Is It Worth Going to College for Marketing?

Work has seen a shift in recent years from education qualifications to skills requirements.

And that is even more true for marketing.

It’s become even more apparent since recent events started, as more companies have realized the need for problem-solving skills.

One such field that has experienced these changes is marketing. It, therefore, makes one wonder whether going to college for marketing is worthwhile.

Marketing and innovation is the chief function in business.  Marketing’s job is to gain a customer and keep a customer. Nothing is more important to the life of a business. If you have the right marketing skills, you can virtually earn as much money as you want.

Is a marketing degree worth your time, effort, and money? If you already have the skills and experience, it may not.

Here are a few scenarios to consider.

1. Lack of Relevant Marketing Experience

While the definition of marketing is to: 1) gain a customer, and 2) keep a customer, a marketing degree is not solely about learning how to advertise and sell products or services.

While it’s true that pursuing a marketing degree will help you understand the best practices, marketing theory and current industry tools in use. And this itself could prepare you for real-life settings.

If you are applying for an entry-level position, chances are you lack the relevant years of experience versus someone with no degree who learned eCommerce marketing skills by launching a website early on.

For this reason, a marketing degree will come in handy and will set you apart from other applicants who have no real world experience. Plus, with a degree, you could learn structural skills that many non-college educated entrepreneurs took the time to learn.

2. You Wish to Acquire Specific Marketing Skills

Like the nature of work, education has also experienced a shift.

More people are leaning towards self-education and learning from a mentor.

And in some instances, this learning mode can be even more beneficial than a college degree. For example, instead of investing $50,000 or more into a Bachelor's degree in Marketing, many realize the value in saving those funds and bootstrapping an eCommerce store or an agency helping businesses install Google Tag Manager, manage Google My Business, develop the Marketing Mix, grow their website traffic, Facebook advertising or Pinterest accounts.

However, there are specific foundational skill requirements that make a marketing degree a wise decision.

These areas may include:

3. To Successfully Manage and Market Your Business

Running a business requires an in-depth understanding of consumers, from identifying the right audience to translating unmet demands.

A marketing degree provides valuable knowledge in marketing and other disciplines like organizational leadership, accounting, finance, and human resource management, all essential for business growth.

Is Marketing a Valuable Major?

If you wish to pursue a marketing degree, one thing you probably want to know is whether it will lead to a suitable career path. There are several specialization areas to choose from, making it easier to identify the specific course you wish to study. These include content marketing, market research, and influencer marketing.

You’ll also be glad to know that marketing careers have strong income potential.

For instance, in 2020, market research and marketing specialists received a median annual wage of $65,810. This amount was sizeable, considering the median yearly salary for all occupations was $41,950.

Remember, the earning levels can be higher if you land a senior marketing position, something that may be easier to gain with a Bachelor’s degree versus no degree.

Still, in the same year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that marketing managers and advertising and promotions managers earned $142,170 and $141,490, respectively.

These figures indicate the possibility of substantial earnings if you can move up the career ladder.

Also, no need to worry about marketing losing demand; the BLS shows a positive job outlook for marketing careers. For instance, the projections for marketing research analysts predict a 22% growth from 2020 to 2030, approximately 96,000 positions annually.

One more thing to bear in mind is that marketing generally stays resilient even during global economic crises.

Marketing vs. Business Degree

If you consider a marketing degree, it’s easy to wonder how different it is from a general business degree and whether it will lead to a successful career path.

Here’s what you should know.

The Course Content Is Similar

The course content during the first two years is very similar for both degrees as most courses at the Associates (AA of AS) level fulfill general requirements.

It is during the latter half of the Bachelors degree that the course requirements really begin to differ. But even still, the courses are very similar minus a few specialized courses depending upon the degree.

For marketing majors, the degree becomes more specialized with subjects like video, advertising topics and social media marketing.

In comparison, as the name suggests, a general business degree will take on a wider set of business concepts. And will include courses like Human Resources, Finance, Business Law and Strategic Planning.

A list of courses for a typical Bachelor or Marketing degree may like this from Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix, AZ:

Bachelor of Marketing and Advertising at Grand Canyon University (GCU)Credits: 
BIT-200: Introduction to Computer Technology4
MKT-315: Introduction to Marketing4
ACC-240: Fundamentals of Accounting4
BUS-340: Ethical and Legal Issues in Business4
MKT-345: Buyer and Consumer Behavior4
BUS-352: Business Statistics4
MKT-415: Promotion and Advertising4
MGT-420: Organizational Behavior and Management4
ECN-351: Essentials of Economics4
MGT-455: Production/Operations Management4
FIN-350: Fundamentals of Business Finance4
MKT-445: Marketing Research and Reporting4
MKT-450: Marketing Management4
MKT-462: Digital Marketing and Advertising4
BUS-485: Strategic Management4
Total credits: 60

Are the Career Options for a Marketing Degree Limited?

  • At first glance, some people might think a marketing degree is limiting. And those people are right, for them.
  • But for others, a marketing degree could present unlimited opportunities. And they would be right, too.
  • You see, with flexible degrees like marketing and business, your options are only limited by one person: you.

And with marketing andor a business degree in your skill set, you can literally choose to do anything you want. That’s because both degrees provide a foundation that many people won’t have. And when you stack more skills on top of your degrees, known as specialized knowledge, your career options are virtually limitless.

Yes, with a marketing degree you could qualify to be a Marketing Manager, an Online Marketing Specialist, a Social Media Marketer and after you have a few years of experience you could join us at Your Strategic Marketing Partner.

As for a business degree, you may qualify for marketing roles, too, but will need some specialized knowledge on how to help customers gain a customer and keep a customer.

However, due to its broad-based nature that comes with a degree in business, you’ll have many job options from different areas, including Accounting, Finance, Human resources, and Public Relations, and much more.

Do Marketing Degrees Have a Higher Income Potential?

While the salary differs depending on the job title, most entry-level marketing majors have higher wages than business majors of the same level. 

The specialization aspect is perhaps the reason why a marketing degree is so valuable.

This statement is not to say that a general business degree isn’t worth it.

Some employers, particularly small businesses, might prefer a more well-rounded professional because of a limited budget.

Is a Marketing Degree Right for You?

Statistics show that there’s a constant need for marketing professionals.

And there is no shortage of businesses in your backyard, right now, that need your help.

Additionally, a marketing degree has various specialization areas, ideal for people who want to hone their skills in one field or be an entrepreneur.

Finally, while the earning potential is healthy, ultimately, the answer as to whether a marketing degree is worth it will hinge on your passion and career goals.

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