Today, choosing a marketing career offers many opportunities fueled by digital advancements, data-driven decision-making, and an emphasis on customer experience. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, professionals with a skill set that aligns with these trends will find themselves at the forefront of an industry that plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of business. The world is becoming increasingly digital, and marketing has adapted by embracing cutting-edge technologies. According to a report by Statista, global digital advertising spending is projected to reach $835bn by 2026, reflecting the industry’s growing reliance on digital platforms. This trend emphasizes the need for skilled professionals who can navigate the digital landscape and leverage emerging technologies in their marketing strategies.
In the age of big data, marketing decisions are increasingly driven by analytics and insights. According to a survey by Gartner, 87% of senior business leaders believe that digitalization is a company priority. Marketing professionals with data analysis skills are in high demand to extract meaningful insights, optimize campaigns and demonstrate a tangible return on investment. This highlights how customer experience has also become a focal point for businesses looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.
As we enter 2024, the marketing industry remains a dynamic and influential field, offering a plethora of reasons why aspiring professionals should consider a career in marketing. Let’s dive in and see what you need to succeed as a marketer and why further studies are important for career advancement.
How to become a marketer
Aspiring marketers need a diverse skill set, a solid educational background and practical experience to thrive in this competitive field.
To embark on a career in marketing, a strong educational foundation is crucial. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all degree for marketing, a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, communications or a related field is commonly preferred by employers.
Some employers may also value additional qualifications, such as a Master of Arts in Communication. A master’s in communication equips students with the required tools to craft marketing strategies and campaigns, analyze data and measure results. Some programs now offer flexible schedules to students. A good example of this is the Master in Communication online program at St. Bonaventure University. This program ensures that students are equipped to master the art of strategic storytelling, making them conceptual, strategic, forward-thinking professionals ready for today’s innovative marketing environment. Students can graduate with knowledge of press releases, visual marketing and emerging technologies.
Skills and aptitudes needed to succeed in marketing
As industries evolve and technology reshapes communication channels, professionals in marketing need to equip themselves with diverse skills to navigate the complexities of the field. Pursuing further studies, such as getting an MA in Communication, can be a strategic move for individuals seeking a competitive edge in the marketing domain. Let’s explore how further studies equip students with the skills and aptitudes that are essential for success in a marketing role.
Digital marketing skills
The digital landscape continues to dominate marketing efforts, making digital marketing skills more crucial than ever. According to a survey conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute in 2022, 74% of senior marketers identified a shortage of digital marketing skills within marketers. With search engines being a primary source of information for consumers, search engine optimization (SEO) expertise is in high demand.
Also, 69% of marketers heavily invest in SEO, and these experts will become even more critical in the coming years. The impact of social media on marketing cannot be overstated.
A report by Hootsuite and We Are Social reveals that social media users exceeded 4.6 billion globally in 2022, emphasizing the need for marketers skilled in creating and implementing effective social media strategies.
Further studies delve deep into these areas, giving students insights into digital marketing, social media management and SEO. In addition, most MA in Communication programs provide comprehensive insights into consumer behavior, branding strategies, and the integration of technology into marketing campaigns. Students get to know the ins and outs of content marketing, including the planning, strategies, communication designs and content optimization. As a result, specialized knowledge ensures that graduates are well-equipped to handle the multifaceted challenges posed by the modern marketing landscape.
Data analysis and interpretation
In the age of big data, marketers who can leverage data to drive decision-making are highly sought after. Most marketers consider Google Analytics essential for their marketing efforts. Merely collecting data isn’t enough – marketers need the ability to derive actionable insights from it. Data interpretation skills are becoming increasingly important for marketing professionals.
An MA in Communication equips students with advanced analytical skills, enabling them to make data-driven decisions. The programs emphasize the use of analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, understand consumer behavior and optimize strategies for better results.
