- Complete a Marketing Degree Program
Generally speaking, future marketing professionals should obtain a marketing degree to be considered a competitive applicant to employers. Depending on their dream position, they may only need to earn an associate marketing degree or bachelor’s marketing degree, while those looking to enter higher-level positions will need a master’s marketing degree or PhD/doctorate degree in marketing.
More often than not, marketing professionals will be able to obtain an entry-level position with an associate marketing degree and definitely with a bachelor’s. For those who want to obtain a managerial marketing position, a master’s will be necessary. A PhD/doctorate degree in marketing is highly recommended for marketing professionals who want to work in research or academia.
- Acquire a Marketing Internship
One of the best ways to acquire the necessary skills to excel as a marketing professional is to obtain a marketing internship. Although these internships can be competitive, it’s definitely an experience that future marketing professionals can use to give them a leg up and allow them to succeed.
In many cases, marketing internships can be completed while students are enrolled in a degree program. There is usually an extensive array of internships available, from communications and internet marketing to research/data and product marketing. Once marketing students complete an internship, they should have excellent organizational, critical thinking, time management, communication, and data analytics skills, not to mention helpful real-world experience that they can include on their resumes.
- Find a Career in the Marketing Field
Once future marketing professionals earn a degree and complete a marketing internship, they should decide on a marketing career. Marketing professionals should definitely have a general idea of the specific career that they want to pursue before applying for jobs.
The different types of marketing specializations include social management, public relations, search engine optimization, research/analysis, brand management, online engagement, and more. While there are many specializations in the marketing field, marketing professionals will not ever have to worry about getting locked into one niche area. Even if they have been working in a niche area for many years, it should be relatively easy for them to switch careers because marketing education covers the whole field quite well. However, it may be useful for professionals who want to switch up their careers to earn certifications focused on the part of the field they wish to move into.
- Obtain Industry Certifications
Marketing professionals who want to gain promotions or access to higher-level positions should consider earning industry certifications. By obtaining these certifications, professionals will be seen as extremely competitive applicants by a wide variety of employers.
The Certified Professionals Services Marketer or CPSM is a great certification offered by the Society for Marketing Professional Service. Marketing professionals who receive this excellent certification are often viewed as experts in the field. If you want to receive this certification, you’ll need to take some courses and an examination that demonstrates your expertise in marketing.
The American Marketing Association also offers certifications for marketing professionals. This prominent organization is most known for its American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer program. Marketing professionals who enroll in this certification program will need to complete these courses: marketing management, digital marketing, sales management, and content marketing. After receiving the credentials Certified Digital Marketing Professional and PCM Digital Marketing, marketing professionals just need to take continuing education classes every few years to maintain their credentials.
- Join Professional Marketing Organizations
Once marketing professionals have completed the above steps (or even while they are still students), they might want to consider joining one or a few professional marketing organizations. When these professionals join a marketing organization, they’ll be able to network with other professionals working in the field, gain access to excellent continuing education resources, and stay abreast of the latest marketing trends.
SMPS Kentucky is an organization specifically for marketing and business professionals. These professionals must work in the architecture, engineering, or construction industry to become members. Marketing professionals will need to join the National SMPS before joining SMPS Kentucky.
AAF-Louisville is the perfect organization for marketing professionals who want to grow. The organization prides itself in providing many professional growth resources.
The Professional Marketing Association is also a great organization to join. The organization is on a mission to offer many resources to marketing professionals, from network opportunities to professional development programs.
The Bluegrass Tourism Marketing Association strives to help members expand their network and improve their professional marketing careers. The organization also offers monthly meetings to enable members to learn about a wide variety of marketing topics.
The American Marketing Association offers a supportive marketing community for professionals who would like to be connected to others in the field. When marketing professionals join this organization, they’ll have access to academic journals, discounts, live webinars, and much more.