What is Marketing?
Marketing degree programs are extremely popular among students in the United States, with many colleges and universities offering them. Graduates are generally considered qualified candidates for a wide variety of professions. This is in large part due to the fact that the knowledge and skills obtained is applicable to almost any profession. Indeed, most industries depend on workers with marketing expertise to assist with advertising and promoting the goods and/or services they sell.
Generally, marketing professionals identify and utilize a wide variety of strategies and techniques to attract customers and clients.
Other common responsibilities often include:
- 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
The majority of employers also depend on marketing professionals to generate customer interest in the products and/or services they offer. They must also be willing and good at collaborating with other workers such as art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members. Additionally, these individuals are usually good at organizing events, contests, and/or giveaways.
There are many different kinds of marketing professionals. Responsibilities and daily tasks sometimes vary wildly. Companies and organizations across almost every industry require at least some advertising assistance, resulting in huge variances between positions that even share the same titles. These discrepancies are often due to varying employer size, priorities, and preferences. This means that, while employment opportunities are often readily available for workers in the field, applicants should always review job descriptions carefully prior to applying.
Online Marketing Education in Washington
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 10% from 2021 to 2031. This is faster than the average for all occupations and will result in approximately 35,300 job openings each year. Growth in this sector will primarily result from increasing demand for professionals capable of creating effective marketing campaigns. More and more businesses throughout the nation are actively seeking individuals with this skill as it has proven a valuable asset to most companies and organizations.
Those interested in the field should, however, take into consideration the declining demand for printed advertisements. As online marketing options become more effective, professionals will need to adapt their mindsets and tactics. Prospective professionals will likely benefit greatly from learning how to utilize new platforms such as websites, social media, and live chats. Those involved in the creation and maintenance of digital media campaigns will thrive most.
Professional and business services are the third largest industry in Washington, accounting for $59.7 billion in revenue each year. Professionals in this field are likely to find employment opportunities in many of the state’s top sectors, however, as marketing is an integral part of most businesses. Training and experience in marketing can also lead to jobs in real estate, education services, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food services, construction, and information.
Based on data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 23,480 market research analysts and marketing specialists were employed in Washington as of May 2021. The annual mean wage for these professionals locally was $93,210, which is well above the annual mean wage of $68,740 for all occupations in the state.
Several colleges and universities in the state offer marketing majors and minors, as well as undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. While online learning makes it easy to complete course requirements from nearly anywhere in the world, those who intend to seek employment in Washington may want to consider local academic institutions first. Schools located in the state will offer the most geographically relevant educations, with an emphasis place on the knowledge and skills coveted most by potential employers in the area. These colleges and universities also tend to develop relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can improve internship and professional work placement opportunities for students and alumni alike.
Most marketing professionals in Washington have completed some amount of higher education. While some of the most basic positions in the field may be attainable with self-taught knowledge, the majority of employers expect candidates to have degrees in marketing or a related subject.
There are many colleges and universities to choose from in Washington, many of which offer marketing degree programs. In fact, it’s possible to major in marketing at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Some academic institutions also have undergraduate and/or graduate certificate programs available, which often take less time to complete and may be sufficient for entry-level jobs or specialization in a particular sub-field. Depending on prior education, certificates can also be helpful when transitioning from one career to another.
In most cases, those with more education will have access to the best and most lucrative marketing jobs. Attending graduate school is relatively common in this field, especially for those planning to pursue supervisory roles.
Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)
Associate degrees in marketing generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Most undergraduate programs include both general liberal arts education and major-specific classes in order to provide students with a broad introduction to marketing and higher education as a whole. Curriculums vary but commonly include written communication, math, and social science, as well as social media communication, business law, international business, and human relations in administration.
This type of degree is ideal for those who plan to seek entry-level employment related to marketing and do not want to spend the time or money pursuing more advanced degrees. Associate programs are generally offered by community colleges, which charge less per credit hour than traditional four-year institutions. As a result, students spend less on their education, enter the workforce faster, and can begin earning incomes sooner. An associate degree in marketing is also a good choice for individuals interested in learning more about the field before committing to specific profession.
However, employment opportunities with this degree may be relatively limited, especially among large advertising agencies or marketing companies. Graduates at this level most frequently find jobs as office managers, store managers, and customer service representatives.
Alternatively, graduates can choose to pursue further education by enrolling in bachelor’s degree programs. This is often required in order to qualify for more advanced marketing positions. Fortunately, those with associate degrees can transfer credits earned to other undergraduate programs. Most colleges and universities accept up to 60 or 90 semester hours from properly accredited institutions, which can drastically decrease the amount of education remaining. In many cases, associate degree graduates can earn bachelor’s degrees after two additional years of classes.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)
Bachelors marketing degrees often consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. This is another undergraduate program, which are usually comprised of both general liberal arts education and major-specific classes. Curriculums vary, but common instructional topics include communication, digital marketing, product design, and marketing research. It’s also fairly common for colleges and universities to offer students opportunities to select concentrations, which differentiate required coursework in preparation for specific sub-fields.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this type of degree is generally considered the education standard for marketing professionals. Individuals working in advertising, promotions, and marketing management, in particular, will require this level of higher education. Graduates often experience greater job security and receive higher salaries than those with associate degrees.
Graduates may also wish to pursue further education by enrolling in master’s degree programs. This can further improve employment prospects and pay potential, making is a highly desirable pursuit for many. Prospective graduate school students should be prepared to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score standards.
Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS)
Master’s degrees in marketing generally range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Notably, these programs no longer incorporate general liberal arts education. Some colleges and universities do, however, expect incoming students to complete specific undergraduate perquisite classes. Prospective students should verify these requirements prior to enrolling.
