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Marketing Major Overview 

From shopping in the grocery store to browsing the web, nearly every aspect of our society is touched by marketing. If you want to learn more about the creation, promotion, and branding of goods and services, then this major could be right for you. In this field of study, you’ll learn how to research the needs of consumers, create products, develop advertisements, and more. Let’s discuss what you should know about majoring in marketing.  

Related: How to pick a major

What is a marketing major?

Marketing is a career-oriented major in which students study the branding and promotion of products and services. Majors learn how to determine the wants and needs of consumers. They help develop products to satisfy consumer demands and promote those products to prospective buyers. Marketing is a comprehensive process that begins with researching consumer needs and ends with selling products to consumers. Everything in between – including product creation, advertising, and public relations – all fall under the general umbrella of marketing. Because there are so many areas within the field, students gain the skills necessary to pursue a variety of different careers. 

Also see: How to get marketing scholarships

Coursework to expect

Early on, students take introductory courses that cover fundamental principles such as pricing and promotion of goods, supply and demand, and effective branding strategies. As they progress, students take more advanced courses covering topics such as marketing analytics, advertising and social media strategy, and retail management. Some schools allow marketing majors to choose between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. BA programs focus more on the humanities and liberal arts, allowing room for students to take more courses outside the major. Meanwhile, BS programs focus more on the scientific and mathematical aspects of the field.

Below are some potential courses you may encounter as a marketing major:

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Sales Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Principles of Economics
  • Principles of Finance
  • Marketing Research
  • Business-to-Business Marketing 

Opportunities after graduation 

The great thing about a marketing degree is that it prepares you for a variety of careers. Popular areas of employment include sales, analytics, advertising, and public relations. As with most fields, an advanced degree can lead to a higher salary and more job opportunities. However, marketing majors should have plenty of career options if they choose to immediately enter the workforce upon earning their bachelor’s degree. 

Jobs you can get with a marketing degree

Below are some popular professions for marketing majors, along with median annual salaries according to the 2020 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

1. Market research analyst

Market research analysts study industry trends to examine the potential sales of a product or service. They do this by gathering data on consumers (through surveys and polls) and measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Market research analysts are employed in nearly every industry. 

2020 Median Pay: $65,810 per year
Projected Growth (2019-2029): 22% (Much faster than average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2. Public relations coordinator / social media specialist 

PR coordinators create and maintain a positive public image for companies, brands, or individual clients. They write press releases, manage social media posts, and handle face-to-face engagement at special events with journalists and media professionals. Some PR coordinators may specialize exclusively in social media. 

2020 Median Pay: $62,810 per year
Projected Growth (2019-2029): 11% (Faster than average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

3. Copywriter

Copywriters prepare marketing and advertising copy to promote goods and services. Their writing is viewed in places like company websites, blogs, advertisements, email newsletters, and social media. 

2020 Median Pay: $67,120 per year
Projected Growth (2019-2029): 9% (As fast as average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

4. Marketing manager

Marketing managers plan advertising and promotional campaigns to generate interest in products or services. They estimate the demand for products and services and identify potential markets for the organization’s products. They typically work alongside sales, public relations, and product development staff. 

2020 Median Pay: $141,490 per year
Projected Growth (2019-2029): 10% (As fast as average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

5. Advertising sales representative 

Advertising sales representatives sell advertising space to businesses and individuals. They sell space in print publications, websites, and billboards to companies that want to advertise their products. Ad sales reps spend much of their time meeting with prospective clients and maintaining business with current advertisers.

2020 Median Pay: $54,940 per year
Projected Growth (2019-2029): 3% (Slower than average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

How do I know if this major is right for me? 

If you’re considering a major in marketing, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are you interested in sales, TV commercials, and brands? 
  • Are you curious about how people think?
  • Do you enjoy persuading people? 
  • Do you like communicating and working with others?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then a marketing major could be right for you!

Related majors: Economics, Accounting, Finance