You’re leafing through your alphabetized prospectus and reach ‘M’. As you skim through management, Mandarin and marine Biology, you think about your dream job, your interests, and your achievements so far…
When making those crucial post-secondary-school decisions about your future, it’s useful to think ahead as much as possible. From course specifications to university location and student life, there is much to consider when deciding what to study. If your main reason for going to university is to find a job that fits your interests and ambitions, perhaps the most useful thing to know about a marketing degree is its career prospects.
As you turn the page from Maritime Studies you land on a colorful page titled ‘Marketing’. Your prospectus tells you marketing involves “every aspect of the business” and helping organizations “identify and understand their customers”. You read intently and realize the course modules, specializations and skills listed describe your interests to a T.
But what about the career prospects? While you start making plans to become The Greatest Marketing Manager Ever, you’re hungry to know more. You ask: What can you do with a marketing degree?
Get ready to turn on your concentration switch for a summary of some typical (and less typical) marketing roles, industries and sectors, including a look into the future of marketing…
Typical marketing careers
When it comes to typical marketing careers, marketing graduates are well positioned to start work as a marketing intern in a small or large advertising agency, or in the marketing department of a business or other organization. From there, marketing positions available include assistant, consultant, coordinator, executive, director, manager, planner, specialist, all the way up to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
You’ll be able to apply your marketing knowledge and skills, and get to see all the marketing principles you learnt during your marketing degree come to life. Expect a nine-to-five schedule with long hours nearer to deadlines/during big projects, lots of team work, and some travel locally and abroad for networking, customer research and meeting clients.
Marketing careers also include roles in advertising, brand management, digital marketing, e-mail marketing, international marketing, e-marketing, mobile marketing, print advertising, and social media marketing. Looking at the four ‘P’s of marketing, price may be determined by the marketing manager; place by a distribution or merchandising manager; promotion by a marketing communications or promotions director; and product by a merchandise, brand or product manager.
Roles in marketing copywriting involve using language to sell a product or service, while knowledge of HTML or other web-based language will help with online marketing content creation. Product management and development are also key roles in the marketing team, along with market research analysts to survey the consumer, and customer service roles for communicating with them.
Media officers and public relations roles help announce your marketing campaign and introduce the company, its brand and its clients to the public while an account executive, manager or representative helps manage client relations. Meanwhile, a manufacturing and production manager oversees product development and can be a good source of marketing information, while a sales manager helps execute marketing initiatives already planned out by the marketing team.
Less typical marketing roles
Due to the business aspect of marketing along with the need for marketers to be numerate, the banking, finance, insurance, underwriting and accountancy sectors as well as management consulting, general management, business and administration roles are popular with marketing graduates.
Less typical marketing roles could include: roles in education, teaching others about marketing; in fundraising, using your skills of persuasion and market knowledge; and in sales and PR – all well-suited for creative-thinking marketing graduates. You could also transfer your skills to roles in the promotions department of sectors such as pharmaceutical and health care, energy and utilities, and culture, music and performing arts.
If you pride yourself on your creative flair, you might consider marketing roles in the fashion sector, graphic design (creating layouts, logos and promotional material), event planning, publishing, website design and the music, electronics and sporting industries.
Further sectors marketing graduates can explore include the environment, agriculture and conservation sectors – using your skills to raise awareness about issues; hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors – improving promotional campaigns; and working for the government, national defense and not-for-profit organizations in a huge range of roles.
Using your knowledge of consumer behavior, you could be an accomplished “mystery shopper”, while your powers of persuasion and ability to identify gems within a saturated market may put you in good stead as a real estate agent. You could use your people skills in recruitment and retail, couple this with your research skills to become a survey researcher, and add management skills to become a director of marketing effectiveness.
Other roles open to marketing graduates include working in magazine and newspaper publishing, as a purchasing agent or buyer and as a casino manager. You can also work in risk management, in transportation, as a writer or editor for online or print publications, and perhaps even play and preview video games for a digitally-focused company.
What stands out about the field of marketing is that it is very progressive. The marketing landscape evolves at a rapid pace, which in turn impacts on the type of marketing careers and specializations available. So, if you didn’t like the look of any of the roles mentioned above, perhaps your dream job hasn’t even been invented yet! As such, the best way to learn about newly emerging marketing roles is by reading as much as you can about the field, regularly checking job listings and being aware of the evolution of consumer, media and technology landscapes.
Future marketing roles
Key factors in future marketing roles are the growing trends towards using big data and mobile marketing. To reflect the rapidly changing marketing sector, below are some potential future marketing careers you may be interested in:
Creative Technologist: Expert in all things technology (including coding and server architectures), the creative technologist comes up with creative, technology-related solutions to problems. User experience and in
novation are at the forefront.
Content Archivist: Brands are increasingly producing a vast amount of content through many channels. A content archivist keeps track of and organizes this content.
Community Management Executive: This will become a dedicated, formal practice which combines social media marketing, brand marketing, customer service, technology and analytics.
Mobile Marketing Manager: Also a practice in its own right, mobile marketing explores space and time in terms of the consumer: where they are at any one moment in time. This will help marketers deliver contextually-relevant mobile campaigns and socially connected experiences for enhanced engagement of the brand.
Transcultural Anthropologist: The future of targeted marketing, the transcultural anthropologist looks at pockets of global culture, identifying hybrid and very specific markets relevant to the company.