Marketing skills are used by large companies and small nonprofit organizations alike. Professionals holding a master's degree in marketing can pursue careers such as marketing managers, advertising and promotions managers, sales managers, and public relations managers.
A master's degree program in marketing provides graduates with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to pursue management positions in several fields related to the sales and promotions of products. In these programs, students get a solid foundation in the principles of marketing through courses in finance, strategic planning and database management. They may be able to specialize in fields including digital marketing and brand management.
|Career||Marketing Manager||Advertising and Promotions Manager||Sales Manager||Public Relations Manager|
|Education Requirements||Master's degree in marketing may be preferred; bachelor's degree required||Master's degree in marketing may be preferred; bachelor's degree required||Master's degree in marketing may be preferred; bachelor's degree required||Master's degree may be preferred by some employers; bachelor's degree required|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-24)*||9%||5%||5%||7% for public relations and fundraising managers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$128,750||$95,890||$113,860||$104,140 for public relations and fundraising managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Management jobs in marketing, advertising, promotions and public relations fields are among the options for graduates of master's degree programs in marketing. Potential employers include advertising and public relations agencies, non-profit organizations and the marketing departments of large corporations.
Marketing managers coordinate an organization's marketing department, while developing and evaluating marketing strategies. They promote products and services with the goal of maximizing profits, while ensuring customer satisfaction. Their responsibilities include estimating product or service demands, determining the best markets for the products, pricing products appropriately and developing new products.
Marketing managers monitor marketing trends and must be aware of the economy's impact on their employer's services and products, as well as that of their competitors. Human resource and supervisory duties, such as hiring, training, evaluating and managing marketing employees, are also the responsibility of the marketing manager.
Marketing managers may specialize in direct, brand or digital marketing. Direct marketing is the use of promotional letters, catalogs and fliers to market directly to the consumer. Brand marketing is the promotion of a specific brand or product. Digital marketing refers to marketing through media, such as radio, television, Internet and e-mail. Many marketing managers combine aspects of all three when developing a marketing plan.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2015 that the median annual salary for marketing managers was $128,750. The majority of marketing managers were employed by individual companies and enterprises, which paid them an average of $147,670 annually. However, those working in the marketing of computer systems made $153,670, and the mean salary for managers in the financial investment industry was $180,340.
Working for advertising agencies, media organizations or a company's advertising department, advertising managers perform general managerial tasks, such as managing employees and creating budgets, as well as duties specific to the advertising industry. They act as the bridge between the corporation requiring advertising and the firm providing the advertising services. Through collaboration with staff in sales, promotions, creative design and finance, advertising managers develop, oversee and evaluate advertising campaigns.
These campaigns may utilize television, Internet, radio, billboards, direct mailings, newspapers or magazines. Specific duties differ based on the size of the firm; advertising managers in larger firms may have more specialized roles, such as media director or design manager, while those in smaller firms may take on a variety of responsibilities.
The annual median salary for advertising and promotions managers in 2015, as reported by the BLS, was $95,890. Those working in advertising agencies earned $133,300 on average, while newspaper and book publishers paid their managers $95,200. Advertising managers employed by specialized design service businesses made an average of $169,430.
Sales Manager Job Information
Sales managers work to increase sales. They serve as the link between sales representatives and distributors. Sales managers analyze data and determine appropriate product inventory and distribution. They also oversee teams of sales representatives, setting and monitoring sales goals, providing training, ensuring quality customer service and assigning sales territories. It is important for those in sales to stay current on product information, marketing trends and customer needs through conferences, trade shows and regular communication with customers.
Although the BLS reported that the median annual salary for sales managers in 2015 was $113,860, wages differ because of the variety of products and services that sales managers may be promoting. In the automobile industry, sales managers were paid $125,290, on average. Those involved in the wholesale electronics market earned $146,940 and the average salary for sales managers in company and enterprise management was $143,830.
Managers in promotions work closely with those in advertising and marketing to develop and direct promotion and incentive programs. Their goal is to increase sales to customers through promotions, such as samples, gifts, coupons, contests and rebates.
Promotions managers use displays, advertising on packages, newspapers and direct mail to increase the public's awareness of their product and promotional programs. Other managerial duties may include budgeting, overseeing employees, creating policies, making presentations, analyzing data and creating reports.
Because promotions are so closely tied with advertising, the average salaries are the same.
Public Relations Manager Job Information
A positive public image is essential for the success of an organization, and it's the responsibility of public relations managers to establish and maintain this image. Public relations managers analyze an organization's goals and needs and then develop a plan to enhance its public image and promote ideas that will benefit the organization. They respond to requests of the media and use speeches, press releases and other forms of media to project a favorable image for their employer. Awareness of societal issues and trends is necessary for public relations managers, as they counsel companies on effective communication with the media and the public, helping them clarify their positions on controversial issues.
Public relations professionals benefit from strong research skills, which they can use to analyze and interpret data from public opinion surveys, as well as strong communication skills. Some public relations managers oversee communications within a corporation, such as company newsletters and reports. Planning special events, such as fundraising dinners or company anniversary celebrations, may also be the responsibility of public relations professionals.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that public relations and fundraising managers earned an annual median salary of $104,140 in 2015, although this varies between types of employment. Public relations firms paid their managers $153,710, on average. Public relations managers at colleges and universities made $112,300, and those working for museums and other historical sites earned an average of $97,600.
As marketing and advertising is an integral part of businesses and organizations, positions such as marketing manager usually pay fairly well. Job growth for all of these careers is predicted to remain fairly steady, although competition for these positions tends to be strong.