Updated 10 October 2020
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising, marketing and promotion jobs are predicted to increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028 – more than any other creative industry.
But what is marketing?
The official definition is ‘The action or business of promoting a product or service’.
It, therefore, includes advertising, market research, public relations and sales. Essentially, marketing is anything that encourages you to buy a product or a service.
Over the past 10 years, the marketing industry has developed along with new technologies and consumer interests. As a result, many new job roles are now available.
The average salary for someone entering a marketing role is $42,000, with salaries climbing to $136,850 for top-level marketing managers.
There are several ways to study marketing, but the most common, opening up more opportunities, is a marketing bachelor's degree.
During this four-year university program, you will cover:
There are also many postgraduate degrees for those who want to specialize in a specific industry or marketing area.
An MBA will take your analytical skills to the next level, making you an ideal candidate for executive marketing roles.
Upon completing your degree, you will possess a skill set that can be applied to any industry or job:
Depending on where your interests lie, there are job opportunities for marketers in all industries, from film to fashion to finance to food and beverage.
Depending on your goals and interests, there are lots of job roles that you can apply for.
You also have the choice of working in-house, for an agency or freelance:
Working in-house means that you will create content or campaigns for one brand only. The benefit is that you become very familiar with that brand, knowing what works and what doesn't. The disadvantage is that there is usually a set formula that works, and it can become very monotonous working with just the same brand.
Working at an agency is more varied as you have multiple clients. Just as with in-house, it is a regular income and will have benefits and a bonus scheme. However, sometimes the pay is less than in-house, and there can be a lot of office politics. You also don't have the freedom to choose your clients.
Going freelance can be daunting as you have no regular income. But you can set your own rates, you choose your working hours and you decide who you want to work for. Going freelance also allows you to work in multiple roles. It also shows that you are self-motivated, organized and resourceful. The downside of freelance is that reaching those top-level management roles can be very difficult. Most people progress through a company or move to another one in a higher position. Being a freelancer doesn't give you that structure, but it does have other benefits.
Below are ten of the best jobs for those with marketing majors.
Average salary: $73,568
This role is ideal for those who don't want to specialize in anything too specific. Advertising is a combination of copywriting, analyst, designer and marketer.
It is a very creative role, but also one with a lot of pressure. Whether you opt to work in-house or at an agency, the advertiser must be ahead of everyone else.
You need to be aware of all consumer and market trends, the latest technology and be mindful of what is happening globally. Several brands have suffered losses because an advertising campaign was viewed as insensitive or inappropriate.
A degree in marketing can lead to a job in advertising. However, there are also advertising degrees available. If you are interested in advertising as a career, taking extra courses in graphic design or art will help.
A postgraduate degree or an MBA will help you reach management level quicker and provide the skills necessary to fully understand market research data.
Average salary: $69,895
Brand managers oversee the entire marketing campaign of a product or service. They liaise with all the other departments to ensure the brand's message and values are appropriately presented.
You will be responsible for creating the look and feel of a brand. You must, therefore, be creative and resourceful. You will also require excellent presentation and persuasion skills as you will be the one convincing the brand owner of the strategy and budget.
Knowing the consumer market and analyzing data is a considerable aspect of your job role; an MBA will propel you into a brand manager position.
The majority of prestigious brands, such as Red Bull and Mercedes, have a brand manager position.
Average salary: $65,834
A considerable amount of marketing is now online, such as blogs, sponsored content and Facebook adverts. As such, job roles dedicated to creating online content have increased.
Your degree will cover the technicalities of online marketing but the primary skills required for this role are editing and writing.
The content you create aims to sell, so your words need to be captivating.
While you will be commissioning content, more junior positions or freelancers may be the ones to write it. You will be responsible for communicating and liaising with other departments and team members, so you need exceptional organizational skills.
One piece of content may pass between three different people or more before it is ready to be published. You need to ensure that each one meets its deadline.
The most common route to content marketing manager is to start as a copywriter and work your way up as your experience allows.
