What Can You Do With a Marketing Degree?

Modern marketing incorporates complex techniques that leverage traditional media as well as digital media to capture consumers’ attention. While very different in idea and execution, the various forms of marketing within this spectrum can be performed by anyone with a strong grasp on fundamental marketing skills. To those asking, “What can you do with a marketing degree?” Bachelor’s Marketing programs open up exciting career opportunities and help prepare graduates to contribute to their employers’ marketing strategies in a number of different capacities.

female marketing student typing

Marketing Fields: Traditional vs. Digital

Marketing is broadly categorized into two fields, digital marketing and traditional marketing. However, the distinction between them is becoming increasingly blurry as more marketing strategies blend both traditional and digital elements for maximum reach and impact. Marketing professionals are expected to be well-versed in both areas, and a typical marketing curriculum will cover both.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing has diversified as the internet has grown, and continues to do so. Classes in this field now discuss many marketing techniques, with each one applying digital technologies in different ways. Some common digital marketing functions are as follows:

  • Paid search marketing – Coordinating marketing strategies that involve paying search engine companies, like Google, for targeted advertising services.
  • Paid social media marketing – Structuring marketing strategies that involve paying social media networks, like Facebook, for targeted advertising services.
  • Social media management – Guiding non-paid social media strategies by planning posts, creating posts, and engaging with audiences.
  • Influencer marketing – Identifying public figures that can effectively promote products for an organization, then approaching them with a mutually beneficial deal.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Improving an organization’s online visibility by improving their ranking in search engine results.

Digital marketing strategies that involve paying for services, like paid search or social media marketing, typically leverage data that has been compiled by the company hosting the advertisements. This data is used to get a company’s message directly in front of users who are likely to be interested in it. Other specializations, primarily social media management and influencer marketing, use relationship building to drive organic traffic to a company’s website or products.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is typically categorized as the methods which preceded modern digital marketing, and many have retained a considerable presence in the digital age. Print media, television advertising, and billboards are the archetypal forms of traditional marketing and can be further broken down into several smaller categories.

Traditional marketing tactics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct Mail – Involving bulk letters being posted to recipients addressed by location or expressed interest.
  • Radio Broadcast – Advertising between songs and sponsored segments.
  • Print Advertising – Traditional magazine or newspaper style advertisements.
  • Leaflets and Brochures – May be featured as a part of direct mail or be distributed by handouts or other means.

Career Opportunities with a Marketing Degree

So what can you do with a marketing degree? The possibilities are vast. Marketing exists across all sectors and industries, which means opportunities to pursue employment in private or public sector organizations, ranging from nonprofit organizations to retail or commercial businesses. Upon obtaining a marketing degree, graduates should have the competence necessary to pursue the following occupations:

Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists create and share content with the public through social media platforms, promoting a positive image for their company’s brand or sparking interest in a new product or event. They also follow online conversations and engage with the public.

A bachelor’s degree is typically sufficient for a social media specialist career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes social media specialists alongside public relations specialists, who earned a median salary of $59,300 in 2016. Jobs are expected to increase by 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Marketing Manager

Becoming a marketing manager generally requires a broad skill level and work experience.

Beyond having the skills to lead a team and meeting performance deadlines and KPI’s, it’s typically expected that a marketing manager will have the following.

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Google Adwords and Google Analytics certification or equivalent, depending on field.
  • Several years experience in brand management or sales.

Marketing managers can expect a median annual salary of $129,380 and the industry is projected to grow 10% faster than other industries on average between 2016 and 2026.

Chief Marketing Manager (CMO)

A CMO can expect the responsibilities of managing entire marketing departments within large organizations. Typical job duties include planning their organization’s marketing and advertising concepts, and making sure these are executed perfectly. A CMO will ensure brand management is maintained to the highest possible standards and oversee the delivery of all areas of marketing and branding.

According to PayScale.com, CMOs can expect to bring home an annual salary of approximately $160,000.00 inline with the median pay recorded in 2017. While there’s no prescribed qualification beyond a marketing degree for a CMO role, this position is typically availed to MBA graduates with extensive experience as a marketing manager.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts source actionable market data and process it into actionable insights that are used to plan advertising campaigns and direct promotional efforts. Job duties can include tasks like conducting product research, analyzing consumer trends to determine demand for products or services, and providing sales projections on new projects. A successful market research analyst will be able to package this data into an easily comprehensible format, allowing higher management to channel it into future advertising and marketing strategies.

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification for entry into this field, while some roles will be more suited to a Master’s degree. The median annual wage for market research analysts was $63,200 in 2017 and demand for this job role is expected to grow at a rate 23% faster than average for other industries and occupations between 2016 and 2026.

Sales Manager

Sales managers have less involvement with the direct planning and execution of marketing compared to the other roles listed. A typical sales manager will direct a team of salespeople, whose primary objective is to sell advertising. Sales managers are needed in almost every industry, including business, technology, and media companies, such as TV and radio stations. They may direct the sales of print, web, social media, television, or radio ads.

In addition to leadership skills and a good understanding of business practices and sales methods, it is fundamental that a sales manager have an in-depth understanding of marketing.

They also need to understand how to gather useful information about the businesses they are working for, and draw upon their experience and knowledge of consumer behaviors to work with their employers to determine which forms of marketing generate the best results.

A bachelor’s degree is typically suitable for the role of marketing manager, though candidates with a master’s degree will be preferred. Sales managers attracted a median annual salary of $121,060 and demand for jobs in this occupation is expected to grow by 7% between 2016 and 2026.

The Future of Marketing

Marketing is an exceptionally fast changing field. Many traditional concepts that underpin marketing and advertising remain constant, while new technology is rapidly changing the landscape through digital marketing. Many companies are now working with new technologies, like augmented and virtual reality, to discover new and innovative ways of communicating with consumers. Others are investigating ways to further optimize big data analytics, which is commonly used to understand consumer behaviors and market trends on exponential scales.  

Marketing is a rapidly burgeoning industry that is growing in diversity of job roles. So what can you do with a marketing degree? Well, as marketing grows as a discipline, so does the potential for businesses to grow their profitability using cutting-edge marketing strategies that incorporate the latest marketing techniques. Earning a bachelor’s in marketing can position students to enter the marketing arena with a running start. The curriculum equips graduates with the technical expertise they need to identify and engage with consumer audiences while also teaching them how to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.

Start Your Marketing Career with Maryville University

If you’re interested in the array of possibilities that a marketing degree opens up, find out how Maryville University’s online Bachelor’s in Marketing program can help prepare you for the exciting opportunities in the field.


Bureau of Labor Statistics – Sales Managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Marketing, Promotions & Advertising Managers

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Market Research Analysts

Payscale – Chief Marketing Officer

Forbes- What is Content Marketing?

Forbes – What is the Future Of Digital Marketing