Career Opportunities for Marketing Graduates

For individuals with a creative mind, a relentless drive to innovate and effective communication skills, marketing could be the ticket to a lasting and immensely satisfying career.

There couldn’t be a more exciting time to work in the field. Technology is rapidly transforming marketing activities, presenting countless new career opportunities in a range of mediums and content channels. In fact, Forrester research found that between 2016 and 2021, Chief Marketing Officers will spend almost $119 billion on digital marketing activities.

Though the industry may be incorporating technology at a faster rate, it also depends on a strong human element now more than ever before. Marketers must be able to provide quality content and campaigns that cut through the noise and grabs consumers’ attention in a world where they are constantly bombarded with messages from all sides. This is best accomplished through the creation of empathetic, authentic and high-valuable marketing materials. This creation can be informed by an extensive understanding of the audience, the company and the fundamental principles of marketing. With a bachelor’s degree in marketing, students can learn the theories and frameworks of successful marketing as well as the future issues and trends that the industry is facing.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that marketing professions will have an above-average overall growth rate of 14.3 percent through 2022.

Fast-paced and creative, marketing can be a hugely fulfilling career, with roles in a range of contexts. Here are some of the top career opportunities for graduates of online marketing degree programs:

Content Marketer

“Content is King,” and content marketers take this to heart every single day in their jobs. Content marketers can work in-house or in an agency setting to create shareable marketing materials such as blog articles, infographics, videos and e-books that provide value to audiences while also promoting a company’s brand, products or services. The aim is to tell a compelling story through the content that ultimately has value for the audience while generating leads for the company.

A significant aspect of content marketing is search engine optimization, or SEO. This is the practice of identifying key words and other content trends that can help an article or another type of content appear at the top of Google search lists, giving greater visibility to companies. As such, content marketers frequently use tools like Google Analytics to investigate search trends and identify top keywords in their clients’ particular industries. SEO is a huge industry and growing – Borrell Associates estimates that total SEO spending will reach nearly $80 billion by 2020. Individuals interested in this career path should be familiar with developments in the SEO field. A major one is that identifying the top key words is no longer enough – marketers need to create content that provides true value for audiences.

Advertising Account Planner

If you’ve always been intrigued by the commercials, billboards and jingles for your favorite brands – perhaps you’ve even thought, hey, I can do that! – then you may want to explore working as an advertising account planner.

Advertising campaigns, whether online, in print or multi-channel, all start with a big idea, and that’s where the advertising account planner comes in. These professionals create the strategy for an advertising campaign. They do this by researching the clients’ consumer base, target demographics, competitors and other related information, analyzing past campaign results to determine which type of campaign would be most successful for a company and the type of angle that it should take. They also have in-depth conversations with the client to determine their goals and objectives for their advertising pursuits. Once the account planner determines this, he/she shares this information and target strategy with a team consisting of other advertising professionals including art directors, copywriters and designers. They relay the strategy and then work with their teams to create different elements of the campaign on a set timeline and under a certain budget. The role requires effective communication skills – they need to present strategy goals to team members so that they can create materials that are on-topic, as well as communicate the value of that particular campaign direction to clients. The role requires creative thinking and unique problem solving with a willingness to step outside the box, while also being able to tie creative elements to business goals and ROI.

Public Relations Specialist

Public perception is everything – especially in an age where anything can be recorded on a cellphone, tweeted about or uploaded to YouTube. Public relationship specialists play an important role at companies of all types and sizes, assisting in the development of brand perception as well as strategies for effective communication with audiences.

In PR, what people think about a brand is everything. As the Public Relations Society of America noted, “At its core, public relations is about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across a myriad of platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization.”

As part of this strategy planning and execution, PR specialists may write and disseminate press releases and organize press conferences. They may create social media campaigns and manage social accounts for organizations and initiatives and may create, plan and host brand-recognition events. Other job duties include crafting a crisis communications strategy for the company to deal with bad press, as well as coordinating with marketing and advertising agencies as well as in-house professionals to plan media events.

PR specialists must be skilled multi-taskers who can handle working on and switching between a variety of tasks quickly and who can work well under pressure. They should be detail-oriented, aware of all the small moving parts and pieces that make up the larger whole. They should also be skilled communicators who know the most effective ways to relay information to others and have a deep understanding of how consumer perceptions are shaped. PR specialists also should be adept at technology and keep up to date with all the different apps, social media platforms and tech tools making headlines.

This last point is especially important, as the 2017 Annenberg Global Communications Study found that 87 percent of professionals believe that “public relations” will not describe the work they do in five years, according to the PRSA website. The way organizations portray themselves to the public and tell stories is rapidly evolving, and PR professionals must embrace these changes and view them with curiosity and excitement to adapt their methods to the ones that will be most relevant to audiences.

Market Research Analyst

In our modern world, data is the name of the game. From healthcare to criminal justice, data is transforming business activities in a range of industries, not least of which is consumer products and services. Collecting and analyzing massive amounts of consumer information, from spending habits to television viewership, can reveal trends in buyer behavior and thus influence which products show up on shelves and in online shops.

Market research analysts are important players in this Big Data game – and they’re some of the hottest jobs in marketing right now. These professionals comb through the data to make predictions about the success of a certain product or service. For example, they may be hired to forecast how well a certain type of kitchen appliance would sell in stores, or could advise an advertising agency about which geographic area is best to conduct a campaign about a certain product in.

Market research analysts have an ever-growing toolbox at their fingertips for drawing insights into consumer behavior. Not only are they looking at purchasing data and other hard figures, but they’re looking at social sentiment.

“Like in so many roles, the internet, social media and Twitter have begun to revolutionize some aspects of research analysis,” wrote Sinead Hasson in an article for the Guardian. “There is a more immediate response to requests for information and greater access to a wider pool of information. This means you can identify trends and patterns of behavior more quickly and efficiently.”

Market research analysts are also in high demand, and may be a promising career choice for creative individuals that also have a passion for numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of market research analyst jobs will increase by 19 percent between 2014 and 2024 – a much faster-than-average rate than that of other job roles.

In terms of skills, market research analysts should be very comfortable with numbers and possess strong math skills. They should have a superior attention to detail and sharpened analytical abilities that enable them to see valuable patterns, trends and indicators in the data they examine. They also should be effective communicators, with the ability to explain the insights gleaned from the numbers in layman’s terms.

Focus your education on Marketing

These roles are just a few of the dynamic, rewarding careers available in marketing. If your passion is content, PR or market research, you may want to consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers 7 different bachelor degrees all 100-percent online within their Collat School of Business. To begin pursuing your professional aspiration, learn more about UAB’s online marketing bachelor’s degree program and contact an advisor today!


Recommended Readings:

How a Bachelor’s Degree Affects Your Salary Potential

U.S. Consumer Trends: What Will Change in 2017



Creativepool, Job Description: Advertising Account Planner

Payscale, Average Content Marketing Manager Salary

Search Engine Land, Forecast says SEO-related spending will be worth $80 billion by 2020

Forrester, US Digital Marketing Forecast: 2016 To 2021

Hubspot, 20 Things Every Graduating Marketing Student Needs to Know

Prospects, Advertising Account Planner

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts

The Guardian, So what does a market analyst do, exactly?

PRSA, About Public Relations