Is Marketing a Good Major? Find the Right Study and Job for You

by Maximilian Claessens
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Is Marketing a Good Major - Find the Right Study and Job for You

Is Marketing a Good Major? This is a common question asked by thousands of students looking to major in marketing each year. It is strongly linked to another question: Is Marketing a Good Career? The answer to these questions actually depend on what you want and if you have all it takes to major in marketing. In other words, you should rather ask: Is Marketing a Good Major for me? – because, there is no general answer to this question without looking at yourself.

However, before we can actually think about answering this most reoccurring question, we first have to look at marketing in more detail, from the definition to the job to the various roles and benefits. 

A major fact to bear in mind first is that marketing is not the right choice for everyone. For instance, a marketer will very likely come across lots of individuals. If you are not a people’s person, you find it difficult to communicate with others, tolerate people or address people, then marketing is definitely not for you. On the other hand, it will be easier for you to take up marketing as a major if you are a people’s person, patient, confident, a team player, a good strategist, creative, innovative, etc. If you do not possess up to half of these qualities, there may be a quick answer to the question. If you possess more than half of them, you may want to read on to find out more. 

What is Marketing?

Let’s start with the most basic question: What is Marketing? Marketing is the promotion, distribution and selling of a product or service. This is the general definition of marketing, but there are also other definitions of marketing. According to Kotler, marketing is ‘’the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.” 

As the world advances, so does everything in it advance, including marketing. At some point, marketing was limited to sharing flyers, adverts on radio and television, etc. Today there is much more to marketing, for instance digital marketing, where you market a product or service online, and it gets to millions of people all over the world at the same time. Most people go into marketing without majoring in it based on its advanced nature, but a person majoring in marketing has more advantages and chances in making it big as a marketer.

What To Expect When Choosing A Marketing Major

If you are wondering if marketing is a good career, start by looking at what to expect when choosing it as a major. Most people have the belief that marketing is an easy course to major in. You need to get rid of such a mindset if you feel the same way. Marketing is not an easy major – it is a course that requires a high level of seriousness to avoid missing out on important details.

All students looking to major in marketing are required to take core business classes in Marketing Principles, Communication, Economics, Finance and Management, English, etc. Be prepared to pass these courses if you are serious about majoring in marketing. This applies to everyone, whether you are going for a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or a Doctoral degree.

As earlier mentioned, marketing has advanced a lot, and sadly, you won’t be taught all of these new marketing skills. If you want to major in marketing, you have to try to learn the modern and advanced marketing skills on the internet as you will likely not learn them in school. The good thing is that you can learn quite a lot on the internet. There are different platforms and sites you can study from to avoid being left out if you decide to major in marketing.

Another thing to note is that marketing as a major is very versatile and broad – it covers a lot. As it is, a marketer can work anywhere as a sales rep, a media planner, a marketing manager, and many more roles, which is one of the reasons for the broad nature of the study.

Be aware that for some top-notch programs you may have to take an entry exam like the GMAT, which requires preparation.

Is Marketing A Good Major?

Although the only way to answer our original question – Is Marketing a Good Major – is to look at the match between your skills, interests and the job profile, we will try to first look at the general aspects of the study and the job to give you a first feeling. There is always a good and a bad side in every career, and the best way of weighing the options is by comparing the two sides. If the bad side outweighs the good side, then another choice needs to be made. The same theory applies to marketing as it has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages of having marketing as a career

  1. A marketer can work at any organization.
  2. Locating a marketing job is easy, as almost every business needs a marketer(s).
  3. A passionate marketer can adapt easily to changes.
  4. A marketer in a good position earns a good salary.

Disadvantages of having marketing as a career

  1. The competition is stiff: there are lots of qualified marketers with great portfolios and experience, getting a good paying marketing job may prove difficult.
  2. Marketing requires continuous learning due to the steady changes.
  3. A marketer needs to constantly come up with new ideas to drive sales or end up getting replaced. 
  4. Some marketing jobs are based on commission, and the marketer only gets paid if a good or service gets sold.

These are very general advantages and disadvantages. But they may already help you in answering the question whether marketing is a good major. And in general, it is right to say that Marketing can be a very good career choice. However, choosing it as a major totally depends on your ability to handle it. This brings us to our next topic: Skills.

Marketing Job Skills

Having a degree in marketing no longer guarantees that you will be given the job – you need to master crucial marketing skills that you may not learn at university.

  1. As a marketer, the first skills you need to develop define the basic characteristics of a good marketer. You need to be smart, passion-driven and have the ability to adapt to any situation.
  2. Due to the fact that marketing is transforming really fast, based on technological innovation, you need to know how to use specific marketing tools, in particular digital marketing tools. Also, technical certifications will boost your resume.
  3. Marketing involves interacting with people, whether it is done online or offline. As a good marketer, it is very critical to understand how consumers behave and why. This will help you to understand your target audience and determine how to capture their interest.
  4. Another important skill is having knowledge of social media algorithms, e-commerce platforms and search engines (SEO). This is vital as long as digital marketing is involved.

If you feel you can acquire and handle all these skills, then, by all means, you can choose marketing as a major. Most of them may seem difficult at first, but you can actually master them in no time, all you need is focus and determination. 

Marketing Job Roles

Going for a marketing major may take you to a wide range of possible jobs. It opens the door to a long list of job roles. Therefore, when asking Is marketing a good career, you need to be aware that there are actually many different possible careers. Here is a list of some of the job roles majoring in marketing can land you:

  • Advertising and Promotions Manager
  • Content Strategist
  • Copywriter for an advertising or marketing agency
  • Director of Digital Marketing
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Search Engine Optimization Specialist
  • Social Media Manager

All these job roles have in common that they are all expected to increase sales and come up with working marketing plans. Choosing marketing as a major if you are not passionate about it does not make sense – you will find it difficult to develop innovative ideas without passion.

Salaries for Jobs where a Marketing Major Can Take You

Although money should never by your primary motivation, it is an important element in the decision making process. Depending on the business field a person majoring in marketing works at and the level of performance, salaries differ a lot. For example, the salary of a marketing manager at a big corporate and that of a marketing manager at a small business firm cannot in any way be compared. 

Aside from the salaries paid to marketing jobs in successful business organizations, bonuses and other benefits are added to the salaries as well. This often does not apply to marketing professionals working in smaller companies or at lower levels. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s is a list of salaries earned by those that major in marketing:

  • Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Manager – $141,490
  • Sales Manager – $132,290
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Manager – $118,430
  • Market Research Analyst – $65,810
  • Public Relations Specialist – $62,810
  • Advertising Sales Agent – $54,940

Closing Words

If you are still wondering – Is marketing a good major for me? – consider once more: Marketing can be a lot of fun and lead you into great roles, IF you like the job profiles and bring the required skills. The good thing is that marketing is so broad – even if you are not 100% sure right now, you can do so many different things with a marketing major that you cannot really go terribly wrong. Certainly, if you want to be successful in marketing, you will have to put in hard work and commitment. But once you do that, it is great. Majoring in marketing is exciting for those that are passionate about it, and it pays well, too, at some point.

Before choosing to major in marketing, first, make sure you are not choosing it as a major for the wrong reasons. There is more to choosing a career than the salary to be earned. Focus first on achieving your goal of majoring in marketing, acquire all the necessary skills needed and put in an above-average level of commitment and determination. Your grade also determines whether or not you will succeed as a marketing major. 

So is marketing a good major after all? The answer to this question is YES – IF you have what it takes and like what you will do.

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