If you seek a career where creativity and business acumen combine, a marketing degree may be for you. Marketing is booming because of social media growth and technological advancements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in marketing, advertising, and promotions will increase by 10 percent through 2026. Starting pay for marketing jobs is higher than many other industries: as of May 2017, median pay for marketing managers was $132,230, with the lowest 10 percent of marketing professionals earning $68,490.

Even better, marketing jobs are in demand, welcome news for new graduates. Digital marketing is ubiquitous because of the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and computers. Consequently, many companies need savvy marketers to keep them relevant. A marketing career requires versatility, as marketing managers must switch between tasks like planning marketing campaigns and conducting marketing research. Marketing programs teach students to negotiate marketing contracts, spot marketing trends, and assess demands.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Marketing?

Creative, business-oriented, and social people thrive in marketing programs because of the curriculum, which hones analytical, persuasive, and interpersonal skills. These skills, while crucial for marketing careers, are also applicable in other fields, especially since marketing incorporates concepts from business, advertising, psychology, and art. Thus, marketing graduates are not pigeonholed into one field and are prepared to succeed in a variety of different jobs.

If you are considering a marketing bachelor's degree, you have two options: online and on-campus programs. Working professionals or parents may find online classes are better suited to their busy lifestyles, whereas students graduating high school or transferring from community college may prefer on-campus classes, where they can interact with classmates in-person and attend campus activities. Because marketing careers often require strong networking skills, you should use college as an opportunity to form lasting connections with professors and colleagues. Some programs require internships and capstone projects, which may help students find jobs after graduation.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Marketing?

Marketing is a vast field, with room for many personality types. The nature of marketing naturally appeals to extroverts who enjoy the social demands of the field. Extroverts are great at public speaking, leading presentations, working with clients, and networking. Introverts, too, are welcome, as they are innately analytical and can lend insight into marketing campaigns. Introverts are also highly creative, observant, and focused, crucial skills in a fast-paced marketing department. Almost every company, nonprofit, and government agency has a marketing department looking for trained professionals in a host of careers.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts work in many settings, including finance, insurance, and publishing. They collect and analyze data about consumer buying patterns and markets. These findings are compiled into reports and presented to their clients. Sometimes, market research analysts also create their own graphs and charts for presentations, though in some cases a graphic designer may do the work.

Median Annual Salary: $63,230

Projected Growth Rate: 23%

Marketing Managers

Marketing managers have busy schedules that often exceed the typical 40-hour work week. They are employed in finance, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and other sectors. Their duties include spearheading marketing research and managing marketing plans and contracts. Marketing managers also monitor the market to see how companies can increase their market share.

Median Annual Salary: $129,380

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Internet Marketing Managers

Internet marketing managers, sometimes called online marketing managers or digital marketing managers, work within companies to develop marketing strategies and build market share in the digital space. They may focus on maximizing a company's search engine optimization or creating viral marketing campaigns.

Median Annual Salary: $129,380

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Advertising Sales Agents

Though a degree is not required, a bachelor's in marketing is preferred for advertising sales agents, who work in fast-paced environments within newspapers, magazines, TV stations, and ad agencies. Ad sales agents must meet sales quotas to sell ads and recruit new clients. They give ad estimates, send ad proofs, update media kits, and sometimes create sales presentations. The job often requires traveling and working on holidays or weekends.

Median Annual Salary: $49,680

Projected Growth Rate: -4%

Marketing Specialists

Marketing specialists provide their expertise to companies on a contract basis or are employed on staff to develop, research, and implement innovative marketing plans which reach a targeted audience. These individuals have a firm grasp of consumer culture and market trends. They use their expertise to improve a brand's reputation or boost company profits.

Median Annual Salary: $63,230

Projected Growth Rate: 23%

Best States for Marketers

Employment prospects for marketers appear favorable due to a booming economy and new opportunities in areas such as digital marketing. Across the U.S., market research analysts and marketing specialists serve vital functions. They conduct market research to determine the potential sales of products and services and create marketing campaigns to drive those sales. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes a 2017 median pay of $63,230 per year for market research analysts, with a projected 23% employment growth by 2026. Marketing specialists, such as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers, earn a median salary of $129,380 per year, with a projected 10% employment growth%.

