Marketing is a dynamic and innovative profession that incorporates elements of business, psychology and art. Marketing and advertising professionals develop and implement innovative promotional campaigns for a spectrum of products and services. As the American Marketing Association phrases it, marketing is "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

Successful marketing firms determine what consumers want in a specific product or service, and tailor creative and stylish marketing campaigns to speak to those wants.

As the internet has emerged as the preeminent medium for affordable global advertising, marketing firms are developing effective, digital ways to reach their customers, promote their products, and expand their markets.

Marketing degrees are not always necessary for entry-level positions with small firms or companies, but they are becoming more and more common, as more programs are offered online and locally. A good marketing program will prepare the graduate for the increasingly digital world of effective mass or targeted marketing.

For more information on online advertising degrees, CLICK HERE.

Marketing and Advertising Career Opportunities

Related Careers: Marketing and Advertising Specialists and Managers

Those in the marketing and advertising fields have a variety of job opportunities in a range of industries. Like other management specialties, marketing is a universal facet of business, and there is a continued high demand for skilled marketing and advertising professionals of all educational levels.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups marketing and advertising managers into a larger group that is also comprised of promotions, public relations and sales professional. The BLS expects job growth from 2008-2018 to be about as fast as the average for all occupations: a 13% increase in employment through 2018.

In 2008, there were 623,800 advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers in the US, according to the BLS. By 2018, that figure is expected to increase by over 80,000, totaling 704,100 jobs.

Marketing managers, who generally are less specialized than advertising managers and tend to work more with digital media, are expected to see a higher growth rate: from 175,600 in 2008 to 197,500. That's a 12% growth rate and an additional 21,900 new positions.

Marketing managers are expected to experience an occupational growth rate higher than the 8.2% predicted expansion of the entire civilian workforce over 10 years.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Real job opportunities for marketing managers will be better than that BLS estimate. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a project of the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, estimates that there will be 59,700 job openings for marketing managers from 2008 to 2018. That figure includes the 22,000 new positions predicted by the BLS, AND existing positions vacated by retirement, promotion, early termination, etc.

Advertising and promotions managers, conversely, will not experience a similar growth rate. According to the BLS, there were 44,600 advertising and promotions managers in 2008. The field is actually expected to slightly contract, losing about 800 jobs for a -2% growth rate. This downturn is driven largely by the decline of print and other "traditional" media advertising.

Advertising managers will experience a 2% decline in employment over 10 years.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Though the field will lose jobs overall, the Occupational Information Network predicts there will be 10,500 openings for advertising and promotions managers when existing, vacated positions are considered.

Marketing and Advertising Earnings

Marketing and advertising earnings are generally excellent, but vary widely, depending on educational achievement, work experience, and employer.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers made an annual median of $108,580 a year. The middle 50% of the field made between $77,520 and $148,970 a year, while the bottom 10% made less than $55,270 and the top 10% made more than $166,400.

Advertising and promotional managers made an annual median of $80,200. The middle 50% of the field made between $54,500 and $119,900 a year, while the bottom 10% earned less than $40,900 and the top 10% earned more than $166,400 (the BLS does not track earnings over $80/hr, or $166,400 annually).

Marketing managers generally earn slightly more than advertising managers.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Marketing and Advertising Educational Benefits

An associate's degree in marketing and advertising or a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts is typically the absolute minimum for entry-level marketing and advertising specialist positions. Most employers typically prefer a bachelor's or master's degree with an emphasis in marketing, business, or design. Most coursework in marketing and advertising degree programs focuses on management, business, statistics, liberal arts, advertising, visual arts and communication.

According to a 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey, new marketing graduates earned starting salaries that averaged $43,325 in 2008.

Employers look for strong work experience, preferably in customer service or marketing. Many programs facilitate internships that help prospective marketing and advertising professionals gain valuable industry experience.

Well-paid management positions in marketing and advertising generally require specialized education at the master's level, and strong work experience.

According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), 9% of marketing managers have a high-school diploma or less, 22% of marketing managers have some college education (a post-secondary diploma or associate's degree), and the remaining 69% have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Only 9% of marketing managers have no formal education beyond a high school diploma.Source: Occupational Information Network

Similarly, the Occupational Information Network reports that 7% of advertising and promotions managers have a high school diploma or less, 18% have some college education, and 76% have a college degree or higher.

Over 3/4 of advertising and promotions managers have a bachelor's degree or higher.Source: Occupational Information Network

As the data demonstrates, the majority of marketing, advertising and promotions managers have pursued a bachelor's degree or higher. Those managers who have not earned advanced degrees generally have exceptionally strong work histories. For most prospective advertising and marketing professionals, earning a marketing and advertising bachelor's or master's degree is the best way to enter the field.

Marketing and Advertising Programs Online

Degrees Possible: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees

Marketing and advertising degrees of all levels can be earned online, in a flexible format that may be better-suited to working professionals. There are a number of dual marketing and sales programs offered online, giving the graduate valuable experience in closely related fields.

Because marketing and advertising is increasingly internet-driven, online marketing and advertising degrees of all levels may do a better job than local ground schools at preparing students for the new, digital economy. Students will learn traditional principles, but will focus on the implications and global reach of the internet as a marketing and sales platform.

As with any serious educational decision, it is important to do your research when picking an online marketing or advertising program: is the school accredited? Will earned credits transfer? (Transfer of credits is often a good rubric in determining the quality of an education: other educational institutions should recognize the viability of the training a particular course entails.) What is the school's job placement rate? What are people saying about this school in general and this program specifically? If you learn better in a hands-on environment, consider whether the program facilitates internships for those who'd like to gain additional experience in the marketing or advertising field.

Marketing and Advertising Skills and Abilities

To effectively market a new or established product, marketing and advertising professionals should be creative thinkers and artists. Because they often work as part of a marketing team, marketing and advertising professionals should be effective cooperators and communicators. Because they are often hired to fulfill a specific advertising vision, they should have excellent active listening skills when dealing with potential or current clients.

For marketing managers, good organizational, multitasking, and communication skills are especially important, as is a thorough knowledge of customer service principles. Group coordination and critical thinking skills are also highly beneficial to successful marketing management.

Many marketing and advertising professionals have a background in fine or applied arts, as most advertisements are visual. Graphic artists especially are playing an active role in the internet economy; those professionals with advertising and Web design experience will have excellent opportunities.

Because of the shift to online and digital media, it's important that all marketing and advertising professionals have strong computer skills.

Marketing and Advertising Qualifications and Advancement

A marketing and advertising associate's degree and strong work experience can qualify candidates for entry-level positions as Marketing and Advertising Specialists, though most employers prefer a bachelor's degree.

Marketing and Advertising Managers usually have a marketing and advertising MBA or other graduate degree, and strong work experience.

Additional Information

For more information on online advertising degrees, CLICK HERE.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies maintains a Web site at http://www.aaaa.org.