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What is Marketing?
Because marketing professionals can find employment in nearly any industry in the world, job expectations can vary significantly. Responsibilities will differ depending on employer type, size, and mission, making it incredibly important to review potential job descriptions carefully before applying. Some of the most common areas of employment include advertising, promotions, and marketing management.
While specific tasks will vary by industry, advertising, promotions, and marketing professionals can typically expect their work to relate to planning programs that generate interest in products or services offered by the companies and organizations they work for. Individuals in this field will also benefit from having the knowledge and skills necessary to organize relevant events, contests, and giveaways. Additionally, most employment opportunities will require some degree of collaboration with others. Marketing professionals frequently work with art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members.
Other common tasks include:
- Analyzing research findings to understand customer preferences
- Developing pricing strategies
- Evaluating prospective campaigns
- Hiring and overseeing marketing staff
- Initiating market research
- Meeting with and advising clients
- Negotiating advertising contracts
Marketing professionals must possess a wide variety of knowledge and abilities. As a result, colleges and universities tend to design their degree programs to incorporate as many essential concepts into their curriculums as possible. By providing a diversified education, schools can help ensure their graduates are capable of succeeding in almost any work environment. It’s also common for institutions to offer students opportunities to learn and develop skills related to analytics, decision-making, and organization, all of which can be useful in various settings. Additionally, successful professionals in this field typically possess good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to think creativity.
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Online Marketing Education in Maryland
Are you considering enrolling in a marketing degree program at a college or university in Maryland? If you are interested in developing knowledge and skills related to advertising, this may be a good career path for you. Professionals in this field tend to be in high demand. This is because the skills obtained from academic instruction and employment are transferrable, making graduates capable of working in a wide variety of industries. As a result, marketing is one of the most popular majors in the United States. This is especially true for prospective students who plan to perform market research and plan promotional campaigns.
Maryland companies and organizations often benefit from and depend on employees who possess marketing knowledge and skills. While there are many colleges and universities that offer online degree programs, those who plan to work within the state should give preference to institutions located in the area. Distance learning can be convenient, but only local schools will be familiar with the unique needs of the region. Additionally, many colleges and universities develop relationships with potential employers and can serve as an asset during the recruitment and hiring processes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 10% from 2020 to 2030. This is somewhat faster than average for all occupations and will add approximately 31,100 positions to the job market nationwide. Most of the growth in this occupation will be due to current workers transferring to different occupations or exiting the labor force completely. Analysts also anticipate a continued need for professionals capable of creating effective marketing campaigns as businesses seek to maintain and expand their market shares. Prospective students should keep in mind that the increased use of electronic media will result in decreased demand for print advertisements. This means the majority of opportunities will be with industries utilizing digital media campaigns via websites, social media, and live chats.
Professional and business services is the second most prominent industry in Maryland, accounting for $53.3 billion in revenue each year. Additionally, almost every company and organization utilizes marketing professionals when advertising their products and/or services in the state. In fact, all ten of the state’s leading industries rely heavily upon individuals with marketing expertise. As a result, graduates can expect a relatively stable market for employment.
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Maryland employed 11,900 market research analysts and marketing specialists as of May 2020. The annual mean wage for local professionals in this field was $70,490, which is well above the national median wage of $41,950 as reported for all occupations. Income potential is even higher for marketing managers, who make an annual mean wage of $149,990 in the state.
Some level of formal education is generally required by Maryland employers in this field. As a result, prospective professionals will need to earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctoral degrees in order to obtain and maintain employment in the state. The type of degree you require will mostly depend on the type of employment you plan to pursue.
Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS or AA)
Online associate degrees in marketing consist of around 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. While every institution is different, most design these programs to focus on liberal arts education requirements as well as field-specific content. This means students should primarily expect to take courses related to written communication, math, and social science. Instruction in marketing will be introductory by nature, with an emphasis on communication and customer service.
This type of education may make it easier to find employment in entry-level jobs with small business offices or as store managers. It’s important to realize, however, that an associate degree is unlikely to qualify graduates for work with advertising agencies or large companies.
As a result, many graduates with associate degrees choose to transfer their college credits to other four-year institutions in order to work toward bachelor’s degrees. Earning associate degrees at community colleges can cost significantly less than attending a traditional university. Additionally, the 60 credits already earned mean enrollees only have two more years of school.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS or BA)
Online bachelor's degrees in marketing consist of around 120 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Curriculums vary, but programs often combine liberal arts and marketing-specific classes. Students can expect instruction on a variety of topics including communication, digital marketing, product design, and marketing research. Many colleges and university also offer opportunities to select concentrations, or specialties, that will further tailor coursework.
Notably, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most employers in this field require candidates to have bachelor’s degrees. This is particularly true for those seeking advertising, promotion, and marketing manager jobs. It’s also worth mentioning that graduates at this level tend to experience greater job security and earn higher salaries.
While bachelor’s degrees in marketing typically qualify graduates for work as marketing managers, regional sales managers, digital marketing managers, search engine optimization specialists, and account managers, some opt to pursue further education. Most master’s degree programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field, as well as possess a minimum grade point average (GPA) and GRE scores.
Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MA)
Online master’s degrees in marketing consist of between 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework and take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Accelerated programs may be completed in as little as a year. Instruction varies, but typically lacks general education classes. Instead, students can expect to cover key marketing topics in greater depth.
Alternatively, prospective students can enroll in a master of business administration (MBA) degree that offers a concentration in marketing. MBAs are one of the most popular graduate degrees in the United States.
Master’s degrees in marketing or business administration can lead to a wide variety of additional employment opportunities in the field. Graduates will be qualified for many supervisory roles such as marketing executive, account director, product marketing manager, senior marketing manager, and search engine optimization director. They can also expect to make more money and gain promotions faster.
Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
PhD and doctoral degrees in marketing typically consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours and take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Curriculums vary, but instruction usually covers quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as analytic measurements. After taking the required classes, students will spend time conducting independent study and writing dissertations. Potential graduates must defend their dissertations prior to completing their programs.
This type of degree is rarely necessary except for those interested in pursuing employment in research and/or academic instruction. Graduates will, however, gain access to various high-level roles in the field, such as marketing director or chief marketing officer. They will also be qualified to teach marketing courses at most regionally accredited colleges and universities.
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Become a Marketing Professional in Maryland
In order to become a successful marketing professional in Maryland, you first need to establish your ultimate career goals. Because there are numerous employment opportunities related to marketing, it’s essential to determine your unique aspirations as soon as possible. Once you know what type of employment you want to obtain, it becomes significantly easier to compare and contrast the academic programs available.
It's important to realize that some employers expect marketing professionals to have bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as advertising, journalism, communications, or computer information technology instead of marketing. Your ultimate career goals will dictate whether you should pursue a marketing degree or simply select this subject as a concentration while pursuing a different major.
Having a preferred job in mind also allows you to develop necessary skills and pursue the most applicable credentials. While not all employers require certifications and/or licensures, some do. Regardless, earning additional credentials is one of the best ways to further advance your career. Professionals with certifications are generally more competitive during the application process. In addition to having more employment opportunities, those with extra credentials also tend to make higher salaries.
The American Marketing Association oversees one of the most commonly-sought credentials related to marketing: the Professional Certified Marketer (PMC). 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.
Some options include:
- Digital Media Sales Certification (DMSC)
- Digital Media Buying & Planning Certification (DBPC)
- Digital Ad Operations Certification (DAOC)
- Digital Marketing and Media Foundations Certification (DMFC)
Prospective and current professionals can also choose to pursue certifications in specialized areas, such as Google Analytics. Many companies and organizations offer concentrated training programs designed to enhance skills related to the products they offer and/or topics most relevant to their industries.
It’s important to realize that many certifications require some effort to maintain. Many providers expect professionals to enroll in some sort of continuing education. This requirement ensures that those who possess certifications remain well-informed about relevant updates and current industry trends. Continuing education opportunities include courses offered by various credentialing agencies or organization, as well as free online classes, conference presentations, and academic institution coursework.
Careers for Marketing Graduates
- Account Manager
Account managers establish, maintain, and build relationships with clients. This is generally achieved by ensuring information about products and services is accurate. They may also design and deliver presentations to current and prospective stakeholders. These professionals are responsible for following all the procedures and guidelines established by their employers. 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 as directed by their employers. They may be tasked with coordinating events intended to attract new clients or provide marketing materials. As a result, these professionals must be capable of juggling a wide variety of responsibilities to ensure success. It’s also common for special events managers to balance departmental marketing budgets and offer follow-up information to event participants. According to PayScale, special event managers make an average base salary of $53,550 per year.
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- Merchandising Manager
Merchandising managers develop and implement strategies designed to efficiently manage the merchandise sold by their employers. They frequently establish new and improved methods of handling large amounts of incoming products, as well as coordinating all necessary accommodations. These professionals are also responsible for managing day-to-day operations for logistics teams. Additionally, merchandising managers must 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.
- Business Development Director
Business development directors create strategies and procedures to help business and organizations operate more efficiently. This often entails advising employers on how to best advertise their goods and/or services. They may also be responsible for managing sales, negotiating with suppliers, fine-tuning departmental procedures, coordinating action plans, and researching potential legal matters that may arise. These professionals often report directly to owners, shareholders, or boards of directors. According to PayScale, business development directors make an average base salary of $105,900 per year.
- Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers design and oversee marketing projects for their employers. This ultimately means ensuring that marketing plans appropriately correspond with employer goals and values. These professionals are often responsible for supervising departmental collaborations between new media and digital marking teams, as well as creating and establishing strategies for use. Digital marketing managers may also coordinate online advertising campaigns using 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 ways that are more cohesive and easy-to-understand. They are typically responsible for performing market research to identify the best ad strategies, as well as overseeing the schedules for appropriate television and print advertising campaigns. These professionals 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 & Business Analyst
Marketing analysts help their clients think about their products and services from an advertising standpoint. This generally entails utilizing predictive statistics, customer profiling, and data analysis to develop and present projections. These professionals are also responsible for creating effective marketing programs and performing trend analysis. Marketing analysts often 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 $57,050 per year.