The BLS's Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) notes that overall, management and scientific consulting, companies and enterprises, and computer systems design and related services represent the three industries with the highest employment for marketers. The top three highest-paying industries for marketers include aerospace product and parts manufacturing, electronic component manufacturing, and oil and gas extraction. Specialized areas of digital marketing particularly target millennials and provide major potential for marketing growth. Research and consulting firm Forrester finds that by 2021, companies will spend almost $119 billion on paid search, email advertising, display advertising, and online video. Forrester also notes that digital marketing in the U.S. will take a 46% market share of all advertising between 2016 and 2021.

Methodology

In creating this list of the top 25 best states for marketers in the U.S., we turned to OES for the latest statistics on marketing specialists and market research analysts. The ranking places emphasis on the number of employed professionals in each state, salary, state employment rate, and cost of living as tabulated by PayScale. The list also includes local labor market data where available.

Rank School Description Toggle
1

California

With a 4.1% unemployment rate as of October 2018, California takes the top spot for marketing careers. Thriving hubs such as Oakland, San Francisco, and Fremont provide marketers with great job prospects at major multinational companies headquartered there, including Salesforce, Kaiser Permanente, and Wells Fargo. Additionally, Silicon Valley and other San Francisco Bay Area areas feature a host of tech companies such as Apple, Uber technologies, Twitter, Google, and Facebook.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 96,600 market research analysts and marketing specialists employed in the state as of May 2017, earning an annual mean wage of $80,020 with 5.79 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. State data show that management tech consulting and computer systems design companies employ the largest number of these marketers. One drawback: the cost of living remains high in these areas at 80% above the national average in San Francisco, according to PayScale.

2

New York

With unemployment at a 30-year low in New York at 4%, the state provides ample opportunity for job seekers to find careers in a variety of fields, including marketing. New York City enjoys the most rapid employment growth in the state and also maintains its standing as a top hub for marketers. The city serves as home to major corporations in fields such as media, technology, and finance. The famed Madison Avenue is synonymous with the American advertising industry and continues to provide great opportunities for marketers and advertising sales gurus.

Overall, New York State employs 59,110 market research analysts and marketing specialists. These specialists earn an average mean wage of $77,920, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also lists 6.42 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. State data show 41,730 of these positions in the New York city region, with experienced marketers earning more than $100,000 in annual wages. However, cost of living is 129% higher than the national average, according to PayScale.

3

Florida

Florida's 3.5% unemployment rate, which is below the national average, provides job seekers with a variety of career opportunities. The state serves as home to large companies such as Publix, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Fidelity National, and several restaurant chains like Darden and Red Lobster.

Florida employs 30,240 market research analysts and marketing specialists, with 3.59 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. These specialists earn an average mean wage of $66,310. Businesses in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area hire most of these professionals at 6,460, followed by the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area at 5,420, and Miami at 4,280. Florida also boasts warm climate and a reasonable cost of living, which sits 5% lower than the national average in Orlando.

4

Texas

A big state with several large metropolitan areas, Texas continues to enjoy prosperity with a 3.7% unemployment rate. The presence of major companies like AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Frito-Lay, and Verizon in cities like Dallas, Garland, Irving, and Plano provide great employment opportunities for marketers.

Job seekers should note that the state employs 28,820 market research analysts and marketing specialists who earn an average mean wage of $79,480. Texas also boasts 2.42 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. State data show that the Gulf Coast, Dallas, Austin, North Central, and Alamo areas employ the most people in this occupation. The state also forecasts a significant increase in employment with 37,590 marketers working in this category in 2026. The cost of living in Dallas, for example, is a moderate 2% higher than the national average.

5

Pennsylvania

Like many of the states at the top of this list, Pennsylvania has a low unemployment rate of 4.1%. The state offers many attractions, including top-ranked schools like the University of Pennsylvania, thriving metro areas, and the headquarters of high-profile corporations such as Comcast, Lincoln National, Aramark, and Rite Aid.

The number of jobs for market research analysts and marketing specialists total 25,610 in Pennsylvania, with an average mean wage of $67,900 and 4.43 positions available per 1,000 jobs. Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties rank highest in the number of workers in this profession with a total of 7,500, followed by the New Jersey-Pennsylvania Metro area (Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton) with 6,810, Pittsburgh with 5,100, and Philadelphia with 4,750.

