Marketing Manager: Career Profile, Occupational Outlook and Education Requirements

Research what it takes to become a marketing manager. Learn about degree requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Marketing Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Marketing Manager?

Organizations hire marketing managers to develop plans to promote and sell a good or service. Marketing managers are responsible for planning advertising campaigns, negotiating contracts, evaluating websites and other marketing tools, initiating marketing research and developing pricing strategies. Often they are the head of a marketing staff, which they must keep informed about budgets, contracts, marketing plans and the selection of advertising media. They may even play a roll in the hiring of their marketing staff. Details on what's needed in this career are provided in the chart below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Required Training Employers prefer management experience
Education Field of Study Marketing, promotions, advertising
Key Skills Interpersonal, communication, organization, analytical, decision-making
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9%*
Average Salary (2015) $140,660*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are My Responsibilities as a Marketing Manager?

Marketing managers determine the strategy for promoting and selling an organization's products or services. In designing and implementing a marketing strategy for an organization, a marketing manager determines demand, analyzes the competition, identifies the customer, develops pricing strategies, ensures customer satisfaction, oversees development, and assesses the need for new products or services. Marketing managers work closely with advertising and promotions managers, product developers and sales managers in order to ensure that all components are in line with the overall marketing strategy.

What Is My Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for marketing managers was $140,660 in May 2015, with the highest paying positions being in the securities and commodity exchanges industry (www.bls.gov). Job growth for marketing managers was expected to continue to grow at a faster than average rate of 9% during the 2014-2024 decade, although job seekers may face competition for highly sought-after positions. Candidates with Internet marketing skills are likely to have an advantage over others in the field.

What Education and Training Do I Need?

A review of job postings for marketing managers from Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com show that most employers list a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement. Degrees in marketing and business administration are preferable and usually provide the background in management, finance, economics and statistics; this is necessary for most marketing manager positions. Employers generally prefer to hire candidates with previous marketing experience for their management positions; several years of experience is often requested. Graduate degrees or certifications, such as the Certified Marketing Executive (CME) designation offered by Sales & Marketing Executives International, Inc., are not required, but may be advantageous when competing for a top-level position (www.smei.org).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a few careers that may not incorporate all the responsibilities of a marketing manager, but offer related job duties. All of the following options require a bachelor's degree. Art directors are often in charge of the artistic appearance of visual images in print and broadcast projects, so they should be conscious of what is going to appeal to customers and clients. Public relations specialists maintain or improve a positive image with the public for a company. This involves using many of the same strategies as a professional in marketing. Often working with marketing managers, advertising sales agents sell advertising space to businesses. If you are more interested in the management components of the career, you may want to look into financial managing and sales managing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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