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Communications Degree Salary Guide
Every organization has a story to share. To tell the right story to the right audience, however, leadership leans on communications professionals. These professionals are masters of their craft, honing written or spoken words to both suit their companies’ needs and appeal to their audiences. Whether creating a press release, a speech, or an advertising campaign, communications professionals specialize in turning words into marketable assets.
Marketing, advertising, public relations, and media are only a few of the industries that rely on the skills of communications graduates. Working in the communications sector isn’t just about filling space with words — it’s about developing communication strategies and using the right tone and terminology to reach specific audiences and accomplish particular goals. With the rise of social media and the decline of traditional news media, it’s more important than ever before that strategists, writers, marketers, and publishers ensure information is relevant, accurate, and up-to-date.
Communications specialists are a vital link between companies and communities, and the demand for their services is rapidly growing. For those looking to obtain information about the communications sector, job opportunities, and estimated salaries, this brief communications degree salary guide is a good place to start.
A marketing specialist can work in nearly any industry that sells a product or service, making this a versatile career choice. A large part of a marketing specialist’s role is to develop strategies to successfully advertise a company’s product. These professionals interpret current and previous sales data to refine approaches and reach target audiences in order to improve a company’s return on investment.
A marketing specialist also provides input and guidance on which communication channels and assets are needed for a marketing strategy and the verbiage, tone, and appearance each asset should have. These elements, which are usually the product of creative team efforts, can include online advertisements, TV commercials, printed brochures, and billboards. Working alongside a brand manager, a marketing specialist aligns the content materials with the company’s goals and brand message. The end result is a strong brand that should flawlessly connects the company’s services or products with the target audience’s needs.
Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a marketing specialist is $71,450. Salaries can fluctuate depending on the job location; Texas ($79,480), California ($80,020), Delaware ($80,470), Washington ($82,190), and New Jersey ($84,970) pay the most for marketing specialists.
Editors play a particularly vital role in content creation. They work with writers to develop ideas or stories for blogs, advertisements, or even novels. After a writer submits a draft — but before publication — an editor reviews the piece’s content and structure. Depending on the company, internal procedures, and even the type of document being edited, the editor might return a document to an author for further work, send it to a copy editor, or assign it to a fact-checker.
The editor position has changed in recent years with the boom of internet publishing and advertising. According to BLS, this has resulted in a decline in traditional newspaper and magazine editor roles. In an interview with the International Federation of Periodical Publishers (FIPP), editors noted that while editing great content for readers is still an important part of their responsibilities, they also now have to be concerned with marketing research and promotional strategies, such as how to increase readership by tailoring content for social media users.
Because editing jobs now require more dynamic skills, employers may require a bachelor’s degree. Salaries vary by location and employer, but the median salary for an editor is $58,770 per year, with the highest 10 percent earning up to $114,460, according to BLS.
Before an editor can review a piece of content, someone needs to create it. Copywriters may work in office settings or on a freelance basis. They are responsible for creating the text for a variety of businesses, including online publishers, marketing companies, and advertising services. Projects can be as small as short sentences or slogans that work with images and scripts used in commercials or radio ads, or as extensive as content for a company’s entire website.
Working closely with clients, copywriters create content to grab an audience’s attention. In the fast-moving digital landscape, creativity, resourcefulness, and excellent writing skills are all important for reaching targeted markets.
Employers may prefer that a copywriter have a bachelor’s degree. Additional certifications, such as the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Foundation Certificate, may also be necessary, depending on company and sector. BLS reports that the average salary for a writer is $61,820 per year. As writers gain experience and success, however, their pay may also increase. The expected job outlook for writers and authors is set to increase 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, with as many as 10,000 new jobs waiting for aspiring writers.
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations (PR) specialists are responsible for creating or maintaining a favorable public image for an organization, both during and outside of crises. It’s important work, because the internet’s ever-growing speed, reach, and marketing power mean that information shared online has the ability to go viral — for all the right or wrong reasons. PR specialists must be able to respond to crises quickly and correctly. The job responsibilities include creating press releases, social media campaigns, news stories, and interviews to help shape the public’s perception of a company.