6

Illinois

The sixth most populous state in the U.S., Illinois's biggest industries include transportation, finance and insurance, and manufacturing. The state continues to maintain a strong economy with an unemployment rate of 4.2%. The state's thriving business hubs include Chicago, Bloomington, and Aurora. Illinois serves as home to many major corporations, such as Kraft Heinz, Walgreens, Boeing, Caterpillar, and State Farm.

Businesses big and small in Illinois need market research analysts and marketing specialists to keep the wheels of commerce going, with 24,330 working in the field as of May 2017. These professionals earn an annual mean wage of $62,380, with 4.11 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Marketers will do best to head to the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metro area where a concentration of 17,680 of these professionals work in the state. The cost of living in Chicago is 23% higher than the national average, making it one of the more expensive choices for marketers.

7

Ohio

The Buckeye State's major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and oil gas and mining. The state continues to maintain a healthy economy with a 4.6% unemployment rate. Major companies in various sectors maintain headquarters in the state, including Kroger, Procter and Gamble, Progressive, and Goodyear. An increasing number of businesses are moving to the Midwest, with Columbus one of their top stops.

The state boasts 23,100 market research analysts and marketing specialists employed and 4.3 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. These specialists earn an annual mean wage of $66,530. The greater Cleveland metropolitan area hires the most marketers with 5,440 employed; followed by Columbus, 5,310; and the greater Cincinnati area, 5,210. Ohio's cost of living is about 8% lower than the national average, according to PayScale.

8

Georgia

Georgia maintains its standing as the top hub for small businesses and holds one of the lowest unemployment rates on the list at 3.6%. Georgia also serves as home to many big businesses, such as Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, and Delta Airlines. The state's key industries include agribusiness, automotive, entertainment, and energy.

Georgia's companies employ 20,280 market research analysts and marketing specialists, earning an annual mean wage of $64,600. The state also boasts 4.71 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The vast majority of marketers, 16,930 in May 2017, find jobs in the Atlanta metropolitan area. While cost of living in Atlanta mirrors the national average, according to PayScale, people save money on accomodations by moving to the more affordable Atlanta suburbs.

9

Massachusetts

Home to some of the nation's best colleges, including Harvard and MIT, Massachusetts maintains the title of most populous of the New England states. Known for its highly educated populace, research and development, and innovation economy, Massachusetts holds a low unemployment rate of 3.5%. The state's key industries include healthcare services, financial services, information technology, and finance. Several Fortune 500 company headquarters are located in the state, including Staples, Raytheon, Eversource, and Boston Scientific.

The state's companies employ 19,900 marketers who earn an annual mean wage of $77,520. Massachusetts also lists 5.64 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Companies in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro area hire the most marketers with 13,840 employed. While companies pay well, the cost of living in Boston is 48% above the national average, according to PayScale. This may be a factor to consider if you plan to relocate.

10

Virginia

Virginia's 2.9% unemployment rate serves as a testament to all the opportunities available there. Amazon will soon establish one of its headquarters in Arlington, an area filled with young, educated, upwardly mobile professionals. The company joins many professional/trade organizations, defense companies, think tanks, and companies such as Airbus, BAE systems, Volkswagen, and Lidl in northern Virginia.

Marketers seeking employment can accompany the 19,620 professionals working in the field who earn an annual mean wage of $75,680. The state also boasts 5.18 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The Washington-Alexandria-Arlington metro area hires the vast majority of market research analysts and marketing specialists with a 17,770 count. The Metro DC area remains an expensive place to live despite the booming economy, with Alexandria's cost of living 44% higher than the national average.

11

New Jersey

New Jersey offers job seekers a resilient economy with its unemployment rate at a 10-year low, not to mention close proximity to New York City. The official unemployment rate stands at 4.1% as of October 2018. The state oversees growing IT, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and financial services industries.

Marketers enjoy strong job prospects in the Garden State with 18,330 market research analysts and marketing specialists employed. These specialists earn the best annual mean wage on the list so far at $84,970, with 4.57 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Many marketing jobs concentrate in the the Newark metro area with 6,810 positions available, followed by Camden at 1,630. The other marketing positions fall under the NYC-New Jersey metro areas. Newark's cost of living, 22% higher than the national average, increases further the closer you live to New York City.

12

Washington

60% of Washington's population lives in the Seattle metropolitan area, wherein lies the state's hub of business and industry. Washington's 4.3% unemployment rate remains stable, with main industries such as agriculture and food manufacturing, aerospace, information technology, and life science/global health research driving the economy. Companies with headquarters in Washington include Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Weyerhaeuser.