Content creation and marketing
Quality content continues to be a driving force in successful marketing strategies. Content Marketing Institute’s 2023 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report found that 51% of B2B marketers consider content creation and marketing a key component of their strategy. Video content is increasingly popular, with trends predicting that, eventually, almost all internet traffic will be video. Marketers skilled in video production and storytelling are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend.
MA in Communication programs often offer courses that focus specifically on content strategy. These courses provide insights into developing a cohesive and effective content plan aligned with business goals. Students learn about target audience analysis, content mapping and creating content that resonates with consumers. Taking further studies teaches students how to create and manage consistent messaging across various channels, including traditional and digital media. This holistic approach is crucial for effective content marketing.
Most courses in MA in Communication programs utilize case studies and real-world projects to provide hands-on experience. Students may be tasked with creating content strategies, developing marketing campaigns or solving content-related challenges for actual businesses, allowing them to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings. In addition, advanced courses bring in industry experts and professionals for guest lectures or workshops. This exposure allows students to gain insights into current trends, best practices and real-world challenges in content creation and marketing.
Adaptability and continuous learning
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report states that by 2025, 40% of workers will need reskilling due to technological advances. While undergraduate education offers a broad overview, advanced studies allow individuals to specialize and gain expertise in a particular area. This deepening of knowledge not only enhances individuals’ understanding of the subject matter but also equips them with the tools to address complex challenges.
The marketing landscape is ever-changing, and marketers must embrace a mindset of continuous learning for their career development. Continuous learning through further studies is also a catalyst for innovation. As individuals acquire new insights and perspectives, they are better positioned to think creatively and contribute to groundbreaking ideas. This innovation mindset is particularly crucial in today’s dynamic marketing environment, where companies seek employees who can bring fresh perspectives to the table. Also, engaging in further studies fosters a growth mindset – the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. This mindset is essential for navigating challenges, embracing learning opportunities and continuously improving oneself.
Internships and experience
Practical experience is invaluable in the field of marketing. Internships provide aspiring marketers with hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 68.3% of interns who had completed internships received full-time job offers from the company. This emphasizes the importance of internships in the transition from education to employment. Additionally, joining student marketing organizations, participating in marketing competitions, or undertaking freelance projects can enhance practical skills and build a portfolio.
Keeping up with industry trends
The field of marketing is highly dynamic, with trends and technologies evolving rapidly. Pursuing further studies helps marketing students and professionals stay current with the latest industry trends. This knowledge is not only beneficial in job interviews but also positions graduates as professionals who bring fresh and relevant insights to their roles. Also, advanced programs delve into emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality. By understanding the intricacies of these technologies, marketers can leverage them to create innovative campaigns, optimize processes and stay at the cutting edge of industry trends.
Marketing is no longer confined to local markets – it’s a global endeavor. Advanced courses often attract a diverse student body and faculty, providing exposure to global marketing trends. Marketers who understand international markets, cultural nuances and global consumer trends are better equipped to create campaigns with a broad appeal and navigate the complexities of an interconnected world.
Engaging in further studies provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for a specific field. This network of professionals, academics and experts fosters collaboration, idea exchange and mentorship. Such connections can be instrumental in career advancement and staying informed about industry trends. Most MA in Communication programs offer networking opportunities with professionals in the marketing and content creation industries. Networking events, workshops and career fairs enable students to connect with potential mentors, employers and industry leaders who can provide valuable insights and guidance.
Building a professional network is a critical aspect of a marketing career. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities and connect with professionals in the field. As of 2022, 80% of professionals believe that networking is important for career development and success.
Critical thinking and creativity
MA in Communication programs cultivate critical thinking skills and creativity, which are essential for effective content creation. Students learn to approach content challenges strategically, thinking outside the box to develop innovative and engaging marketing materials. Advanced studies often bring together a diverse group of individuals, including students, professors and professionals. This diversity of perspectives creates an environment where ideas clash and intermingle, fostering a rich tapestry of thoughts. Exposure to diverse viewpoints is a cornerstone of critical thinking, encouraging students to consider alternative angles and solutions.