As part of his or her role, a PR specialist may also create speeches for executives and company spokespeople to keep messages clear, concise, and on-brand. These speeches, with their bolstered messages, are key in helping executives or spokespeople to communicate effectively with the media.
Employers are likely to require a PR specialist to have a bachelor’s degree. BLS has listed a median annual salary of $59,300 for PR specialists, although the highest 10 percent earned up to $112,000. With social media rapidly changing perceptions of companies, the expected job outlook for PR specialists is an estimated 9 percent increase between 2016 and 2026, equal to an additional 22,900 jobs.
Digital Content Producer
Professionals interested in communications degree salaries will find the digital content producer position an exciting and fast-paced role. Digital content producers are responsible for creating and organizing digital media for client projects, such as videos, online advertisements, blogs, and web pages. They oversee the entire production of the digital content, including approving the budget, setting the creative direction, and launching the content on the appropriate communication channels.
Digital content producers are responsible for the entire production of a digital project, which includes continually optimizing the content following its launch. Producers must therefore have a strong understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), analytics, and digital advertising platforms to ensure the piece of content continues to meet their client’s expectations.
Digital content producers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in communication which helps develop the skills needed to be a successful producer such as managing multiple deadlines, understanding competitor trends, and integrating new technologies. The median annual salary of a digital content producer is $59,799, according to PayScale; however, this can vary based on the producer’s years of experience, level of education, specific industry, and track record. A successful producer in the top quarter percentile can earn upwards of $73,000 per year.
Digital media and marketing is changing rapidly as companies look for qualified communications professionals to create an engaging and unique experience with customers. An internship at a digital marketing agency or in a communications department can be essential to secure an entry-level job, as internships allow students to practice the theories and skills learned in the classroom. Students enrolled in the Maryville University Bachelor of Arts in Communication program are required to complete these kinds of internships, which provide needed launching points and the foundation for success. In addition to completing this internship, students also have the chance to work on real client projects as part of their coursework building the necessary knowledge needed to lead projects later in their career.
Opportunities to pursue careers in marketing, public relations, editing, copywriting, and producing are growing at rapid rates. For those looking to join this dynamic range of industries, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication helps build a strong and strategic career foundation.
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
International Federation of Periodical Publishers, “The changing role of the editor”
Maryville University, “Online Bachelor of Arts in Communication”
Maryville University, “Online Bachelor’s in Communication Curriculum”
Maryville University, “Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership”
PayScale.com, “Executive Producers”
PayScale.com, “Digital Content Producers”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Editors”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Marketing Specialists”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Producers and Directors”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Public Relations Specialists”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Writers and Authors”
What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree?
MarketingMarketing & Communications ProgramsBachelor's DegreeCareers
If there’s one degree that covers the gamut of business, social sciences, humanities, communication, digital and technology, it’s marketing. Marketing offers a hot job market for qualified graduates who can think strategically, create relevancy and deliver measureable results.
With the exception of information technology, this widening field may be responsible for more career innovations than just about any other.
Think about it.
A generation ago, marketing professionals had no concept of social media. There was no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter. And no need to work any of that into the marketing mix.
Today, marketing continues to evolve at warp speed.
Right now, there’s a huge need for savvy marketers who can position organizations to understand, leverage and capitalize on all the powerful things digital has to offer.
More importantly, in today’s high-tech society, the next big thing is always right out in front. So companies big and small, agencies, internet marketers and ecommerce retailers need well-prepared college graduates who can help them build community, draw qualified traffic, influence followers and deliver return on investment (ROI).
With a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you can develop and refine your skills in such key areas as:
- Consumer Behavior
- Content Marketing
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Market Research and Analytics
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media
Is marketing right for you?
Marketing is everywhere. Every industry, every type and every size of business needs – and relies on – marketing for profit and success.
Marketing, says Bruce Ramsey, MSC, MBA, chair of the undergraduate marketing program of Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, is an interesting and growing field.
“Contrary to what people think, marketing is not limited to advertising and sales,” he says. “It’s also not limited to agency careers, though that is an option. There’s a whole other side we call the ‘client side,’ which means working for a company who uses marketing to generate business success.”
Which, Ramsey says, is part of what draws students to marketing.
