A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at AIU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.
As modern advertising continues to shift into digital spaces, students and professionals who are looking to return to school may ask, Should I major in marketing? If you have asked yourself this question, your answer may depend on what you want out of your degree experience as well as your future long-term career goals.
The Market Outlook
With the proliferation of smartphones, wearables, and other constantly connected devices, digital marketing remains a strong growth industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that advertising, promotions, and marketing managers should see an increased emphasis on digital marketing (including advertising campaigns conducted through internet ads, websites, Email and live chats), as employment in these positions is projected to grow 10% on average from 2016 through 2026 (faster than the national average).1 Those who are in pursuit of marketing positions that deal specifically with digital advertising may encounter newer titles such as social media specialist, digital engagement specialist, and online community manager.2
The BLS projects similarly steady job growth across other marketing industry professions. For example, employment of market research analysts is projected to increase by 23% from 2016 through 2026, which is much faster than the national average.3
What Classes and Skills Can I Expect From a Marketing Degree Program?
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."4 Because the field encompasses an entire system of practices rather than specific products or industries, students pursuing a marketing degree may study a variety of topics.
Classes may cover anything from supply/demand principles and market research techniques to consumer behavior and the psychology of advertising. Some common marketing courses within a marketing concentration may include:
- Managerial Accounting
- Principles of Marketing
- Public Relations
- Consumer Behavior
- Advertising and Promotion Management
- Marketing Campaign and Strategic Planning
A concentration in marketing may be a good choice if you consider the following areas as some of your strongest skills, or if you desire to further develop these skills through a degree program:5
- Thinking creatively
- Strong listening and communication skills
- Social perceptiveness
- Time management
- Critical thinking
Marketing students may also be expected to analyze complex data and transform it into accessible and appealing ideas that can be used to reach and influence consumers.
Entry-Level Jobs With a Marketing Degree
Because marketing is part of many different industries, there are a number of careers you may choose to pursue with a marketing degree. Common jobs requiring a bachelor’s in marketing or a marketing concentration include:
- Market Research Analyst – Market research analysts are responsible for collecting data on consumers, industry trends, and sales figures, as well as interpreting this data for marketing managers and advertising and promotions teams. This may be a good position to pursue if you enjoy studying consumer behavior and have a strong grasp on statistics and how to design market surveys and consumer polls.6
- Social Media Specialist – Social media specialists help manage a company's brand image, public relations, and consumer engagement. They are often responsible for interacting with customers online and must have a strong understanding of the company's core audience's values. Social media specialists may be a key component in executing marketing campaigns and often coordinate with marketing teams on advertising and promotional efforts.2
- Advertising Manager – Advertising managers create the brand campaigns, product announcements, and medium-specific advertisements for one or more products or services offered by a company. While some may work specifically in buying ad spots on TV or radio or designing digital advertising strategies, others may focus more on the ideas and creative elements of ad campaigns.7
- Marketing Manager – In some ways acting as a go-between for market research analysts and advertising teams, marketing managers work to identify the main customer demands driving sales of products and services. They may also work with sales managers to help set pricing and promotional strategies for specific products, services, or even geographic or demographic markets.7
- Promotions Manager – Working with sales teams and market research data, promotions managers help set purchasing incentives such as discounts, free samples, rebates and coupons, or contests. They may also work with advertising managers to coordinate direct mail or email promotions, in-store displays, and special events at the local or national level.7
1. "Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers: Job Outlook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-6 (Visited August 27, 2018). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
2. "Social Media Specialist." Elka Torpey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/youre-a-what/social-media-specialist.htm (Visited August 27, 2018).
3. "Market Research Analysts: Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm (Visited August 27, 2018). This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
4. "About AMA: Definitions of Marketing.” American Marketing Association. Retrieved from: https://www.ama.org/AboutAMA/Pages/Definition-of-Marketing.aspx (Visited August 27, 2018).
5. “Summary Report for Advertising and Promotions Managers.” O*Net Online. Retrieved from: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-2011.00#Skills (Visited on August 27, 2018).
6. "Market Research Analysts.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tabs 2 and 4 (Visited August 27, 2018).
7. "Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tabs 2 and 4 (Visited August 27, 2018).
For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs go to www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures. AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states.
Classes Start May 12, 2021