An MBA with a concentration in marketing can open up a world of new career options or can elevate you from your current position to the next level. Oftentimes, a company will draw from its internal talent pool—those with technical expertise or advanced knowledge of the product, for instance—to work in the marketing department. A number of marketing professionals therefore have general degrees in business or communications and on-the-job experience in marketing a very specific company, product or service. In fact, only a few places offer Masters degrees in marketing. Most graduate schools specialize in marketing only at the Doctoral level. Therefore, the most frequent educational path to a career in marketing comes by way of a business administration degree with a concentration in marketing. The good news is that career prospects in marketing are very promising.
The ins and outs of marketing in today’s world
Marketing professionals play an enormous role in the world of business. Careers in marketing run the gamut. Specializations include advertising, market research, sales, public relations and retailing. These job functions all fall under the broad umbrella of marketing.
Simply put,marketingis the practice of guiding and positioning a product, company or any organization toward success in the marketplace. In order to sell a product or service that people desire and are willing to pay for, a company needs to be able to understand conditions in the marketplace and appeal to a customer base. Marketing professionals help identify the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, assess the competition, work to position the company among its competitors, understand the demand for a product or service and finally communicate effectively with this potential customer base. These individual responsibilities are carried out by marketing professionals, each equipped with varying degrees of specialization and expertise, including:
- Strategic management
- New product development
- Pricing and branding
- Marketing law and public policy
- Public relations
- Market research
- International/global marketing
- Internet or e-marketing
How do these roles and responsibilities translate to actual jobs? Depending on the size and dynamic of a particular company or organization, your position may require you to have either a broad working knowledge of marketing concepts and practices, or you may fit into more of a specialized role, for example as a graphic designer or data research specialist. Someone working in a company-based marketing department may rely on many areas of expertise, including advertising, distribution, promotion and public relations, retailing, or database management. Therefore, marketing professionals—especially those employed directly by a company rather than a marketing firm—should demonstrate proficiency with these fundamental elements of marketing: market research, direct, Internet and search-based marketing, global and industrial marketplaces, and branding. They should also have a general knowledge of the science and psychology behind marketing.
Whether working in a company’s marketing department, or working as a professional in a marketing firm, marketing for the 21st century has seen sweeping changes in the way that companies conduct marketing practices. The emphasis now is on technology, particularly as it relates to online marketing.
The future is here: internet, online, and e-marketing
We all recognize that the development and widespread use of the Internet as a consumer tool is perhaps the single most important development in the world of business. Online commerce and information exchange has altered the consumer landscape in ways more profound than we could have imagined just 15 years ago. So, what has this meant for marketing job opportunities? Let’s have a look at a few central concepts in Internet marketing.
First, run a search on “marketing careers”—you’re not likely to be surprised by the results: you’ll see links to various marketing career resources, educational institutions, in addition to paid-placement advertisements. The results of your search are not random, or entirely unpredictable, for that matter; they’re based on the science of search engine optimization. And a good deal of a company’s marketing efforts and resources are dedicated to this widespread practice.
Through creative positioning and paid advertisements, a company can improve its search engine ranking to consumers who browse for a given product or service online. Search engine optimization often goes hand in hand with various viral marketing techniques—that is marketing online via existing social networks to spread and promote consumer awareness. Modeled on word-of-mouth distribution, viral marketing incorporates the use of video clips, interactive software, flash animation and images, text messaging, blogs and wikis.
Naturally, with these new developments in technology, there is no shortage of jobs available to those with technical backgrounds and the ability to think creatively about online marketing. Today’s marketing professional can anticipate the job market continuing in this direction for many years to come, and those withMBAs are continuing to pursue marketing careers after graduate school.
Careers in market research and advertising
With the proliferation and steady growth of e-commerce, market research professionals are in demand as much as ever. Market research involves recording, gathering and analyzing data on existing and potential customers and competitors in the marketplace. The goals are the same as they have always been, it’s the information-gathering techniques that have changed: who, and where, are potential customers? How can they best be reached? What trends are they buying into? How do we stack up against the competition?
High-tech jobs associated with online market research and data analysis are in high demand. Both technical and creative professionals are a natural fit for careers in e-marketing, including website designers, networking professionals, graphic designers, writers, editors, and illustrators.
Advertising—which focuses on paid, persuasive announcements—falls under the umbrella of marketing; however in many businesses, advertising is a separate department, working alongside marketing managers. Advertising managers coordinate projects among advertising and promotional staff, including media buyers, editors, copyrighters and graphic designers. In larger firms, the majority of, if not all, advertising is created and managed internally, with advertising managers overseeing creative and media departments. Smaller companies, however, usually contract out the work to larger advertising agencies.
Your future in marketing
Marketing, as in any job market, has seen its ups and downs. However, with the steady pervasiveness of consumerism, an increasingly global economy and the introduction of new media in commerce, the marketing industry is experiencing a steady growth period. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in marketing, advertising, promotion, public relations and sales should follow the average rate for all occupations: about 12 percent. This job growth will be brought on by intense competition in products and services offered, and a continued increase in online, television and radio advertising.
No matter the industry, whether it be in the public or private sector, for a large corporation or a smaller independent firm, a graduate degree in business with an emphasis in marketing will enable you to become quite the in-demand professional. Considering this broad array of options available to you, a career in marketing can take you in nearly any direction you choose. So, go ahead and search this directory to find the perfect marketing graduate program for you.