“The majority of our adult-learner marketing students are not currently working in the field,” he explains. “Most are career changers who want to move up in their own organization or move into the marketing department. An undergraduate marketing degree is a good fit for working people who want to move into marketing without becoming really specialized in something like, say, marketing research. A general marketing degree lets you participate in helping your organization figure out what to do to become more effective at what it does, whether that’s creating product or selling services.”
Done right, marketing can help organizations:
- Boost customer engagement
- Build brand awareness
- Drive organizational performance
- Increase the bottom line
- Influence purchasing behavior
- Promote goods and services
- Strengthen customer loyalty
Without marketing, none of that can happen in the best, most efficient manner.
From marketing theories and methodologies, to research and planning, to smartly structured communication and strategy, a bachelor’s degree can prepare you to help your employer or organization maintain a competitive edge.
When it comes to paying for school, grants are among your best options. But do you know how to find them? Remove the guesswork by downloading this free guide.
Are you right for marketing?
As a general rule, there two types of people who typically are drawn to going back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Are you one – or both – of these?
- Communicators. This includes writers, bloggers, journalists, storytellers and others who like to express themselves through words. This personality type thrives on certain aspects of internet marketing such as content creation, blogging and social media.
Is creativity your thing?
That’s a really good start, says Ramsey. “Most of our students are surprised that marketing is not just about being ‘big C Creative.’ Sure, a big part of marketing is creativity, but not in the way people think; it’s more about having the ability connect creativity to strategy and then being able to explain it. I call it ‘purpose-driven communication’ because a good idea is not worth anything unless you can articulate it in a compelling way.”
- Analytics. This includes number crunchers, data geeks, predictive analytics and others who enjoy interpreting information and synthesizing findings. This personality type enjoys many of internet marketing’s most important skills, including understanding purchasing behavior, optimizing conversion through split rates and beta testing, and measuring digital efforts through web analytics and other tools.
According to Ramsey and other marketing professionals, marketing as a profession requires a fair amount of ingenuity blended with analytical, communication and problem-solving skills.
Here’s a list of other success skills for those planning on a career in marketing:
- Collaborative, cross-functional approach
- Comfortable with themselves and with telling a story
- Computer literate
- Deadline oriented
- Good oral and written communication abilities
- Is energized and learns better when actively engaged
- Prefers a high-energy environment
- Presentation capabilities
- Successful at multitasking and shifting priorities
As long as the inclination for those things is there, the right degree program can teach you the rest.
Pursuing your degree in marketing should give you a foundational knowledge of the terminology, theories, frameworks and methodologies used in the marketing profession. But the real game-changer? Application in the real world.
“One thing I like to see students get out of their studies is to learn how to frame their ideas in a way that’s compelling,” says Ramsey. “The thread that runs through our classes and program curriculum is giving presentations and practicing how to tell an influential story.”
Careers and Employment Outlook
If you decide to major in marketing, your studies will help you add a variety of sought-after skills to your résumé. Plus you’ll be better prepared for career positions in which earnings potential and job outlook is very good.
As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that marketing careers will increase far better than average---by 17 percent by 2025. By 2025, there will be estimated 1.3 million marketing jobs in the United States. And, with a median income of $44.27 per hour according to Emsi, a Career Builder company, the field is considered well-paying, too.
“It’s long been recognized that in some fields you need a degree,” says Ramsey. “For example, in finance you need an accounting degree. Unfortunately, that’s not been the case with marketing. Sometimes people migrate into it without a degree, but that always shows up in their performance and ability to advance.”
Here are just a few of the job titles you’ll be ready for when you earn your bachelor’s in marketing:
- Account Executive
- Advertising/Promotion Manager
- Brand Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Market Research Analyst
- Media Planner
- Production Manager
- Promotions Coordinator
Or, if you want to focus in digital marketing, you might consider:
- Digital Media Director
- Digital Optimization Analyst
- Director of Internet Marketing
- Director of Web Analytics
- eCommerce Manager
- New Media Manager
- Digital Marketing Analyst
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Paid Search Specialist
- SEO Manager
- Social Media Coordinator
- Web Marketing Manager
One of the most interesting things about marketing is that jobs are available in a variety of industries.
“Former students of mine are working for law firms doing marketing. Banks, too. And anyplace where relationship marketing is needed. Really, no industry is off limits,” Ramsey says.
