The online marketing degree represents the second most popular online business degree major. While marketing may not offer the highest pay—look to financial services for that distinction—it does attract some of the most creative and curious business professionals. Marketing is all about the psychology and science of selling items and ideas. An online marketing degree merges psychology and human communications with business courses. You'll learn how to sell products and services through brand management, analysis, and advertising.
Some marketers work in product research and development while others work on the sales side of the commercial equation. Consider your personality and values to find the best marketing mix for your career goals. Because every industry must understand the demand of consumer markets, qualified marketing professionals are and will continue to be in high demand in coming years.
THE CAREER PATH
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports high competition for the best marketing jobs. But on the bright side, job growth in expected to be up about 14% over the next decade. Options exist in every field, but for job security, explore online marketing degree programs that combine marketing courses with specialty courses in growth sectors like healthcare, computer technology, and education. Keep in mind, that the vast majority of positions in marketing require professionals to earn at least a bachelor’s level of education. The exception to this is sales representatives, who often can begin a career directly out of high school. Some of the most popular careers in marketing include:
- Marketing Managers – After years of experience in other sales and marketing positions, professionals can work their way into management. Generally speaking, marketing managers estimate the demand of products and services and identify potential markets for organizations to target. Although management positions typically require the most experience of professionals, careers in this area are still widely accessible. Demand for qualified professionals is expected to increase by almost 10% in the coming years, and a bachelor’s degree is typically appropriate for qualification. In addition to being accessible and reliable employment, management is a worthwhile ambition that pays upwards of $100,000 annually, on average.
- Sales Representatives – Also known as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, this is the introductory position for most marketing professionals. These professionals sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations. Sales reps often can kickstart their career with nothing more than a high school diploma or its equivalent. In some situations, sales reps can work to earn a higher education while they work for an organization in order to make themselves eligible for promotions and other opportunities. The growing demand for sales reps is expected to increase faster than the national average in the coming years, meaning it could be a great time to invest in your marketing career. Even as an entry-level position, sales representatives can expect to make almost $80,000 on average.
- Sales Managers – Sales management is similar to marketing management, but with a focus on direct sales more than marketing strategies. Sales managers typically work in their industry of choice to direct organizational sales teams, set sales goals, analyze data and trends, and develop training programs for sales representatives. It is fairly common for sales representatives to grow into sales managers if they have an ambitious, long-term career in marketing. Like other positions in management, sales managers must have experience in the field in order to be a competitive applicant. In addition, these positions typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Careers in management tend to be both more competitive and more rewarding than entry-level positions or other specializations. The same is true of sales managers, who make nearly $120,000 on average, and are expected to see a growth in demand that is in line with the national average of all occupations.
- Marketing Specialists & Research Analysts – This category of marketing professionals research and analyze marketing conditions in local, regional, or national populations and gathers information to determine the potential sales outlook of a product or service. A bachelor’s degree is the most common requirement for careers as a marketing specialist or research analyst, and careers in market research may also prepare professionals to advance their degree into management or oversight positions. Brush up on statistics to land a gig in this critical-thinking field. Research analysis and specialization may provide the most reliable career path for developing marketing professionals, with one of the highest anticipated rates of growth among marketing careers at more than 14%. In addition to the reliability, specializing in marketing can offer a rewarding salary of more than $60,000 on average.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
Marketing professionals offer a unique set of skills to the businesses, and there are certain qualities that are necessary in order to succeed in a marketing career. All marketing professionals must have the analytical and mathematical skills that are required in order to assess statistical data associated with their organization, industry, or services. Marketing professions require communication skills to work with a variety of other professionals in various settings and they must have the self-confidence and stamina to provide excellent leadership and customer service at all times.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
The majority of marketing positions require a bachelor’s level education, and even in entry-level positions such as sales representatives, a bachelor’s degree can make applicants more competitive for promotions and other opportunities. Expect a marketing degree program to include core courses in sales, public relations, channels of distribution, product development, brand marketing, consumer psychology, and human motivation. Study advertising and promotion to learn how to target specific segments of the country or population. Get insight into how consumers think, shop, and buy with a marketing research course.
Online marketing programs increasingly include elective courses in internet marketing. Learn how to market web-based products through new media strategies. Taking a digital communications class can boost your voice online—and your company's. If you're particularly interested in sales, consider a certificate or degree in e-commerce. Marketing research professionals who want to validate their professional portfolio may want to consider moving towards becoming a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) through the American Marketing Association (AMA).
A bachelor's level education in marketing will cost between $30,000 and $50,000, on average. Click on a profile below to see estimated tuition including fees. Take into consideration that additional expenses of a program, like textbooks, is not included.