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Degree Requirements for a Marketing Manager

by Laura La Bella , studioD

Marketing is an exciting profession where professionals combine their creativity with strategic and analytical thinking to influence the public’s buying decisions. Marketing managers create and implement marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns to generate interest and drive sales. They conduct and analyze market research, develop pricing strategies and connect with customers. Marketing managers also measure the effectiveness of their messages as they convince customers to buy their company's products and services.

Undergraduate Degree

A bachelor’s degree in marketing, journalism, communications, new media marketing or advertising is required for nearly all marketing management positions. The curriculum for these programs provides a foundation in the concepts of marketing, communications and advertising; the application of these concepts to problems in the business world; and the measurement the impact of marketing and promotions campaigns have on sales and buyer behavior. Students gain an understanding of consumer buying patterns, the development of successful marketing strategies and how market research can influence marketing decisions. Students also learn about brand management, production commercialization, sales and consulting.

Course Work

Course work in these programs covers topics such as marketing metrics and research, organizational behavior, operations management, multimedia writing, speech communication, public speaking, digital media and social media, media law, Internet marketing, marketing strategy, and campaign planning and management. With the Internet and mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets influencing the way customers engage socially, skills in creating effective messages for these devices are key. Additional course work in media planning, video production, Web design, search engine marketing and analytics, and media and Web culture are important.

Additional Skills

Marketing managers need extensive knowledge of social media and how it is successfully incorporated into marketing campaigns. Managing digital media campaigns, which target customers through interactive websites, live chats and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Reddit, is essential to reach customers who spend more of their time online or using mobile devices. While a graduate degree is not a requirement for a job as a marketing manager, it can be useful in introducing professionals to business concepts associated with accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and operations management. These are commons areas managers often encounter. An MBA with a specialization in marketing can further focus a marketing manager’s capabilities on the process of entering new markets, creating value for customers and developing profits for their organization.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for marketing managers was $116,000 in 2011. The top 10 percent of the field can make upwards of $187,000 a year. Job growth is expected to increase by 14 percent as organizations try to expand their market share and seek out new ways to position their products and services.

About the Author

Laura La Bella has worked as a marketing communications writer and editor in the fields of advertising, development and higher education for more than 15 years. She has authored more than two dozen nonfiction books for young adults, covering biographies of socially relevant people, timely social issues and career paths.

Photo Credits

  • John Rowley/Digital Vision/Getty Images