What is a Marketing Major and is it Right for Me?
If you love everything about creating and selling a new product to the audience of your choice, becoming a marketing major might be right up your alley. Marketing majors study the art and science of figuring out what people want; armed with that knowledge, they create, optimize and promote products and services to sell to a target demographic.
What does marketing actually entail? Here’s what you need to consider.
What is a marketing major?
“Marketing” is an umbrella term for anything dealing with the creation of a product or service and its subsequent branding in the hopes of getting people to buy or interact with it. Because there are so many different parts to marketing, marketing majors spend a lot of time learning about various parts of the process before concentrating and honing in on a particular area of study.
Your classes as a marketing major can vary greatly depending on the program, but potential options include advertising and promotion, marketing communications, public relations, market research, consumer behavior, marketing strategy, management and sales.
Is it right for me?
If you’re still getting the hang of what a marketing major does, here are several key questions to ask yourself:
- Do I watch TV commercials and wonder why brands made their ads a certain way?
- Am I interested in sales? Do I like figuring out the best way to pitch and sell a product to consumers of any kind?
- Do I like communicating and working with others? Do I consider my interpersonal skills to be a strong suit?
- Am I able to handle criticism and feedback from peers, professors and professionals well?
- Do I look forward to interning and gaining valuable work experience during college?
- Am I able to think creatively as well as quantitatively? Am I as willing to brainstorm interesting campaign ideas as I am to analyze metrics?
- Am I good at thinking outside the box? Can I spin things in a way that’s different to what others are doing?
Is marketing the same as advertising?
You might also be wondering how a marketing major differs from an advertising major. While both fall under most schools’ communications departments, they’re typically treated as entirely different majors.
What’s the biggest difference? Marketing is about every part of the process of brainstorming and creating a product, including how it’s packaged, sold and improved for further promotion. Advertising is only a part of marketing, but it’s an extremely crucial one that shouldn’t be overlooked. This is why it’s almost always a separate major.
What can I do with a marketing degree?
The great thing about a marketing degree is that it can prepare you to enter any number of fields related to creating and promoting a product, and your major will teach you basic marketing principles that you can use regardless of the industry you’re targeting.
Entry-level marketing roles can include:
- marketing manager
- social media marketer
- public relations account executive
- product manager
- brand partnerships manager
- advertising associate
- design specialist
- …and much more!
Additionally, some marketing majors decide to specialize their studies by going to graduate school. For instance, you may go back to school to focus on learning more about brand strategy or international marketing.
What do people who majored in marketing earn?
Marketing managers and other entry-level marketing professionals typically have salaries starting in the $35,000-$45,000 range, though there’s lots of room for promotions and salary increases depending on your field and where you work. For instance, you may start off as a marketing manager making $40,000 a year, whereas a marketing director can tip the scales at over $100,00 per year. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions: at a big company like Google, and you can make as much as $80,000 for an entry-level marketing manager position!
Questions and Answers
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Go with a close friend or a coworker who can help you start conversations. Be sure to go with someone that's understanding and will help you branch out.
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