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What is marketing?

Many companies and organizations in Georgia benefit from hiring graduates with marketing degrees, especially those received within the state. While students can find schools with marketing programs throughout the country, choosing to enroll locally is often beneficial. This is because institutions in the area form relationships with nearby businesses and know best what employers in the state look for in candidates.

Because marketing professionals can work in nearly any industry, this type of degree can prepare graduates for a wide variety of employment opportunities. A few of the most common outcomes include advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. Even within the same industry, however, daily responsibilities for marketing professionals can vary significantly. Employer type, size, and preference all impact job expectations, making it essential to research every opportunity extensively prior to applying.

That said, there are a few common responsibilities assigned to advertising, promotions, and marketing employees. Their primary job tends to relate to planning programs that generate interest in products or services offered by the companies and organizations they work for. It’s also commonly expected that these professionals will collaborate with other team members including art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members to ensure marketing campaigns are executed properly.

Other common tasks include:

  • Organizing promotional events, contests, coupons, and giveaways
  • Negotiating advertising contracts
  • Evaluating prospective campaigns
  • Initiating market research
  • Analyzing research findings to understand customer preferences
  • Developing pricing strategies
  • Meeting with and advising clients
  • Hiring and overseeing marketing staff

While every program is different, most colleges and universities strive to ensure their curriculums cover the essential marketing concepts needed to succeed in almost any work environment. They also offer sufficient opportunities to learn and develop applicable and transferrable skills in analytics, decision-making, and organization. The best professionals in this field also tend to have good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to think creativity.

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Marketing Education in Georgia

In general, professionals in this field will need a bachelor’s degree in marketing. There are degree programs available at every level, however, from associate to doctorate. Each degree type has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider your career goals carefully before enrolling at a college or university.

Are you considering enrollment in a marketing degree program at a college or university in Georgia? Almost every industry values professionals with skills in marketing, advertising, and promotions. As a result, the major has become quite popular among students in recent years, especially for those interested in planning promotional campaigns and performing market research.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for marketing managers is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the average for all occupations and will add approximately 19,100 new marketing manager jobs nationwide. Several factors impact this projected growth, but the primary cause is likely the consistent need for professionals capable of creating effective campaigns that both maintain and expand company market shares. Top business employers are also increasingly eager to hire experts in the field who can provide advice regarding pricing strategies, as well as find new ways to expand customer outreach.

Professional and business services are the second largest industry in Georgia. This sector accounts for $72.8 billion in revenue each year, which is only two billion less than the state’s top industry, real estate and rental services. Notably, however, most industries utilize marketing professionals when advertising their product and services.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports employment for market research analysts and marketing specialist occupations are quite prevalent in the state. This profession accounted for 20,270 jobs in May 2020. Additionally, the annual mean wage for local professionals in this field was $69,130, which is well above the national median wage of $41,950 as reported for all occupations.

Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)

An associate degree in marketing is ideal if you aspire to work in an office or as a store manager. While graduates are unlikely to find employment in advertising agencies or marketing departments of large companies, they may be able to secure some entry-level, customer service positions with smaller businesses.

Most associate degrees in marketing consist of 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Every program is different, but most focus on liberal arts education requirements and provide students with a basic introduction to the field. Instruction in marketing-related topics is also typically designed to help students develop important skills in communication and customer service.

A popular alternative to joining the workforce after graduation is enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program. Most four-year institutions accept course credits transferred from accredited schools. This is often a less expensive option for students, as community colleges tend to charge less per credit than large universities.

Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employers expect marketing professionals to have bachelor’s degrees. This is particularly true for companies and organizations when hiring advertising, promotion, and marketing managers. Graduates at this level also tend to experience greater job security and receive higher salaries than those with only associate degrees. Some of the most common employment opportunities available after graduation include marketing manager, regional sales manager, digital marketing manager, search engine optimization specialist, and account manager.

Most bachelor degree programs in marketing consist of 120 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Curriculums can vary, but they generally include a mixture of liberal arts education and marketing-specific instruction. Common class topics relate to communication, digital marketing, product design, and marketing research. Many colleges and universities also allow students to designate a specialization or concentration in the field, such as internet marketing.

While there are plenty of employment opportunities available to graduates at this level, some people choose to pursue further education. Advanced degree programs usually require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in order to apply, as well as a minimum grade point average and GRE scores.

Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MC)

Master’s degrees in marketing are not necessary for all jobs in the field, but they can open doors to additional employment opportunities in the field. Prospective students may also benefit from enrolling master of business administration (MBA) degree programs, which often offer concentrations in marketing. MBAs are one of the most popular graduate degrees in the United States and are often sought by new and current professionals in order to advance their careers. Graduates from both degree types generally qualify for supervisory roles, such as marketing executive, account director, product marketing manager, senior marketing manager, and search engine optimization director.

Most master’s degrees in marketing and business administration range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Accelerated programs do exist, however, which can be completed in as few as 12 months. Although the course selection is often similar to those offered at the undergraduate level, topics are covered in much more depth by instructors.

PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)

Those interested in conducting research and/or becoming academic professors in the field are most likely to consider enrolling in doctoral marketing degrees. While rarely required for even advanced marketing jobs, this type of degree may be necessary to compete for various high-level roles, such as marketing director and chief marketing officer.

PhD and doctoral marketing degree programs typically consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Students are typically instructed in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as analytic measurements. Independent study and a written dissertation must be completed prior to graduation.