Integration of theory and practice challenges students to think critically about how concepts translate into practical solutions. It nurtures problem-solving skills, pushing students to bridge the gap between abstract theories and tangible outcomes. The research process compels students to analyze data, evaluate sources and draw evidence-based conclusions. This emphasis on research-based learning not only enhances critical thinking but also instills a sense of intellectual curiosity that drives creativity.
Leadership in marketing requires more than tactical execution – it demands strategic vision. Most MA in Communication programs emphasize strategic thinking and decision-making. Marketers who engage in advanced studies develop the ability to analyze complex situations, identify opportunities, and make decisions that contribute to the long-term success of their teams and organizations.
Advanced degree programs often include coursework on effective communication and team dynamics. Students learn how to communicate their vision, build cohesive teams and foster a collaborative work environment. These skills are crucial for marketing leaders, who must navigate cross-functional collaboration and inspire creativity within their teams.
One of the key benefits of further studies is the exposure to a broad range of subjects and disciplines. As individuals pursue advanced degrees or specialized certifications, they gain insights and interact with people in various fields. This exposure helps in understanding the language, methodologies and priorities of different disciplines, facilitating effective communication and collaboration across functions.
Many advanced study programs incorporate practical, real-world applications of theoretical knowledge. This hands-on approach often involves collaborative projects where students must apply their skills to solve complex problems. These collaborative projects mimic real workplace scenarios and prepare individuals for cross-functional collaboration by requiring them to work together to achieve common goals. The collaborative nature of many advanced study programs also cultivates a mindset of cooperation and teamwork. Students learn the value of pooling diverse talents and expertise to achieve collective success.
Increased job opportunities
In a competitive job market, having advanced qualifications can set individuals apart. Employers often value candidates with higher degrees or specialized certifications, viewing them as individuals committed to ongoing learning and professional development. Further studies enhance employability and open doors to advanced career opportunities.
Additionally, certain job opportunities are exclusively available to candidates with advanced degrees or specialized certifications. Many employers seek candidates with a higher level of education for managerial, strategic or specialized roles within their marketing teams. By investing in further studies, marketing students open doors to a broader range of job opportunities that may not be accessible with only an undergraduate degree. Some roles include digital marketing manager, SEO/SEM specialist, growth marketing manager, PR manager, CRO specialist, brand manager, senior marketing strategist, eCommerce marketing manager, etc.
The career outlook for marketing jobs
The marketing job market is robust, with an increasing demand for skilled professionals who can navigate the complexities of the digital era. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of marketing managers is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all marketing occupations. Any company, regardless of the size or industry, needs marketing campaigns to grow or to keep its market share. As companies intensify their digital presence, the demand for digital marketing specialists is on the rise. Social media managers, SEO experts and content strategists are in high demand. All businesses need to make informed strategic decisions.
For anyone looking for a remote position, marketing is a great career. As of 2021, marketing remote job listings increased by 177%. However, salaries can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, industry and location. Specialized skills such as SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can lead to higher earning potential.
Traditional marketing roles such as brand manager, product manager and market researcher continue to be essential. These roles often serve as foundational experiences for professionals entering the field. The digital realm offers diverse opportunities, including social media manager, SEO specialist, content marketer and email marketing manager. The versatility of digital roles allows professionals to specialize in areas aligned with their interests and skills.
With experience and further education, marketers can progress into leadership roles such as chief marketing officer (CMO), VP in marketing or marketing director. These roles involve strategic decision-making and overseeing the entire marketing function within an organization.
The marketing and communications fields offer diverse career paths, each requiring a unique set of skills. Whether you are drawn to the analytical side of marketing, creative content creation or strategic planning, there are advanced degrees that align with your strengths and interests. Continuous learning and staying updated on industry trends are essential to succeed in this ever-evolving field. As businesses increasingly rely on effective marketing strategies to thrive, the demand for skilled professionals in these roles is only expected to grow, presenting exciting opportunities for those looking to make their mark in the world of marketing and communications.