1. Career Advice
  2. Finding a job
  3. Looking for a job in marketing? Check out these marketing careers to find the right one for you!
Looking for a job in marketing? Check out these marketing careers to find the right one for you!

Looking for a job in marketing? Check out these marketing careers to find the right one for you!

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What is marketing?
  • Why should I choose a career in marketing?
  • Is marketing a good career for introverts?
  • What’s the best education or degree for a career in marketing?
  • Skills you need to work in marketing
  • Personal skills for marketing careers
  • Technical skills required for marketing careers
  • How to improve your marketing skills
  • Eight common jobs in the marketing field
  • 1. Product marketing manager
  • 2. Social Media Marketer
  • 3. Brand manager
  • 4. Content marketer/copywriter
  • 5. Marketing/Growth Analyst
  • 6. Public Relations/Communications Specialist
  • 7. Event Marketing Manager
  • 8. Marketing Assistant
  • Key takeaways

Marketing can be an interesting and exciting career field. But is it right for you? In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of a marketing career, the required skills, and education, as well as eight common career choices for you to consider.

If you’re looking for a career that provides a good salary with a wide variety of interesting opportunities, marketing might be for you. More good news? It's a good field in which to use your creative skills, as well as any other "soft skills" you possess, and can find a position that aligns with your personal goals and interests.

So what kinds of careers are available in marketing? In this article, we’ll discuss the field of marketing, including:

  • What is a career in marketing?

  • Why choose a career in marketing?

  • What education/degree is best for a career in marketing?

  • Necessary skills for a career in marketing

  • Eight common jobs in marketing

What is marketing?

Simply put, marketing is taking a close look at customer behavior with the end goal of figuring out what they want to buy and the best ways to promote and sell (or “market”) products and services to those customers. A marketing career involves analyzing customer habits, wants, and needs. A person working in marketing may create a strategy for their client that appeals to their audience's preferences. Marketing ranges from market research to product design to public relations.

Expert Tip

The median annual salary for a marketing manager was $135, 030 as of May 2021. While salary and benefits do vary by industry and geographic location, there is a higher-than-average growth potential over the next ten years, with approximately 35,000 new jobs in the marketing field projected.

Why should I choose a career in marketing?

As technology changes and grows, businesses will need ways to get their services and products in front of customers who want or need them, and they’ll need marketing professionals to handle the increased workload. Companies across a wide spectrum of industries generally use marketing to advertise their products and build “brand awareness,” so no matter what field interests you, there’s most likely a need for a marketing professional and it will also allow you to build your skills and handle a variety of assignments. 

And if you like working with people, you’re in luck: teamwork is essential in marketing, as you can develop professional relationships and work closely with colleagues to create and develop new ideas and perspectives.

Other benefits of working in the marketing field include:

  • It gives you a chance to be creative, with opportunities in graphic design, copywriting, film, and video, and you can move up into a creative director role.

  • It provides a career path. Companies or agencies often have departments with a defined “chain of command,” with positions ranging from interns to directors. If you’re willing to work hard, expand your skills, gain extra certifications, and put in the time, you can boost your opportunities for advancement.

  • You can earn a higher income. Not only are there a wide variety of areas to focus on, but there are also avenues for growth in responsibility, which translates to a higher salary. 

Statistical Insight

The demand for skilled marketing professionals is growing — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.”

Is marketing a good career for introverts?

Maybe. If you’re okay with working with people in your day-to-day work and enjoy using your creative skills to come up with new concepts or products, it might be a good career for you. But remember, a career in marketing involves a lot of communication with customers and clients, and if that level of interaction will drain you, it might be difficult. The trick is to make it work for you. Maybe you’re not comfortable on the phone, but you’re a whiz at writing. Find the marketing method that works for you and become a specialist in that area.

What’s the best education or degree for a career in marketing?