Graduates will have advanced mastery over marketing and marketing research. In addition to having access to some of the best employment opportunities available, they are also qualified to teach marketing courses at colleges and universities.

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Become a Marketing Manager in Alaska

If you want to become a marketing professional in Georgia, it’s important to identify your ultimate career goals. Because there are so many different employment opportunities available to graduates, and almost every industry maintains positions of this type, knowing your exact aspirations will help direct your search for an appropriate academic program. Determining your preferred position will also help you know which degree type to pursue.

Depending on your goals, a different but similar degree may be optimal. While most employers expect marketing professionals to have a bachelor’s degree, some choose to major in advertising, journalism, communications, or computer information technology instead of marketing. These areas are also commonly offered as concentrations by colleges and universities. Choosing a specialty like this can further direct your career, as receiving tailored education can ensure you are well prepared to work in a particular area.

After earning the necessary degree(s), you can also choose to pursue various professional certifications and/or licensures. While not necessarily required, opting to earn additional credentials can help advance your career even further. Professionals with certifications often have more employment opportunities and earn more money. One of the most familiar credentials in this field is the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM), which is offered by the American Marketing Association. The Interactive Advertising Bureau also offers a wide variety of certifications covering numerous topics including digital media sales, digital media buying, and digital ad operations.

It’s also worth noting that marketing professionals can choose to pursue certifications in specialized areas, such as Google Analytics. It’s common for companies and organizations to offer training programs designed to enhance skills related to certain products and/or topics. This means there are credentialing options available that relate to nearly every interest in the field.

Keep in mind, however, that maintaining certifications and licensure typically requires continuing education. Credentialing agencies often require yearly training to ensure knowledge and skills remain current. Marketing professionals can generally maintain credentialing through participation in free online classes, conference presentations, and academic institution coursework.

Careers for Marketing Graduates

After earning a marketing degree and acquiring any necessary or preferred certifications, you will be qualified to apply for a wide variety of positions in Georgia.

Salaries and daily duties will vary, but some of the most common career options include:

  • Marketing Director
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Special Events Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Account Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Operations Manager
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Merchandising Manager
  • Business Development Director
  • Senior Marketing Manager
  • Media Buyer
  • Digital Marketing Manager / Director
  • Brand Manager
  • Advertising Coordinator
  • Marketing / Research Analyst
  • Product Manager
  • Marketing Manager
    Marketing managers develop advertising or merchandising sales campaigns for the business they work for. These professionals may be responsible for a single product, full brand, or an entire company. They often monitor program performance and develop market research studies, collaborating with product managers as needed. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,700 per year.
  • Account Manager
    Account managers establish, maintain, and build relationships with specific clients. Following the procedures and guidelines established by their employers, these professionals ensure that information about products and services is accurate. In some situations, they may also create and give presentations to individuals or groups. According to PayScale, account managers make an average base salary of $55,900 per year.
  • Special Events Manager
    Special events managers plan, organize, and oversee events hosted by their employers. These professionals ensure the success of special events while also balancing departmental marketing budgets. They also utilize programs and events to attract new clients and provide marketing materials, as well as offer follow-up information to prior event participants. According to PayScale, supply chain managers make an average base salary of $53,550 per year.
  • Merchandising Manager
    Merchandising managers create and establish strategies to effectively manage merchandise sold by the companies they work for. These professionals must develop methods for handling large amounts of incoming products and coordinating all accommodations as needed. They also manage the day-to-day operations of logistics teams and ensure certification requirements are completed correctly for any specialized machinery. According to PayScale, merchandising managers make an average base salary of $65,500 per year.
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  • Business Development Director
    Business development directors develop strategies and procedures necessary for a business or organization to operate successfully. These professionals frequently provide insight into how to advertise goods and services to wider markets, reporting directly to owners, shareholders, or boards of directors. They also manage sales, negotiate with suppliers, fine-tune departmental procedures, coordinate action plans, and research potential legal matters that may arise. According to PayScale, business development directors make an average base salary of $105,900 per year.
  • Senior Marketing Manager
    Senior marketing managers oversee the market planning, product development, and brand management for products and/or services offered by their employers. These professionals often recommend, create, and implement various marketing programs and campaigns to highlight key features. They also manage and analyze results of programs and provide possible changes for future projects. According to PayScale, senior marketing managers make an average base salary of $100,000 per year.
  • Digital Marketing Manager
    Digital marketing managers develop and oversee marketing projects, ensuring that they correspond with employer goals and values. These professionals often supervise departmental collaborations between new media and digital marking teams, creating and establishing strategies for use. They also coordinate online advertising campaigns on various social and digital media platforms. According to PayScale, digital marketing managers make an average base salary of $68,000 per year.
  • Advertising Coordinator
    Advertising coordinators organize media in cohesive and easy-to-understand ways. These professionals often direct the schedules for television and print advertising campaigns after performing market research to identify the best ad strategies. They also help establish content and graphics when working with television, internet, and newspaper companies. According to PayScale, advertising coordinators make an average base salary of $45,450 per year.
  • Marketing Analyst
    Marketing analysts assist businesses in gaining additional insight about the products and services they offer from an advertising standpoint. These professionals utilize predictive statistics, customer profiling, and data analysis to create effective marketing programs and perform trend analysis. They also work closely with other internal departments to identify new initiatives and develop strategies to test performance. According to PayScale, marketing analysts make an average base salary of $57,100 per year.

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