The business major is, like, the Beyoncé of college majors. Even better than business? The marketing major. In a world of advertising and social media, knowing how to effectively sell a brand is the key to success. There’s basically no way you’ll be jobless with a marketing major. But let me tell you, the marketing major life ain’t for the weak.
Be prepared for rigorous courses ranging from business statistics to brand management. Through all the blood, sweat, and tears, it’ll be worth it when you’re making stacks after graduation.
What you’ll be doing
As a marketing major, you’re essentially learning the most effective way to sell and advertise a specific brand. Expect core courses on the principles of marketing, consumer analysis, marketing research, and marketing strategies.
After you get those out of the way, you’re able to take elective courses that cater to your personal interests or career path. Although the workload is typically less heavy compared to other business tracts (shout out to finance majors), be prepared for a dizzying amount of Excel sheets and data analyses.
Good news: advertising classes will be your safe haven. These courses involve semester-long group projects doing things like brainstorming awesome sales pitches like “The Bachelor Pillow Cases” (because who wouldn’t want to have Ben’s beautiful face sleeping beside them every night?).
Essentially, marketing is just applied psychology. If you’re creative, people-oriented and love to study human behavior, then put on your best “Mad Men-esque” blazer because marketing is for you.
1. “It really gives you the chance to hone in on your people skills and interpersonal communication skills. In marketing, you’re going to be meeting a lot of people, you’re going to be talking to a lot of people, so that ultimately helps you build up your network and refine any communication skills which ultimately is going to make you successful in a marketing career.” -Sam Blum, Communications Manager for &pizza, University of Maryland Class of 2013
2. “It gives you a lot of flexibility, especially in comparison to things like accounting and finance. If you’re doing finance you’re probably pretty focused on either investment banking or corporate finance, but with a marketing degree you can really do anything from advertising to analytics to media to sports marketing – it really does give you a nice foot in the door and gives you a lot of flexibility.” –Nick DiNardo, Analytics Consultant for MarketBridge, University of Maryland 2012
3. “Every company that buys or sells goods and/or services needs to understand marketing and everyone who manages a person or team needs to understand people and how they tick, so it is a really relevant major that will be useful throughout your career, regardless of what industry you end up in.” –Caitlin Souther, Brand Manager at Unilever for Dove Men+Care, The Wharton School of Business Class of 2015
1. “It is a fairly competitive field. When you’re trying to find a job or an internship, positions are often filled as needed. It can definitely be a little frustrating to see an accounting or finance major have their job locked in before senior year even starts and you may be a marketing major and May starts to roll around and you may not have something yet.” –Sam Blum, Communications Manager at &pizza, University of Maryland Class of 2013
2. “A lot of the marketing major is really theoretical and, ‘This is what you might do in a situation like this,’ as opposed to really hard skills. I think one thing that is a perception that marketing majors don’t have as hard of skills or when they graduate they can’t immediately walk away with something.” –Nick DiNardo, Analytics Consultant for MarketBridge, University of Maryland 2012
3. “In some cases, people who are less familiar with the major do not realize how quantitative it is and how much analysis can inform marketers. There is still a stereotype that it is all about advertising, but there is a lot more to the major.” –Caitlin Souther, Brand Manager at Unilever for Dove Men+Care, The Wharton School of Business Class of 2015
Companies are in need of fresh ideas and millennials who have mastered social media and understand what draws people in to purchase a specific brand. Whether you want to work in digital or brand marketing, the skill sets you’ll learn can be applied to a variety of jobs.