If you’re interested in helping businesses share their message, boost their profits and grow their brand, a marketing major may be right for you. But is marketing a good major for career growth?
As technology advances and more business is conducted online, the field of marketing is changing, too, with new opportunities in social media, mobile and automated marketing.
These changes are creating strong growth for marketing jobs overall. A 2019 report from the American Marketing Association projects that the number of marketing hires will increase by 6.4% by 2020.
Jobs for advertising, promotion and marketing managers are projected to grow by 10% by 2026, while market research analyst jobs, boosted by an increase in data-driven marketing initiatives, are projected to grow by 23%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you think a marketing career is the path for you, start by exploring the job growth expected for the industry, the starting salary for marketing major jobs and what marketing majors actually do.
What Do Marketing Majors Do?
At its core, marketing is the process of crafting a message about a company’s service, product or mission and sharing that message with the right people. With a marketing major, jobs will be available across a wide variety of industries, and the day-to-day work of a marketing professional can vary significantly from job to job.
With a job in advertising and marketing management or public relations, you could lead a company's overall promotional strategy and engage with the media to maintain an organization's reputation.
If research and data are your passion, a market research job could be a good fit. As a market research analyst you can explore consumer behavior and data to advise companies on their competition, ideal market demographics and sales potential.
Opportunities for digital marketing professionals, who work to promote a company's product or service online, continue to grow. As a social media manager, you could lead the day-to-day strategy of a business’s social media presence by creating social posts and campaigns, managing the brand's social community and maintaining a brand's image and reputation.
In a content marketing position you might drive the creation of promotional content for a company or agency while a job in search engine optimization would involve helping to ensure that content is easily found by a target audience in search engines.
How Much Do Marketing Majors Make?
With so many opportunities in the industry, it’s important to gain a better understanding of the average salary of marketing majors. Explore the careers below to learn more about what to expect from a marketing major salary.
- Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers: Advertising, promotions and marketing managers earned a minimum median annual wage of $106,130 in 2017, according to BLS, with the field's highest paid making more than $208,000 annually.
- Market Research Analyst: According to BLS, market research analysts earned a median wage of $63,230 in 2017. The highest paid analysts earned a media wage of more than $122,770.
- Public Relations Specialist: Public relations specialists earned a median wage of $59,300 in 2017, according to BLS data. Public relations directors earn an average of $82,823 annually, according to Glassdoor.
- Digital Marketing Specialist: Digital marketing specialists earn an average salary of $60,174, according to Glassdoor, while digital marketing managers earn an average of $73, 114.
- Social Media Manager: Social media managers earn an average salary of $55,199 and social media directors leading a team of managers earn an average $70,435, according to Glassdoor.
- Content Marketing Manager: According to Glassdoor, content marketing managers earn an average annual income of $81,078.
- Search Engine Optimization Specialist: Search engine optimization specialists earn an average salary of $65,200, according to Glassdoor, while a director of search engine optimization may earn $111,238 on average.
Getting Started with a Marketing Career
If you want to take the leap into the fast-paced world of marketing, earning a degree in marketing is a great way to start.
In a bachelor's degree program in marketing, alongside your marketing coursework you will also explore general business management, finance, organizational behavior and information technology. There will also be opportunities to focus your learning in areas like social media or digital marketing.
Advancing your education with a master’s degree in marketing or business administration can help boost your resume, offer more advanced skills in a specific area of marketing and may be required for top-level management positions.
Gaining hands-on marketing experience through internships, volunteer work or by joining a professional organization can also help to narrow your field of interest and set you apart when applying for marketing jobs.
Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer and marketer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.