By Susan Ott
Degree Major: Marketing
What is it?
A degree in marketing can equip you to identify consumer needs, tailor a business’s product or service to those needs and create a demand for what you’re selling. The courses you take to earn this degree will vary; your courses will include the mathematical and statistical courses of an accounting degree, the general knowledge and organizational courses of a business major, and the psychology and human behavioral courses of the liberal arts. If you’re looking to break into marketing in an entry-level position, you can get an associate’s degree, which will take less time and get you back into the workforce more quickly. However, if you want higher-level job opportunities upon graduation, especially if you already bring experience to the table, then you may want to focus on a bachelor’s degree.
Who should choose this major?
If you enjoy the study of human behavior, then marketing may be an excellent fit for you. Many areas of marketing require dealing with people and selling your ideas, so strong communication and people skills are a huge asset in this major. However, not all marketing jobs require consistent social interactions; some areas of marketing are research-based, requiring you to have good critical thinking skills to determine what people want and how to best sell it to them. There is definitely a heavy psychological component to this major, so if you started in a psychology-related field, pursuing a marketing degree as you go back to college and get into a business major may be a smoother transition for you.
Which careers might you potentially obtain with this degree?
Some marketing jobs are more behind-the-scenes, but many deal with people on a regular basis. The common thread in marketing careers is that you’ll be continuously linking a business’s products and services to the general public by creating or recognizing a demand and then meeting it. Jobs in marketing include:
- Account Executive
- Public Relations Specialist
- Marketing Manager
- Brand or Product Manager
- Advertising Manager
- Online Retailing
- Nonprofit Sector Professional
- Promotional Manager
John O’Brien has been a writer, editor and consultant in higher education for over 14 years. His background includes writing for insidehighered.com and The Chronicle of Higher Education. As editor of College Degree Complete, he has advised hundreds of adult students on how to transfer colleges without wasting the credits they’ve already accumulated, to finish their degree programs in the fastest and most affordable way.