Competition between firms has become more intense due to globalization and so is the need to differentiate oneself from the competition. This has been working to the advantage of marketing field because companies understand marketing activities such as customer service can be one of the most valuable tools to build loyal customer base. In addition, the rise of social media has also been contributing to the popularity of marketing profession.
Unless one has acquired significant professional experience in marketing, quite often through involvement in family business, a college degree in marketing is the route taken by most individuals seeking a career in marketing. Jennifer Lloyd, a marketing senior, is in her final year and gives a reliable account of the courses most marketing students take in business schools around the country. They include principles of marketing which is the introductory course and normally taken by all business majors and not only marketing majors, marketing research which talks about the process of understand market segments by collecting data and interpreting it, and consumer and organizational behavior which helps students better understand how and why consumers and business customers behave the way they do (Lloyd, 2014). In addition to formal academic training, marketing majors also tend to exhibit certain characteristics and are expected to develop certain soft skills. Those who pursue marketing major tend to exhibit high confidence and are extroverts. The soft skills I expect marketing majors to specifically develop in order to succeed in the field include communication skills, teamwork skills, social skills, and leadership skills (Docev, 2014). Marketing people are regularly interacting with different stakeholder groups such as consumers and they often work on projects in teams.
It is tempting to ask why one should study marketing and there can be several reasons. First of all, opportunities for marketing majors are always abundant because every firm engages in promotion whether corporate promote or products/services promotion. In addition, marketing is not limited to for-profit sector only but even non-profit organizations also engage in marketing because they depend upon donors and supporters for successfully achieving their objectives. It is reasonable to argue that marketing activities are highly essential to the national economy because they help identify consumer needs (The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand) and, thus, help allocate resources efficiently.
Marketing majors have several career options available to them. One option is marketing research which involves studying markets and consumers to help firms develop marketing strategies. Another career option for marketing majors may be merchandising which involves helping the firms decide which products to carry or sell to retailers. Sales is also a career option and often one of the first choices that comes to mind when one talks about marketing. The responsibilities of sales people have expanded and they do not only make sales but also ensure customer is satisfied and returns for repeat business. Advertising is also one of the potential career choices for marketing majors and involves creating advertisements and other promotional materials for clients. Marketing majors may also go for product development which involves identifying features that may appeal to the consumers. One career option is digital media which includes social and mobile media and basically involves the development of digital marketing campaigns. Marketing majors could also choose event marketing in which they may plan events and would often work face-to-face with clients to identify their needs. Nonprofit marketing is another emerging career choice for marketing majors and mostly involves marketers trying to promote desirable behavior in the targeted group (Tanner & Raymond, 2010).
As far as career prospects are concerned, the employment opportunities for marketing managers are expected to grow at an annual rate of 13 percent between 2012 and 2022 while the average for all professions is an annual rate of 11 percent during the same period (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is not surprising because the demand for marketing professionals increase as competition between firms increase. The career prospects are even brighter for some other marketing positions such as market research analysts who will see their employment grow at an annual rate of 32 percent between 2012 and 2022. It is almost three times the average of all occupations. The minimum education requirement for both marketing managers and market research analysts tends to be an undergraduate degree (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Marketing major is popular for the simple reason that it offers several career options to students such as sales, advertising, and marketing research. Marketing career also appeals to some because they are extrovert and enjoy interacting with people. Marketing majors take a variety of courses that help them understand consumer behaviors, learn about marketing strategy development, and how to collect and interpret data. The job outlook for marketing majors is at least as good as the average of all occupations though certain marketing positions such as marketing research may grow at much faster pace.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-6
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Market Research Analysts. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm#tab-1
- Docev, J. (2014, March 5). Soft Skills. (J. Docev, Interviewer)
- Lloyd, J. (2014, March 4). Marketing Courses. (J. Docev, Interviewer)
- Tanner, J., & Raymond, M. A. (2010). Why Study Marketing? In Principles of Marketing. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
- The Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand. (n.d.). Why Study Marketing? Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://www.marketing.org.au/WhyStudyMarketing.aspx