Marketing is one of the most popular industries right now for career seekers, and that means there’s a lot of competition. Going the traditional route in advertising and digital marketing can work, but there are plenty of other untapped opportunities you might want to consider. If you’re thinking of going back to school for a degree in marketing, it’s a good idea to think about what your future career might look like and tailor your classes accordingly.
Narrowing your career scope can actually broaden your academic horizons. When you have a clear vision of what you want to do post-grad, it becomes easier to choose classes and apply for internships that reflect your ambitions. This, in turn, helps you build a solid portfolio that seems hand-crafted to fit your dream company’s needs.
The majority of career opportunities you find will require at least a four-year bachelor’s degree. This could be a BA or BS, depending on whether you’re more of the analytical or creative type. There are a lot of specializations out there ranging from sports marketing to global marketing management. With a specific career goal, certain disciplines can make your degree even more useful after graduation.
If you decide to advance your studies and go for a master’s in marketing, you’ll also need to consider how the price will impact your future earnings and lifestyle. One way you can balance the cost of advancing your career is to explore a private student loan, as they’re highly flexible and personalized to suit your needs, so you can learn as much as you want without having to sacrifice your salary to cover demanding student debt. Now, let’s look at five jobs you might pursue after you complete your degree.
Public relations is ideal for people whose interests and degree were rooted heavily in communications. In PR, you’ll work for an agency that likely represents a wide range of clients seeking to strengthen their image through media publications. PR specialists seek out, pitch and acquire new publicity opportunities for their clients while also managing their brand reputations.
You’ll frequently convene with journalists in multiple industries, forming close networks that help you score the best promotional gigs for your clients. You’ll need to be comfortable working with a lot of people and managing relationships. PR specialists organize events, meet with stakeholders and frequently pitch press releases and coverage opportunities to journalists and major publications. If you’re a creative type who loves socializing and has a keen eye for detail, this could be a great match for you.
Search engine optimization is still relevant today, and there is a demand for skilled professionals who know how to leverage keyword success with other forms of advertising. Paid advertising on Google is always going to be a part of a contemporary SEO strategy, but the need for fine-tuned, highly personal and well-analyzed content remains. As an SEO strategist, you’ll do keyword research, SEO analysis and craft campaigns for clients that help them boost their rank, drive more organic traffic and reach their revenue goals. This career path has the opportunity for you to find plenty of freelance work, which can strengthen your portfolio before applying to companies.
Consultants act as mentors to a company by analyzing their existing strategy and compiling a detailed strategy on how to improve. They offer support, conduct analysis and guide teams as they work toward achieving their marketing objectives, both general and campaign-specific. They can work from the bottom-up or top-down depending on the client’s needs and marketing history. For example, a consultant could help a Fortune 500 Company improve its launch strategy for a new product, or they could tell a startup what they should focus on to establish a strong brand identity and begin gaining a following online. Consultants tend to cross-collaborate with multiple teams and divisions within a company to unify the brand’s vision and align their objectives. Liaising with managers and shareholders is a common part of the job, so strong communication skills and analytical abilities are required.
All of the ads you read, webpages you scroll through and content you interact with is written by a copywriter. Their skills cast a wide net, and they’re likely to write more than just one type of content for their clients. Copywriters can solely produce ad copy, which you see on Facebook or Instagram, but they tend to do far more. Most in-house copywriters have degrees in marketing or communications, and they use their knowledge of advertising and consumer psychology to produce high-value content and sales material that convert.
Consumers today are more informed than ever, and they aren’t easily swayed by outdated, cheesy hard sales. Instead, they want value, which is presented through a strong brand narrative. This narrative is interwoven throughout a company’s site, social media and advertising. Skilled copywriters are experts in content marketing and know how to tell a great story through a vast array of branded content and advertisements. If you love to write, come up with new ideas and use your imagination at work, then this may be your ideal gig. It’s even better when you find a niche that you’re well-versed in because you can bring your own passion and enthusiasm to the table.
Businesses often host events to enhance their visibility, drive sales and make an impact in the real-world. The challenge is intersecting their events with opportunities for social proof, which lead to higher turnouts and increased brand awareness. Whether it’s a scavenger hunt for a new product in New York City, an Instagram-worthy boutique pop-up or food truck festival, event marketers are behind-the-scenes.
An event marketer could work business-to-consumer, or they could specialize in B2B events, which focus more on trade shows, conferences and networking events. You’ll work as both an event planner and promotional specialist, generally arranging all the details related to an event and collaborating with other members of your company’s marketing team. It’s a fast-paced job that will keep you busy and likely on the road. If you want a job that always feels fresh and involves a good deal of hands-on problem-solving, this one’s for you.
The ultra-analytical, number-driven marketing professionals who become analysts are integral to informing companies about their audiences’ behavior and growth potential. In-house analysts conduct research to determine how content is performing and draw important parallels and conclusions about consumer behavior and audience engagement. They use data to craft personalized solutions about what steps a company should take its marketing efforts next, so a love of both research and creativity are required.
The analyst is responsible for shaping the brand’s narrative through informed research. They tell a business who their target audience is, how they’re responding to their content and what they should do to improve their statistics. You can even specialize in growth marketing, which is focused solely on boosting a company’s followers, customers and/or profit. Experimental problem-solvers who love turning data into inventive marketing strategies will flourish in this career.
Choosing the Right Career Path for You
In Marketing, there’s room for just about every personality and skill set. No matter what industry you love and what you love to do, there’s a company out there that needs your expertise to thrive in a fast-paced, highly competitive market. If you’re still unsure about what field is right for you, try thinking about your own experiences as a consumer. What brand interactions have been the most meaningful and rewarding for you? By drawing from personal experience, you’ll be able to draw connections with your professional skills and discover the perfect path for your career.
At TopRight, we love helping marketers transform brands and even transform their own careers! If you feel like you could use a little help, a little boost in your career, or a quick marketing health check, then let’s have a conversation. And as always, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me @toprightpartner, or if you want to go deep on transformative branding, grab a copy of my new book, Marketing, Interrupted.