Average salary: $58,465
There are many different types of copywriters; as one with a marketing degree, you will understand consumer trends and behavior. This will enable you to write persuasive and directed copy for larger brands and businesses.
As a freelancer, this degree will also enable you to charge more for your work.
Naturally, you will have to be an excellent writer and open to feedback, to succeed as a copywriter.
No extra education is needed, but there are courses available should you want to learn about a particular topic (for example, SEO or writing for a specific social media platform).
As technology is continuously changing, it is always good to keep up with any new developments. Before 2020, no one gave TikTok a thought, now copywriters are being asked to script TikTok videos.
Average salary: $75,251
Similar to the content marketing manager roles, the digital marketing manager is responsible for all the campaigns that appear online.
They are the ones responsible for driving traffic to a brand's website and increasing online sales.
They will work with the content managers and the traditional marketing team to ensure the brand tone of voice, value and message is the same across all platforms.
This role requires a thorough understanding of market research and analytics.
You will usually start in a junior position, as a digital marketing assistant, before progressing to this role. While no extra education is required, taking advantage of any work experience or internships will help you secure a digital marketing position.
Average salary: $49,696
Considered to be one of the more fun and creative job roles (yet one of the most stressful), event planning is both varied and rewarding.
Depending on your client or the company you work for, one day you might be organizing a conference, the next, an awards show.
To be successful in this role, you need to be:
This is not the most common position for a marketing graduate, but if you love the excitement of an ever-changing industry that will always challenge you, then event planning could be perfect.
This role doesn't require any extra education, as it is all about experience.
Average salary: $46,850
This is a very niche profession, but highly rewarding, especially if you work for a non-profit that you are passionate about.
Your job will be to raise money for your organization. This will utilize all the skills you learned in your degree; you will be responsible for creating the marketing material, organizing events and speaking with stakeholders and potential donors.
This job role is more about the feeling of reward; securing sponsorship or donations for an organization you feel strongly about will make you feel good.
For those considering freelance roles, fundraising could be an option should you want some variation in your work life.
Average salary: $63,790
If you have strong analytical and research skills, and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods, then a research analyst could be the role for you.
Your daily tasks will be to collect and interpret data, conduct research activities, and present findings. You will need to be able to predict and understand consumer trends and behavior.
A large part of your job will be to present these figures to your client, so you will need excellent and engaging presentation skills.
Due to this role being technical, you should consider an MBA or a specialized master's degree to further develop your analytical skills.
Average salary: $50,145
A PR manager is more concerned with a brand's image and often utilizes free communication channels to spread a message. The PR department often compliments the marketing department to ensure no damaging content is released to the public.
As a PR manager, you will have excellent writing skills and the ability to make and nurture relationships.
Depending on the company's size, your role as a PR manager may also include content creation, social media management and event planning.
Should you wish to go into PR, there are master's degrees that will allow you to specialize – for example, corporate communications. But it is not necessary, as promotions in PR happen with experience.
Average salary: $50,391
Almost every business has a social media presence, so this role is always in demand – especially if you can deliver results.
As a social media manager, you will be responsible for the planning and growth of all social media profiles.
You will need to work with other departments to plan your content, and you will be responsible for social media strategies.
You need to be creative and keep up to date with new techniques and software for this role. You will also need to be highly analytical to understand what content works well and why.
Depending on your lifestyle choice, there are many job sites to help you find marketing jobs.
The most popular are:
The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a fantastic resource. As a member, you will have access to all the latest industry trends, training, seminars and talks.
There are networking opportunities, and being a member of the AMA shows employers that you are serious about your career.
Marketing is one of the most creative and ever-changing industries in the world. As new technology and software appears, and new trends develop, a marketer has the opportunity to come up with innovative techniques to entice buyers.
It is a job that never gets boring, and there are always new challenges to overcome.
But, it is very competitive, so maximize all opportunities that come your way during university.
Think about your career and the steps you need to take to get there; managerial roles require an MBA, but you need work experience to take that course. Where and what do you want that experience to be?
To be sure of your career path, and take advantage of the people and resources at the AMA.