While the majority of marketing graduates will start out at junior- and associate-level positions, advancement to mid- and upper-level management can be swift, depending on performance.
“CEOs have traditionally come more from the finance area,” says Ramsey, “but that’s shifting because of the strategic aspects of marketing. Now we’re seeing more and more executives, including chief marketing officers (CMOs) come out of marketing.”
Ready to take the first step toward an exciting career in marketing?
Learn more here.
Marketing Salary and Job Outlook
The variation in actual marketing salaries can be significant; different specialties can have such vast salary differences that one marketing career can pay almost double another. Specialization particularly boosts marketing degree salary ranges at the mid-level of a marketing career path. A general brand manager will make about $5,000 less than a package design manager, even though package design is only one part of a brand manager's responsibilities. Marketing salaries at the highest levels of a marketing professional's career only tell part of the story. Stock options, bonuses, benefits, and other company perks can increase the base salary by 10% or more.
Here are some statistics on salaries, job growth, and employer types for marketing professionals.
Median Annual Salary
Take a look at some of the salaries for popular careers in marketing:
|Marketing Career||Median Annual Salary*|
|Market Research Analyst||$65,810|
|Public Relations Manager||$134,120|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
What is my earning potential?
As with almost all careers, the higher degree you hold, the higher your salary: A bachelor's degree can add $2,000 to $5,000 or more per year in earning potential, while an MBA can add yet another $7,000 to $11,000, though many MBAs start out in higher-level management jobs with more responsibility, and consequently earn a larger salary.
The BLS reports that the upper 10% of marketing managers earned more than $208,000, as did managers in advertising and promotions. Market research analysts in the top 10% earned more than $127,410.
Is there demand for this career?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for marketing is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations. However, job growth will vary by the area of marketing in which you choose to specialize, as well as where you work. For example, newspaper publishing—a top employer of advertising managers—is on the decline, while electronic media outlets are expected to see employment growth.
What is the job growth for the field?
Take a look at how some of the marketing occupations compare as far as job growth:
Job Outlook Comparison Over the Next Decade
- Sales Management—4%, as fast as average
- Public Relations Management—9%, faster than average
- Advertising Management—6%, a little faster than average
- Market Research Analyst – 18%, much faster than average
- Marketing Management—7%, faster than average
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook
How much competition will I face for a job?
The job market for those in marketing is intensely competitive and where at one time a bachelor's degree might have been sufficient to enter the field, more and more employers are looking for master's degree-or MBA-holders. In some fields, such as market research analyst, a master's degree may be required. Advertising managers who can navigate the digital world should have an advantage when it comes to finding a job, says the BLS.
What kinds of companies hire marketers?
Here are the most common places where business administration professionals can be found according to the BLS:
- Companies and Enterprises
- Car Dealers
- Wholesale Electronic Markets
- Computer Systems Design
- Advertising and Public Relations
- Companies and Enterprises
- Radio and Television Broadcasting
- Newspaper, Periodical, Book and Directory Publishers
- Companies and Enterprises
- Computer Systems Design
- Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
- Finance and insurance companies
- Advertising and Public Relations
How do I advance in my marketing career?
The ability to spot and analyze trends to determine creative marketing strategies for clients is essential, but education is still the best way to advance up the ladder. A marketing manager may enter the field with a bachelor's degree, but earning a master's could increase your career options and give you access to senior management and administrative roles. If you want to be considered for that great promotion, you might want to think about one (or both) of these tips:
- Get onboard the digital media wagon—it's here to stay so learn to use Adobe Creative Suite or other digital media software.
- Get certified—earning certification shows potential employers that you are a professional in the field, and may play a role in employment decisions or promotions. The Public Relations Society of America offers professional certification based on years' experience and passing an exam and the Marketing Research Association offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for market research analysts.
To learn more about the education required for a career in marketing, research your options, and read about degree programs.
Salary ba marketing
2021 Highest Paid Marketing Graduates
Finding the Best Marketing School for You
In 2018-2019, 44,258 people earned their bachelor's in marketing, making the major the #12 most popular in the United States. When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Highest Paid Marketing list to help you make the college decision.
