Is a Career in Marketing Right for Me?

by Terri Williams

Marketing is an exciting career field that many people find challenging and rewarding. While it doesn’t have extensive educational requirements, individuals who choose a profession in this area need a certain set of skills to be successful. Other factors, such as salary and job outlook should also be considered when deciding whether to pursue a marketing career.

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements for marketing careers vary. Marketing managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Students who wish to pursue this career path should also take classes in management and business law, and they should be comfortable with or take classes in accounting, finance, statistics and basic mathematics. After completing their degree, many marketing graduates start out as marketing specialists and work their way up to marketing manager. Market research analysts need a bachelor’s degree in market research, statistics, math or computer science. They should also take classes in research methods, marketing, communications and the social sciences.

Skills and Work Environment

Many of the skills needed for various marketing careers are similar. For example, marketing managers need analytical, creative and decision-making skills to analyze industry trends and create new marketing campaigns. These individuals also need interpersonal and management skills to work well with a variety of people, and they must be comfortable working under pressure and meeting deadlines. Market research analysts also need analytical skills to process large quantities of data. In addition, they have to be detail oriented to ensure that they don’t miss pieces of data that could change expected outcomes. They should also be comfortable working under pressure and meeting deadlines.

Salary Range

According to salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers made $129,870 in May 2012. As a point of comparison, this salary is much higher than the $109,590 earned by human resources managers and the $103,810 made by training and development managers. Market research analysts and marketing specialists earned $67,380 according to May 2012 salary data. This was more than the $60,660 earned by human resources specialists and the $59,560 earned by training and development specialists. However, it was lower than the $72,100 made by budget analysts and the $88,070 made by management analysts.

Job Outlook

Through 2020, the BLS predicts a 13 percent increase in demand for marketing managers, and this growth rate is roughly the same as the 14 percent national growth rate projected for most U.S. occupations. On the other hand, jobs for social and community services managers will increase by 27 percent, while medical and health services managers is expected to experience a 22 percent increase in demand. The BLS does not keep job outlook data for marketing specialists; however, market research analysts will experience a 41 percent increase in demand for their services over this period. This is almost three times the national average for other U.S. occupations, and is much faster than any other type of analyst position. In fact, market research analysts are one of the 20 fastest-growing jobs in the country, according to the BLS.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images