Typically, curriculums at this level focus solely on the most important core marketing subjects. Those enrolled can expect an in-depth exploration of various concepts, as well as expansion upon previous knowledge and skills. It is also common for students to select concentrations in related sub-fields to prepare for more specialized employment after graduation.
Many academic institutions offer master’s of marketing degrees, as well as master of business administration (MBA) degrees. In some cases, the MBA may be the more beneficial option. These programs cover many of the same subjects but place greater emphasis on the technical aspects of business planning and execution. Notably, some colleges and universities offer MBAs with marketing concentrations.
A master’s in marketing or business administration is not necessarily required for professional success in this field. These degrees can, however, significantly increase the number of employment opportunities available, especially at the supervisory or management level. Graduates also tend to earn more money than those who possess bachelor’s and/or associate degrees. Generally, individuals interested in supervisor roles should strongly consider these degrees. Some of the most common jobs available after graduation include marketing executive, account director, product marketing manager, senior marketing manager, and search engine optimization director.
Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
A PhD or doctorate in marketing generally consists of between 90 and 120 credit hours that take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Those enrolled can expect the first few years of study to consist of traditional classroom instruction. Curriculums vary, but programs often focus heavily on analytic measurements. Students will also learn about quantitative and qualitative research methods, which are likely to be useful during the ladder half of the doctoral degree. After completing the majority of required coursework, those enrolled are typically expected to pursue independent study and research while writing dissertations.
It's important to realize that doctoral degrees in marketing are only require for certain jobs in the field. These programs primarily prepare graduates for employment in research and/or higher education. Graduates may also qualify for high-level jobs as marketing directors and chief marketing officers.
Become a Marketing Professional in Washington
Those interested in becoming marketing professionals in Washington will first need to identify their ultimate career aspirations. With so many employment options available in the field, it’s important to narrow focus as early as possible. Determining which profession(s) are most appealing ensures the correct education, training, and work experience is attained. As many industries have marketing positions, keeping personal interests and aptitudes in mind is often beneficial when setting ultimate career goals.
It's worth noting that marketing professionals do not always require degrees in marketing. There are actually several related majors that adequately prepare individuals for careers in the field. Some prominent examples include advertising, journalism, communications, or computer information technology. Employers frequently hire graduates with academic or professional backgrounds in these areas. Adding a minor in marketing can also be beneficial.
In addition to completing academic degree programs in marketing, professionals in this field may also obtain relevant certifications. There are numerous credentials available, making it easy to specialize in particular sub-fields or tailor skills to be more applicable to certain industries. Employers also tend to give preference to candidates with professional certifications during the hiring process. They can, in some cases, even lead to promotions and/or increased pay. While most credentialing opportunities are voluntary, some occupations do require them.
One of the most popular options among marketing professionals is the Professional Certified Marketer (PMC) credential, which is managed by the American Marketing Association (AMA). Becoming a PMC demonstrates professional confidence and skill in marketing strategy, marketing research, data analytics, pricing strategy, customer behavior, and product/servicing positioning. Other credentials offered by AMA include Digital Marketing Pro and Digital Marketing Expert.
Careers for Marketing Graduates
Graduates with marketing degrees may be qualified to pursue a wide variety of careers in Washington. While there are employment opportunities available at every level, those with more education will have access to the best jobs in the state. Position titles, salaries, and responsibilities will vary, but some of the most common professions available include the following.
- Advertising Coordinator
Advertising coordinators strive to draw consumer attention to products and/or services by identifying effective ad strategies. They are typically responsible for organizing associated media cohesively, whether in print or on television. These professionals also oversee advertising campaign scheduling, as well as help finalize content and graphics for television, internet, and newspaper. According to PayScale, advertising coordinators make an average base salary of $45,450 per year.
- Brand Manager
Brand managers control and manage all the ways a particular brand or multiple branded trademarks are exposed to the public. They work to ensure consumers associate positive responses with their assigned brand(s), as well as help drive advertising and marketing initiatives. These professionals are often part of an entire staff within marketing departments. According to PayScale, brand managers make an average base salary of $73,000 per year.
- Business Development Director
Business development directors develop effective operational strategies and procedures designed to help marketing campaigns have more reach. These professionals often spend a lot of time assessing the way goods and services are advertised before providing appropriate action plans. They are also responsible for negotiating with suppliers, fine-tune departmental procedures, and investigating potential legal matters as they arise. According to PayScale, business development directors make an average base salary of $105,900 per year.
- Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers verify that marketing project plans align with employer goals and values. They are often responsible for ensuring that new media and digital marketing teams are meeting expectations, which requires regular departmental collaboration. These professionals may also manage digital marketing efforts on social and digital media platforms. According to PayScale, digital marketing managers make an average base salary of $68,000 per year.
- Marketing Analyst
Marketing analysts provide businesses with insight regarding advertising efforts for products and services in order to make marketing programs more effective. They frequently utilize predictive statistics, customer profiling, and data analysis to identify potential initiatives and develop strategies to test overall performance. These professionals may also work closely with others, sharing insights regarding trend analysis results. According to PayScale, marketing analysts make an average base salary of $57,050 per year.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers create advertising and/or merchandising sales campaigns and coordinate activities with product managers. They may be responsible for single products, multiple products, whole brands, or entire companies. In many cases, these professionals perform various market research studies prior to launch, as well as monitor program performance once it goes live. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,700 per year.
- Media Buyer
Media buyers purchase ad space on television, the radio, and the internet in order to meet company advertising needs. These professionals utilize demographics and analyst to assess consumers’ responses to ads in particular media forms. They may also work with colleagues or subordinates to track trends, as well as collaborate with the various agencies selling ad space. According to PayScale, media buyers make an average base salary of $50,500 per year.
Learn more about additional business careers