For this year's Highest Paid Marketing Graduates ranking, we looked at 401 colleges that offer a bachelor's in marketing.
In this ranking, we use early career salaries - salaries 10 years from when a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.
How Much Do Marketing Majors Make After Graduation?
After graduating, marketing majors that go to school in the United States go on to jobs making an average of $39,649 per year. That's right on par with the typical salary of a bachelor's degree holder with a degree from any field.
Average Salary for Marketing Graduates from Schools Nationwide 39,649
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major) 39,802
In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.
2021 Highest Paid Marketing Grads in the United States
The highest paid marketing majors graduate from the following colleges and universities.
Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Marketing Graduates
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a very large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in marketing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $54,800.
The average amount in student loans that marketing majors at UMN Twin Cities take out while working on their bachelor's is $18,947. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $207.
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Southern Methodist University landed the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid marketing school. SMU is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Dallas. Students who receive their bachelor's in marketing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $53,900.
After completing their bachelor's degree, marketing graduates from SMU carry an average student debtload of $14,653. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.
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Miami University - Oxford comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Miami University - Oxford is a large public school located in the fringe town of Oxford. Marketing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $52,800.
On average, marketing graduates from Miami University - Oxford take out $21,299 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $255.
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Michigan State University comes in at #12 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of East Lansing, Michigan State is a public college with a fairly large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in marketing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $51,300.
On average, marketing graduates from Michigan State take out $23,110 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $253.
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Rest of the Top Schools for Highest Paid Marketing Graduates
Additional Award Winners
This list shows the rest of the schools awarded a Highest Paid Marketing Graduates badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 401 different United States marketing schools we analyzed.
|51||Drake University||Des Moines, IA|
|52||Loyola University Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|53||University of Massachusetts Amherst||Amherst, MA|
|54||The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|55||University of St Thomas Minnesota||Saint Paul, MN|
|56||Elon University||Elon, NC|
|57||Lewis University||Romeoville, IL|
|58||Creighton University||Omaha, NE|
|59||Colorado State University - Global Campus||Greenwood Village, CO|
|60||Binghamton University||Vestal, NY|
Here are some additional great schools for Marketing students seeking high pay that almost earned our Highest Paid Marketing Graduates award.
|61||Baylor University||Waco, TX|
|62||University of Minnesota - Duluth||Duluth, MN|
|63||Concordia University, Saint Paul||Saint Paul, MN|
|64||University of Arkansas||Fayetteville, AR|
|65||Utah Valley University||Orem, UT|
|66||Saint Joseph’s University||Philadelphia, PA|
|67||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|68||The University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson, TX|
|69||Sacred Heart University||Fairfield, CT|
|70||Ohio University - Athens Campus||Athens, OH|
|71||University of Maryland Global Campus||Adelphi, MD|
|72||University of Kansas||Lawrence, KS|
|73||Plymouth State University||Plymouth, NH|
|74||University of Dayton||Dayton, OH|
|75||George Mason University||Fairfax, VA|
|76||University of Rhode Island||Kingston, RI|
|77||Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA|
|78||Arizona State University - Tempe||Tempe, AZ|
|79||Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus||Teaneck, NJ|
|80||University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Seattle, WA|
Marketing by Region
View the Highest Paid Marketing Graduates for a specific region near you.
Rankings in Majors Related to Marketing
One of 21 majors within the Business, Management & Marketing area of study, Marketing has other similar majors worth exploring.
Most Popular Majors Related to Marketing
View All Marketing Related Majors >
Notes and References
- The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
- Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
- Credit for the banner image above goes to Nick Youngson.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Ready to start your journey?
Marketing, advertising, and promotions managers can work in virtually every industry. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field can pursue a variety of entry-level marketing roles. Students can also pursue an advanced degree to prepare for leadership positions in diverse industries.
This guide outlines important information for anyone considering a marketing career, including types of degrees and potential careers and salaries for graduates.
Why Pursue a Career in Marketing?
Creative professionals with excellent communication skills thrive as marketers. Marketing managers and specialists remain in high demand across many industries. Most advertising, public relations, and sales positions require only a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions, but a candidate with an advanced degree, relevant work experience, and strong digital marketing skills can pursue leadership positions in the field.
