which consumers encounter and seek out these products. A career in marketing may include anything from establishing a brand image by crafting narratives and messaging that connects with consumers to conducting in-depth market research that advertising teams can use to target key demographics.

Below we review more specifically what a marketing degree is and what kinds of classes marketing majors are likely to encounter, as well as some of the things you can do with a marketing major when it comes time to start thinking about a career.

Types of Marketing Degrees

Depending on the program and the type of curriculum you're looking for, you may choose to pursue a marketing degree or a business administration degree with a marketing specialization. The type of degree and education level you choose to pursue will depend largely on your career goals, as well as what specifically you hope to get out of a program.

Associate Degree in Marketing or Business Administration

An associate degree can be a great introduction to the basic marketing and business principles needed for a long-term career in the industry, but typically doesn't require as much of a time investment as a bachelor degree. If you're not sure you want to move into the marketing field, an associate of business administration (ABA) degree can also be a good way to learn more while establishing a solid basis of knowledge and experience required for a variety of business positions.

Core courses for an associate of business administration degree typically cover a wide range of business principles and disciplines, but programs will often include at least one or two introductory marketing courses (such as Principles of Marketing).

Bachelor of Marketing or Business Administration

Those who want to pursue an entry- level marketing position straight out of college may be best suited to a Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a specialization in marketing. The exact type of degree offered depends on the college or university, but both options can build upon the fundamental courses typically covered by an associate degree. A bachelor's in marketing is designed to help students prepare for the challenges and requirements of most major introductory jobs in the field.

Common courses in a marketing specialization may include:

  • Marketing Management
  • Public Relations
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Advertising and Promotion Management

Master of Marketing or Business Administration

Many marketing professionals who want to advance their education choose to pursue their master's degree in marketing. Similar to the bachelor's level, this type of degree may also be offered as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Marketing specialization. A master’s degree is designed to further develop students' marketing and business knowledge as well as build on any previous professional experience in order to help graduates prepare for more advanced positions in the field.

Common courses for a marketing specialization at the master's level may include:

  • Strategic Marketing
  • Research Methods in Marketing
  • International Marketing
  • Product and Brand Management

Popular Career Paths for Marketing Majors

You can pursue a number of different, careers with a marketing major. Whether you're interested in creating a brand image and messaging guidelines or you'd rather work more on the financial side, setting quotas and pricing structures, there is a lot you can do with a marketing degree.

Marketing Manager1

Marketing managers are responsible for assessing demand for particular products as well as generating consumer profiles throughout a company's marketing area. This often includes working with the creative and advertising teams to establish and fine-tune brand identity and messaging, and to ensure that marketing materials connect with the product's target market.

  • Degree Required: Bachelor's
  • Projected Job Growth: 9% through 2024

Market Research Analysts2

Advertising managers are responsible for taking the marketing materials generated by a creative or marketing department and ensuring they are seen by consumers. This involves identifying and researching target markets, scheduling media advertisements like TV and radio ads, and working with promotions managers to set budgets and pricing incentives.

  • Degree Required: Bachelor's
  • Projected Job Growth: 19% through 2024

Sales Managers3

In addition to securing sales contracts, sales managers work to ensure a company's clients are satisfied with their products and services. They oversee a team of salespeople, often setting quotas for target markets and monitoring sales numbers in coordination with specific advertising and promotional events. Sales managers work more directly and frequently with clients than marketing and advertising managers, so they need to have strong communication skills.

  • Degree Required: Bachelor's
  • Projected Job Growth: 5% through 2024

Ready to learn more? Explore AIU's marketing degree specialization options.


AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, go to www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures.

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, "Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers," on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm (visited July 3, 2017).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, "Market Research Analysts," on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm (visited July 3, 2017).
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, "Sales Managers," on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm (visited July 3, 2017).