Ideally, a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field is the best academic background to have for a career in marketing. Other helpful areas of study include public relations, advertising, business, communications, and journalism. If you're planning to climb the ladder in marketing, consider getting a Master's degree in marketing. College marketing classes will allow the student to delve into different areas of marketing, such as management, social media, product management, and market research. Internships can be valuable as well, as they allow you to apply your academic knowledge in a real-world setting.

Skills you need to work in marketing

While it’s helpful to have training in the field of marketing (and many positions do require a college degree), marketing jobs do tend to utilize both hard and soft skills. While your tasks could fall under any number of disciplines, such as research, graphics, or content development, there are a variety of skills that are common to all jobs under the “marketing umbrella” that will be useful no matter your area of specialization.

Personal skills for marketing careers

A person working in marketing will most likely consider himself or herself a “people person.” While that probably comes naturally for some, there are still skills you can develop as you progress in your career:

  • You need to have good organizational and time management skills. You might be working on multiple projects with tight deadlines, so you need to be able to prioritize to get your work done on time.

  • Creativity is key. While some positions are inherently creative, such as writing or design, marking in general is an “idea business” so all positions will require some creativity.

  • Written and verbal communication will be used in every form of marketing, whether it’s face-to-face client meetings, emails, or presentations.

  • You’ll need to be willing to learn something new. As technology changes as the lines between different positions blur, it’s important to understand multiple facets of the marketing process which will help you formulate stronger, more effective means of promoting products and services.

Technical skills required for marketing careers

All aspects of marketing will likely incorporate technology for research, communication, workflow management, and analysis. A marketing position will have to understand how to utilize various software and applications to create brand awareness, generate interest, and increase sales. Marketing goes hand-in-hand with developing technology, and a job in marketing will require a professional to use their technical skills to make that happen.

Technical skills that a marketing professional might need include:

  • Budgeting

  • Content management systems

  • Social media marketing

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Web/data analytics

  • Conversion rate optimization

  • Customer relationship management

How to improve your marketing skills

The learning opportunities don't stop once you're out of school. There are myriad ways to gain or improve the skills you need for a successful marketing career. They include:

  • Self-education. Start with some industry journals to understand what new tools are being used in marketing, and investigate online courses that can help you establish baseline knowledge of industry programs such as Hootsuite or Adobe Spark.

  • Getting additional certifications. Depending on your agency or company’s focus, consider getting a professional certification in Google Analytics, Hubspot Academy, or Meta Blueprint Academy. And if you really want to kick your career up a notch, look into a professional certification from the American Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, or 4A’s. Professional certifications are becoming more important because they show that someone has the knowledge and skills to do the job, and it shows current or potential employers that you’re serious about keeping your skills current.

  • Earning an additional degree. Many director or manager-level degrees will look for someone with a Master's degree to show that they are experts in the field. Master's programs can be in Marketing or even an MBA with a concentration in marketing. An advanced degree will offer training in strategies, trends, and research/data analysis, or even product development, leadership, and Internet marketing.

Eight common jobs in the marketing field

There are many career areas in marketing, all with different skill sets and tasks. Below are eight of the most common careers, along with basic job descriptions and average salary information.

1. Product marketing manager

National average salary: $133,380 per year

Product marketing managers oversee the marketing of a company or agency’s product line. They calculate the demand for the products for both the client and its competitors and identify prospective advertising markets. They will also create pricing strategies and marketing campaigns to facilitate an increase in a client’s profits and market share and attain their overall satisfaction. They manage and administer staff from sales, public relations, and product development. Product managers are proficient in critical thinking, leadership, creativity, and organization.

2. Social Media Marketer

National average salary: $56,770

A social media marketer posts online content that follows a brand's style guide, engages with its audience, analyzes engagement data, assists with future campaigns, and collaborates with other members of the marketing team to support other areas of concentration. Most social media marketing positions require robust verbal and written communication, a thorough understanding of social media trends and applications, and the ability to be creative and think on one’s feet.

