In today's world, marketing is a huge component of any business. It involves studying and understanding the wants, needs, and desires of consumers to market products effectively. It's what drives people to your store or website and what makes them want to purchase a product from you. But is marketing worth pursuing as a degree?
In this blog post, I'll be discussing whether you should jump into a marketing degree program or not. I'll also discuss future career prospects and the basics of 2021 marketing careers. With my data-driven information, you can determine whether a marketing degree is worth it or not.
Overview Of Marketing Courses
Marketing is a thriving industry, so it’s no surprise that many schools a marketing major. The courses offered by different departments can vary slightly from school to school, but they all have one thing in common: you will not be studying concepts, skills or techniques that are directly relevant to the kinds of marketing careers that actually exist today. If you look at the education curriculum of San Diego Institute, the courses for marketing students may include:
Learning how to use accounting systems and techniques for making business decisions.
Principles Of Marketing
Basic overview of marketing from an academic perspective by studying its history, philosophy, and future direction. They also learn how to analyze current trends for marketing purposes.
These courses discuss public relations activities such as identifying key stakeholders, developing strategies for effective communication, and assessing the effectiveness of PR campaigns.
Studying how marketers develop an understanding of consumer wants, needs, thoughts, and behaviors as a foundation for consumer research, market segmentation, and targeting strategies in the business world.
Advertising And Promotion Management
Courses on creating effective advertising campaigns that meet marketing projects objectives such as increased awareness, business resources, or purchase intention utilizing traditional ad methods.
Marketing Campaign And Strategic Planning
Focus on the process of developing and executing marketing campaigns that are aligned with a company's vision, mission, goals, and target markets.
Are Marketing Courses Relevant to the Marketing Industry?
The marketing industry today is completely different than it was 20 years ago. Traditional Advertising includes things like TV, Radio, Billboards, and Print. Digital means advertising on websites like Facebook and Google. Most people these days don't read a newspaper or even watch TV. That's why Digital Advertising is a $200Billion industry, surpassing Traditional Advertising in 2021.
In fact, according to GroupM, one of the largest media agencies in the world, Digital now accounts for 57% of total advertising and will account for 67% by 2026.
That's also why the majority of jobs available in Marketing are Digital. This means managing online ads, not public relations, market research, marketing communications, consumer behavior, or managerial accounting.
Unfortunately, the outdated basic marketing principles taught in a marketing major will not help you be successful in getting a job as an SEO manager or digital marketer, especially in the offices of the most renowned marketing agencies. Learning business administration may not help you become a successful marketer.
One business insider report states that marketing and market research degree programs are among the ten most useless degrees for building a career. Businesses today are interested in creative digital marketers with proven skills in the marketing field.
A Marketing Major Ignores Digital
Most marketing graduates go 4 entire years of study without even a basic understanding or single course about internet marketing. If you look at most marketing majors, you will see that digital is almost always categorized as an “elective”, the same as class in music or painting. Marketing majors emerge from school with no knowledge of relevant skillsets and few career prospects. Is that a sign of a good major?
Marketing Degree Underemployment
Underemployment is a statistic most people aren't aware of that should be a huge factor when determining what to major in. Underemployment is when a person who has a degree is working a job that did not require a degree. Given the intense pressure on young people to go to college, you'd think underemployment would be quite low. But in fact, according to the New York Fed, the underemployment rate for Marketing Majors is 52.1%!
That means that more than half of graduates who did get hired are in jobs that didn't even require their degree.
Marketing Graduates and Debt
One of the biggest drawbacks to a marketing degree is its expense. College costs today are through the roof. Marketing degrees can put a student tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Total student debt is nearly $2 Trillion – and it's a sad fact that if degrees in general were worth it, this number would be decreasing as people paid off their loans. This number would not be increasing.
It's amazing even after spending all that money on tuition, pupils are taught concepts that are not relevant to modern marketing professionals. It's really worth investigating “what is a marketing degree worth”? With such a high underemployment rate, can you imagine paying all this money and getting a job you didn't need the degree for in the first place? In fact Marketing was featured on Business Insider in their list of Top 10 most worthless degrees.
