Careers in Marketing

BA-RETAILING Catalog Information
Bachelor of Arts – Plan of Study
BS-MARKETING Catalog Information
Bachelor of Science – Plan of Study

Almost a third of all Americans are employed in marketing-related positions. Thus, the number of possible marketing careers is enormous. Because of the knowledge of products and consumers gained in these jobs, marketing provides excellent training for the highest levels in the organization. A recent study by a recruiting firm found that more top executives have come out of marketing than of any other area.

Marketing salaries vary by company and position. Beginning salaries usually rank only slightly below those for engineering and chemistry, but equal or exceed those for economics, finance, accounting, general business, and the liberal arts. If you succeed in an entry-level marketing position, you will quickly be promoted to higher levels of responsibility and salary.

Marketing has become an attractive career for some people who have not traditionally considered this field. One trend is the growing number of women entering marketing. Women have historically been employed in the retailing and advertising areas of marketing. But they now have moved into all types of sales and marketing positions. Women now pursue successful sales careers in pharmaceutical companies, publishing companies, banks, consumer products companies, and in an increasing number of industrial selling jobs. Their ranks are also growing in product and brand manager positions.

Another trend is the growing acceptance of marketing by nonprofit organizations. Colleges, arts organizations, libraries, and hospitals are increasingly applying marketing to their programs. They are beginning to hire marketing directors and marketing vice-presidents to manage their varied marketing activities.

Typical career tracks in marketing are listed below.

Advertising – Many organizations employ advertising specialists. Advertising agencies are the largest employers; however, manufacturers, retailers, banks, radio and television stations, hospitals, and insurance agencies all have advertising departments. Account executives manage the account services department, assess the need for advertising, and maintain client accounts. Because the industry is so competitive, it is very difficult to enter. Compensation for entry level positions in advertising is generally lower than other entry level positions, but increases substantially as one moves into management. In addition to experience, account manager positions will generally require an M.B.A. degree.


Mktg Manager Business Product/Service
Mktg Manager Consumer Product
Market Research Director
Media Planner/Analyst
Account Executive
Account Supervisor

*Above salaries are average salaries to highest reported salaries.

Interactive Marketing – As a result of technological capabilities and lifestyle market opportunities, interactive marketing has enjoyed substantial expansion. Although precise figures are difficult to pinpoint, interactive marketing has grown at a rate of at least 10% annually in recent years. The marketing positions in interactive marketing generally involve three facets: planning marketing activities, marketing research, and market analysis. Underlying most interactive marketing programs is the use of a computerized database containing data related to customer/prospect information, transaction records, and media tracking information. Graduating students with skills and interest in both marketing and data processing are likely to find excellent career opportunities in interactive marketing.


Catalog Circulation Manager
Catalog Marketing Director/B-to-B
Catalog Marketing Director/Consumer
Art Director-Catalog
Database Manager
Catalog Marketing Manager-Consumer
Catalog Marketing Manager-B-to-B

Marketing Research – Market researchers figure out what drives people to buy Cheerios, Chevrolets and Chimichangas. Market researchers are applied consumer behaviouralists, combining quantitative data with their understanding of how markets work to better promote a product. Market researchers use tools such as statistical analysis packages, surveys, focus groups and new product tests to help achieve success for a product. Work as a market researcher in both interesting and potentially lucrative. The field is booming and with ever-improving data from places such as supermarket scanners and the web, there is no doubt that this field has a bright future. Marketing research requires knowledge of statistics, data processing and analysis, psychology, and communication. A large supplier firm such as A.C. Nielsen will hire entry level people in two primary areas: statistical analysis and client services. A postgraduate degree (M.B.A., MS) is a prerequisite for most corporate researchers at major companies (and, yes, grades are important!).


Marketing Research Analyst
Market Analyst
Project Director
Market Research Director

Product (Brand) Management – Product (brand) managers coordinate all activities required to market a product. Thus, they need a general knowledge of all the aspects of marketing. The range of a product (brand) manager’s function varies from company to company according to the profit importance of the individual brand and size of the company. Product managers are responsible for the successes and failures of a product and are compensated well for this responsibility. Product management professionals are excited about their ability to manage and strengthen brands. They are at the vortex of company life because their decisions directly affect the success of a business. The level of experience needed for a brand manager is usually three to five years as a marketing assistant and/or assistant product manager. The most common route to a “starting” position in a brand group is via a sales or communications/advertising background. Most product (brand) manager positions will also require a postgraduate degree (M.B.A., MS).


Product Manager-Web
Assistant Product Manager
Product/Brand Manager
Product Catalog Manager
Project Director

Public Relations – Public relations firms help create an image or message for an individual or organization and communicate it effectively to the desired audience. PR firms help companies, non-profits and governments manage everything from speeches and the look of brochures to major crises. Communication skills, both written and oral, are critical for success in public relations. There’s no doubt that this field will continue to change, offering tremendous opportunities to someone with an interest in the area.




Typical Experience

Corporate Director
Agency PR Manager
PR Account Executive
Freelance PR Agents
$17,000 and up
Over 6 years
5 to 7 years
2 to 6 years
Entry level

Retailing – Retail is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic parts of the world economy. Careers in retail are people-oriented, fast-paced and exciting. Retailing is worth taking a good look at, particularly if you are looking for service-oriented, entrepreneurial profession. Retail careers require many skills. Retail personnel may manage the sales force and other personnel, select and order merchandise, and are responsible for promotional activities, inventory control, store security, and accounting. Large retail stores have a variety of positions, including store or department manager, buyer, display designer, and catalog manager.


Regional Sales Mgr Mgmt Trainee
Senior Buyer
Assistant Manager
Store Manager
District Manager

Sales – There are more opportunities in sales than in any other area of marketing. Sales positions vary greatly among companies. Some selling positions focus more on providing information; others emphasize locating potential customers, closing the sale, and maintaining ongoing customer satisfaction. Compensation, often salary plus commission, sets few limits on the amount of money a person can make and therefore offers great potential. Professional selling requires training and experience. You must know yourself, your product(s), your customer(s), and your market(s). If you have a good understanding of people and enjoy working independently, sales will offer you many options. While many plan a career in sales, many others will use sales as a stepping stone in the progress toward management. (Management positions often require an advanced degree; i.e., M.B.A. or MS.)


Sales & Marketing Director
Regional Sales Manager
Manufacturer’s Representative

Sales Promotion – When a company is looking for an immediate response, it will spend a larger portion of its promotional budget on sales promotion. The sales promotion manager is someone whose experience lends itself to developing and executing short-term incentives such as sweepstakes, coupons, and premiums to augment the other promotional efforts of the firm. This position is usually found in the area of consumer products. Industrial firms may use sales promotion, but usually not to the degree of requiring a specialist. There are no distinct career paths for a sales promotion manager. Product knowledge is essential, so it is not unusual for them to have some sales experience. This is also a position that assistant product managers may go into instead of into product management. Back to Career Information & Websites