3. Brand manager

National average salary: $75,522

Brand managers are responsible for all facets of internal and external communication, and establish a business or product “brand persona,” which is a compilation of how a brand communicates with its customer base and brings to light the value of its products and services. Think of it as a company’s “narrative” that is maintained across all platforms and outlets. Brand management utilizes creative skills as well as project management, and interacts with many facets of the marketing process, such as designers, operations, copywriting, and digital marketing.

4. Content marketer/copywriter

National average salary: $54,888

A content marketer (also known as a copywriter) writes content across multiple platforms and applications, including blogs, website copy, emails, whitepapers, ebooks, and video scripts. They tend to have a deep understanding of their client’s industry and are experts in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which helps their content get a high ranking in the various search engines. This position requires a high degree of creativity, strong research skills, and attention to detail.

5. Marketing/Growth Analyst

National average salary: $63,920

Market research analysts examine consumer preferences, and business conditions, to gauge possible sales of a company's product or service to support a marketing strategy. To determine opportunities for growth or areas of loss, marketing analysts can carry out customer surveys, perform data analysis, and instigate product testing. They will also gauge the performance of marketing campaigns to determine successful outcomes and patterns, as well as establish a protocol for campaign challenges. Skills required for success in this position include being detail-oriented, handling large amounts of data, and having a high level of technical proficiency.

6. Public Relations/Communications Specialist

National average salary: $62,800

Public relations/communication specialists develop and preserve a positive public image for the clients they represent. This position writes press releases and maintains relationships with media professionals who focus on your client's industry. There is a high level of communication, both in person and over the phone, and the PR professional needs to be skilled at highlighting a client’s strengths while downplaying any negative aspects. They work closely with other marketing departments, such as social media or content/copywriters) to cultivate positive public dialogue about a client.

7. Event Marketing Manager

National average salary: $124,273

Event marketing managers plan, organize and carry out in-person or online events that promote a client's brand, product, or service. Event marketing can include panel lectures or speakers, charity events, or participating in a trade show (and doling out the company swag as well). More recent marketing events can range from pop-up events, appearances by sports mascots, or online scavenger hunts. While the size or method of marketing can vary, the important focus of any event is bringing value to the client/brand, as well as catching the attention of potential new customers. This position may also require a lot of travel, and event marketing professionals need to demonstrate strong organizational expertise, resilience, and solid interpersonal skills.

8. Marketing Assistant

National average salary: $46,367

If you’re looking for an entry-level marketing position, consider being a marketing assistant. Marketing assistants handle the administrative aspects of marketing campaigns for agencies or companies, including client administration, collection and input of marketing data, and coordinating the distribution of press releases.

Other duties might include:

  • Social media monitoring

  • Evaluating questionnaires

  • Assembling and delivering financial data

  • Assisting with presentations, promotional activities, and events

  • Organizing market research

Marketing assistants should have strong organizational and creative skills, and be adept with spreadsheets and data analysis. Communication skills are key, as well as the ability to adapt to shifting priorities, and working well on a team.

You may wonder, "Is marketing a good career choice?" While it's not for everyone, it does have its rewards and can be a challenging and fulfilling career. Marketing is a fast-growing industry, and no two days are the same. If you like working with people, are interested in research, promotion, or sales, and enjoy a fast-paced, challenging job, a career in marketing could be right for you. But no matter what area of marketing you choose to pursue, most companies are looking for candidates with solid interpersonal skills, strong communication skills, and an understanding of data, along with a commitment to learning, and the ability to adapt.

To find the perfect job for you in Marketing, check out our Job Search tool on Career.io!

Key takeaways

  1. Marketing involves looking at customer behavior with the end goal of figuring out what they want to buy and the best ways to promote and sell products and services to those customers.

  2. A career in marketing generally requires a bachelor's degree in marking or a related field. If you're looking to move up into management, consider getting a Master’s degree in marketing.

  3. Marketing positions require good time management, communication, and organizational skills as well as proficiency with various technology platforms such as Social media marketing, Search engine optimization (SEO), and Web/data analytics.

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