You can make the best widgets in the world, but without marketing, you’re never going to sell any. You’re going to end up with a thousand great widgets in your garage and $0 in your bank account.
Marketing is the secret sauce that bridges the gap between buyer and seller, facilitating the connections needed to trade goods and services for money — and they say that’s what makes the world go around.
Business-related majors have long been the most popular fields of study at U.S. colleges and universities, and among these, marketing is one of the leaders. It’s hard to imagine any enterprise that couldn’t benefit from good marketing, and this field is in no danger of becoming irrelevant.
Yet marketing is such a broad field that it can be hard to zero in on a precise career path. Here are five of the hottest jobs you can pursue with a degree in marketing, based on salary and demand.
- Marketing manager: Oversee your company’s marketing plans from top to bottom, including advertising, digital marketing, social media and brand management. Study customer behavior and competitors’ strategies, and coordinate plans to win new customers while retaining old ones.
This career tops many lists of the best marketing jobs out there. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers earned an average of $147,240 as of 2018, and there were 240,440 jobs in this sector. Job growth for advertising, promotions and marketing managers was expected to be a robust 10 percent from 2016 to 2026.
- SEO/SEM specialist: Virtually everyone uses search engines to find information, products and services. Specialists in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are experts at acquiring new customers based on their web searches. These are jobs that didn’t exist a generation ago, but today they are in big demand, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
According to payscale.com, the average salary for SEO-related jobs is around $55,000, and for SEM jobs $61,000.
- Social media manager: Develop and implement strategies to make your company stand out on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Stay abreast of what’s trending on social media and keep your company ahead of the curve. Produce and post new content, monitor the response and manage your company’s overall digital footprint.
The BLS lists social media managers among public relations specialists, who earn an average salary of $68,440.
- Sales manager: Direct your company’s sales efforts and manage the sales team. Set goals, launch new initiatives and review sales performance. Sales managers recruit, hire, train and supervise a sales team, develop plans to attract new customers and keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s working and what’s not.
According to the BLS, sales managers make an impressive $140,320 on average.
- Market research analyst: The customers you need are not necessarily going to find you, so you might have to go find them. Market research specialists analyze customer behavior, follow market trends, anticipate needs and arm the company with solid information about what goods and services it should be supplying to meet customer demand.
According to the BLS, market research analysts and other marketing specialists earn a mean salary of $70,960. Job growth from 2016 to 2026 is expected to be 23% — much higher than average.