Marketing Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to increase by 8% between 2018-2028, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. Marketing managers tend to earn the highest wages among marketing professionals, making a median annual salary of $136,850.
Marketers can work in nearly every industry, but providers of professional, scientific, and technical services are the largest employers of marketers.
|Search Engine Optimization Specialist||$40,000||$45,000||$56,000||$61,000|
|Senior Marketing Manager||$88,000||$81,000||$95,000||$107,000|
Skills Gained with a Marketing Degree
Successful marketers must continuously improve their skills to advance their careers. Professional associations, such as the American Marketing Association (AMA), offer extensive online and in-person continuing education resources. Some companies provide employees with professional training, and many professional organizations offer local educational events. Most marketers, however, develop the basics of their professional skills in traditional academic programs.
Marketing Career Paths
Students can pursue marketing careers in many different industries, each requiring acute business, management, and communication skills. While many marketing programs emphasize general career skills with broad applications, the following represent some of the most common marketing specializations.
How to Start Your Career in Marketing
Students can begin their marketing careers by earning an undergraduate degree in marketing. Associate degree-holders can pursue careers as administrators, office or store managers, or sales clerks. Individuals with bachelor's degrees can become marketing managers, potentially specializing in areas like digital marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). Candidates with graduate degrees can pursue leadership marketing roles, such as senior marketing manager or CEO.
Related Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
How to Advance Your Career in Marketing
Aspiring marketers can distinguish themselves among competitors by earning professional certifications or licensure and completing continuing education. While not required, these credentials and experiences can help marketers advance their careers.
Certifications and/or Licensure
Certifications for Specialized Skills
Marketers at all levels can differentiate themselves through continuing education. Nationally renowned programs at schools like the New York Institute of Finance and Boston University offer free open courseware online. Marketing continuing education courses may cover topics like social media marketing, customer-centric marketing, and marketing analytics.
Additionally, job seekers can stand out by pursuing specialized work experience, such as an internship or fellowship program, to advance their careers.
Careers in marketing require candidates to consistently sharpen their skills and expertise. Professionals can keep their skills and knowledge updated by joining professional organizations, completing open courseware, and seeking professional networking opportunities.
Many professional organizations, such as AMA and the Direct Marketing Association, offer tiered collegiate/student and senior-level membership terms and rates. Joining a professional organization can provide students with the networking opportunities they need to succeed in marketing. Additionally, membership in a professional organization offers perks like access to industry texts, annual conventions, and job openings.
How to Switch Your Career to Marketing
While most entry-level jobs in marketing require a bachelor's degree, associate degree-holders can pursue related roles, such as administrative or sales positions. Graduates of master's or doctoral programs qualify for senior-level marketing careers. Many students gain experience in advertising, sales, or public relations before transitioning to careers as marketing managers or specialists.
Some marketers begin their careers in general marketing positions, eventually transitioning to specialized fields, like digital or SEO marketing. Others may go back to school to pursue a graduate degree on the path toward an executive marketing career, such as CEO or VP, or a postsecondary teaching position.
Where Can You Work as a Marketing Professional?
Marketers may work for agencies, companies, or themselves. Urban areas with high concentrations of cutting-edge industries typically offer higher salaries and more opportunities for marketers than rural settings or places with low population densities.
Marketing salaries vary by factors like education, experience, and industry. As shown below, marketers providing advertising, public relations, and related services earn an average salary of $69,820, while specialized marketers in the aerospace product and parts manufacturing industry earn $118,190, on average.
Marketing professionals can experience fluctuations in job growth based on their location. California employs the most marketing professionals (98,760), followed by New York (68,680) and Florida (40,480).
While these states employ the highest concentrations of marketing professionals in the nation, New Jersey pays marketers the highest average annual salary ($91,360), followed by Washington ($88,290), Delaware ($84,990), and Washington, D.C.($82,300).
Interview with a Professional in Marketing
Resources for Marketing Majors
Becoming a member of a professional organization benefits marketing professionals at all levels of education and experience. Organizations like those listed below can provide networking opportunities and industry access to conferences, speaking engagements, and virtual events. Additionally, some organizations offer open courseware and industry publications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read More About Marketing on BestColleges
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.
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