The scope of career opportunities in marketing is broad, with cool entry-level work and paths that can take you--and your talent and experience--to the upper echelon in many different fields.
Perhaps the coolest thing about marketing is that it caters not only to the business-minded individual, but also to those with creative instincts and talents. An ability to understand, collaborate, and communicate with these related but different mindsets will serve you well. That isn't always easy, but it is always interesting!
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So, where do we find marketing departments? Pretty much in every field out there; most corporations will have their own team, or work with an independent marketing firm. In smaller businesses, the need is just as vital but multiple responsibilities will likely fall to fewer people--or maybe even just one person. And even if you’re just one person at a small business--or part of a team in a corporation--the impact of digital marketing is already rewriting rules and expanding opportunities: from search engine optimization to infographics and social media to websites.
Regardless of where you begin in marketing, a bachelor's degree will be a prerequisite. And to ascend as your career progresses, a graduate degree is recommended.
What is marketing?
At its most elemental, it’s the connection between potential customers and a company's goods or services--whether that’s outbound marketing to inform, inbound to attract sales, or B2B to generate leads. Commerce is just one avenue on the marketing map, however. Charities, government agencies--even places like your high school--rely on marketing to convey vital information.
A successful marketer balances multiple projects--and clients. And whether you're a graphic artist, web specialist, or brand manager, you'll need to be able to cast a critical eye on creative and keep an open mind toward metrics--the feedback that will help guide your business decisions.
Marketing to the public used to be a one-sided monologue; today, the immediacy and prevalence of social media makes it very much a dialogue with the audience you're working to reach. But now you've got to go beyond reaching your audience--you must engage them.
Marketing is part and parcel of these--and many other--fields: advertising, product creation, sales, development (fund-raising for colleges and nonprofits), public relations, research analyst, logistics, social media, and many, many more.
The 10 highest-paying marketing jobs
Per TrackMaven.com, ten of the highest-paying jobs for people with marketing degrees are:
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – creates and oversees a company’s marketing vision.
Salary range: $80,253 to $253,036
Vice President of Marketing – outlines and manages marketing strategies around company’s goods or services, including branding and advertising.
Salary range: $81,835 to $194,584
Global Marketing Manager – oversees marketing budget on global scale, enacts development plans.
Salary range: $59,963 to $144,916
Demand Generation Director – develops and leads strategies for content, outreach, searches, and other digital tactics.
Salary range: $83,806 to $158,781
Content Marketing Director – works with teams to develop content strategy and drive demand.
Salary range: $54,506 to $145,269
Product Marketing Manager – creates strategies to sell goods and generate highest possible revenues.
Salary range: $53,550 to $121,708
Channel Marketing Manager – works with retailers, affiliates, and other intermediaries to support sales and keep branding and marketing consistent.
Salary range: $52,993 to $115,863
Creative Director – leads teams that develop and implement creative work such as advertising, video content, and printed media.
Salary range: $44,426 to $152,383
Marketing Director – manages, directs, and measures marketing strategies.
Salary range: $41,245 to $145,256
Demand Generation Manager – works to attract customers to goods or services via content, outreach, and digital tactics.
Salary range: $51,076 to $109,119
What jobs can I get with an Associate’s Degree in marketing?
Even a two-year degree can start you on a marketing career path. Direct marketing (promoting products to consumers), business marketing (promoting services or products to other businesses), digital marketing (reaching customers through multiple online channels), and communication specialist (promotional or factual writing for print and digital) are all roles for someone with an associate's degree.
The salary range for this level averages from $25,700 to $45,370.
What jobs can I get with a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing?
A four-year degree is considered the basic building block of your marketing career. Per Chron.com, here are some representative jobs and ranges.
Account Coordinator – assists in day-to-day duties by supporting account manager.
Salary range: $32,250 to $48,750
MarCom Coordinator – the marketing communications coordinator assists MarCom managers in day-to-day duties but with more emphasis on the creative side.
Salary range: $37,500 to $54,750
Trade Show Coordinator – set up and run trade show booths.
Salary range: $38,750 to $54,750
Media Buyer – find best rates and placement for TV, radio, print, and digital ads.
Salary range: $40,250 to $54,000
Copywriter – collaborate with account execs and graphic designers to craft messaging.
Salary range: $38,350 to $54,000
Graphic Designer – helps define, develop. and refine the look of a campaign.
Salary range: $36,500 to $50,750
What jobs can I get with a Master's Degree in marketing?
With an advanced degree, there are managerial and other higher-responsibility roles across all business sectors. Salaries listed are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Marketing Manager - median 2015 salary: $140,660
Sales Manager - median 2015 salary: $130,400
Market Research Analyst - median 2015 salary: $70,030
Advertising Sales - median 2015 salary: $61,690
What jobs can I get with a Terminal Degree in marketing?
Terminal degrees are the most advanced degrees available for a given discipline. In the marketing field, such a degree would likely result in a research role. Generally, this would involve the study of a specific field related to marketing.
According to PayScale.com, the salary range for a Doctorate (PhD) in Marketing is $87,500 to $175,000.
What's the future of marketing?
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between now and 2024 the job outlook for advertising, promotion, and marketing managers is growing at a rate of 9%. That's slightly faster than the average of other disciplines.
Established media--print, TV, radio--is still a big part of the marketing mix, but from here on out successful marketers will also know how to maximize new web-based media.
The growth of digital marketing--that is, the online version of traditional marketing strategies--has only accelerated with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. It is a landscape that promises constant discovery and evolution, challenging professionals to keep up. In 2016, digital ad spending was almost on par with TV; it will only grow from here.
These are exciting times for marketers. The ability to understand multiple audiences and get your message across diverse channels will only help you to have a fulfilling career.
How to begin your marketing studies
Taking a step toward your future is exciting. Let us help you ensure that you’re doing it on sound financial footing.
Be sure to check out ourfree NitroScore tool. There, you can compare the true cost of pursuing a marketing degree at a number of different schools, so you can get the best value for your money.
Jon is a writer and marketer for Nitro who is passionate about bringing transparency to the student loan process along with providing families with the information needed to make smart financial decisions. He also just recently refinanced his student loans allowing him to pay them off 5 years faster all while saving an additional $152/month. As he continues to pay them off himself, he strives to help others do the same. Jon also has a long history of connecting people with educational opportunities to help them improve their careers and their overall personal finances. In his free time you can find him reading travel blogs and researching destinations around the world in search of his next adventure. Read more by Jon O'Donnell