On top of that, the Wall Street Journal just did a major expose on victims at Columbia University who are saddled with debt and making very low salaries. Columbia was featured, but this practice is all too common among colleges offering a Bachelor's Degree and Master's degrees.
They're not really held accountable for the myth they're selling to students. We should not be giving federal-aid dollars to these programs that systematically saddle students with high debt,' Ozan Jaquette, an associate professor of higher education at the University of California told the Wall Street Journal.
Marketing Degrees Don't Translate to Real World Applications
The skills needed by today’s marketer have changed dramatically over the last several decades. Marketing has evolved with the changing landscape, requiring increased creativity, social media know-how, marketing analytics skills, and more. An outdated college degree in marketing won't teach you what's really needed for today's marketing.
If you want some proof, check out this interview with one of my alumni, Davit. He is now running his own business. But when he met me, he was a marketing graduate working at a job where he was passing out flyers for a local company! You can fast forward to 4:51 to hear him talk about it.
What Marketing Skills Are In Demand?
The screenshot below shows a search for marketing jobs on LinkedIn.
The reality is illustrated in the top 2 results. No one is looking for a traditional marketer anymore. Instead, these companies are all looking for a marketing team with experience in digital skill sets or business management experts. Most industry leaders in the field do not have a marketing degree.
It's best to learn about PPC, SEO, and Paid Social/Media Buying.
- SEO is one of the best ways to build a brand’s reputation. It can lead to increased traffic, more customer conversions, and less advertising expenditure.
- PPC stands for “Pay Per Click,” a kind of advertising around ads paid only when someone clicks on them. This is how Google has built a multi billion dollar empire
- Paid Social is basically running similar ads but on Facebook, Instagram, and other Social Networks
These are just a few of the many things you'll need to know if you want success in marketing. The amazing thing is that while these skillsets and platforms are barely touched in most marketing programs, you can actually learn about them and get experience directly with them online.
Every month I do a walkthrough and explain job postings in digital marketing like this:
What About a Digital Marketing Degree?
Many schools have begun offering e marketing or digital certification or degree programs. Even programs that do attempt to teach modern marketing strategies are woefully out of touch and out of date. College is still a place where people spend $1,000 on heavy printed textbooks. Marketing changes daily, so these programs cannot keep up.
Modern Marketing is Digital
One of the main catalysts for growth in digital has been how cost-effective it is compared to traditional marketing. Digital marketing has allowed businesses to reach people who may have otherwise been hard to reach (like millennials or social media users).
Digital marketing is so effective because it:
- Saves money (compared to other types of advertising)
- Allows businesses to reach customers beyond their geographical location
- Increases brand recognition through creative content
It provides an easy way for companies to analyze data and track performance in real-time, enabling them to make decisions quickly and efficiently. This marketing plays a vital role in establishing customer relationships and gathering feedback. Internet marketing uses email newsletters, web content, and social media to reach new customers.
Marketing digitally allows businesses to reach their target audience based on web users' past behavior and interests. That makes the cost of acquiring clients lower than traditional advertising methods such as TV commercials and print ads.
No matter the size, a business can measure customer response to their campaigns through data analysis tools like Google Analytics. These tools provide creative insights into user behaviors without forcing a company to develop its own software programs.
Marketing is About Results, Not a Degree
Successful marketers produce results for their clients, and clients will never ask to see proof of your degree. All that matters are your skills and how you can help a business.
This is how I've helped so many people get an entry level job in marketing without previous experience or education. I teach people the skills that are actually in demand and how to communicate their knowledge effectively to employers. One of the best things about modern marketing is that it can all be learned and implemented online without having to pay for a degree in marketing. I know it sounds kind of crazy, considering everything you have heard about needing a degree to have success.
But check out some of my alumni who are working in marketing, without even having a degree in marketing or even a college degree.
If you'd like to learn more about how this is possible, check out my Free Masterclass on a marketing career path with no experience or education today.