Marketers working in the state number at 17,730, earning an annual mean wage of $82,190. Additionally, Washington features 5.57 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The largest concentration of these marketers centralize in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area with employment at 14,140. Though the state possesses an attractive salary for marketers, the cost of living in the Seattle area is 49% higher than the national average.

13

Michigan

Michigan's 3.9% unemployment rate reflects its significant improvement from the Great Recession. Grand Rapids, Midland, and Detroit top the list of the state's fastest-growing areas, according to state data.The state relies heavily on manufacturing, followed by finance, insurance, and real estate. Automotive companies such as General Motors and Ford call the state home, in addition to DowDuPont, Kellogg, Whirlpool, and other Fortune 500 companies.

Companies employ 17,570 market research analysts and marketing specialists and pay an annual mean wage of $67,150. The state also features 4.11 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills metro area employs 6,160 marketers; the Detroit-Dearborn metro area, 3,100; the Grand Rapids employs 2,740. Though Michigan pays marketers less than some other states, Payscale finds that the cost of living in Warren is 10% lower than the national average.

14

Colorado

Job seekers in Colorado will find a state with one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation. Colorado holds one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 3.2%. The state's top industries include advanced manufacturing, information technology, bioscience, and creative industries. Several Fortune 500 companies maintain headquarters in Colorado, including Western Union, Dish Network,and Arrow Electronics.

Companies employ 17,120 market research analysts and marketing specialists and pay an annual mean wage of $72,410. The state also boasts 6.7 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The vast majority of these marketers find employment in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, where 11,370 find employment, followed by Colorado Springs with 1,130. In addition to great pay, these marketers pay a cost of living that is 12% higher than the national average, which is lower than metro areas in other states.

15

North Carolina

Known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, North Carolina serves as home to the nation's oldest state college: the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Charlotte is the most populous metro area in the state and contains the nation's third largest banking center after New York and San Francisco. The state holds a 3.6% unemployment rate buoyed by knowledge-based industries such as energy, biotechnology/pharmaceuticals, information technology, and automotive. Fourteen Fortune 500 companies chose the state for their corporate headquarters, including Bank of America, BB&T, and Lowe's.

Companies in North Carolina employ 16,680 market research analysts and marketing specialists as of May 2017. They earn an average mean wage of $70,890, with 3.88 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The concentration of jobs for marketers center around the Charlotte metro area with 8,240 available, followed by Raleigh at 3,990. Professionals also enjoy a cost of living 5% lower than the national average.

16

Minnesota

Minnesota's 2.8% unemployment rate is the lowest on this list. The state serves as a hub for sectors such as manufacturing, farming, biosciences, and banking and finance. Companies such as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and UnitedHealth Group all call Minnesota home.

Employers use the services of 14,630 market research analysts and marketing specialists who earn an annual mean wage of $70,940. Additionally, the state lists 5.16 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. When searching for a marketing career, job seekers should consider the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, where 12,530 marketers work. The cost of living in Minneapolis is 5% higher than the national average.

17

Wisconsin

Wisconsin's economy, driven by manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture, has a low unemployment rate of 3%. The Badger State also maintains its standing as the nation's top producer of cheese. Companies with headquarters in the state include Harley-Davidson, Good Humor-Breyers, Kohler, and Jockey International.

Companies in Wisconsin utilize the skills of 11,880 marketers and pay an average mean wage of $56,840. The state also offers 4.21 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Companies in Madison employ 2,550 market research analysts and marketing specialists. While the pay for this profession ranks lower than states on the list so far, the cost of living in Madison is 7% higher than the national average. Still, the cost of living in Wisconsin cities remain cheaper than many others in the Midwest, such as Chicago.

18

Maryland

Parts of Maryland help form the D.C. metropolitan area, one of the strongest economic regions in the nation. The state itself possesses a 4.1% unemployment rate fueled by jobs in industries such as biohealth and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, IT and cybersecurity, and the military. In Maryland, thousands of military and civilian scientists, technicians, engineers, and administrators work in defense to protect the nation.

Companies in Maryland employ 10,420 marketers, paying them an annual mean wage of $66,120. The state features 3.91 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Marketers should consider the Baltimore-Columbus-Towson metro area, which hires 6,130, followed by the Silver Springs-Frederick-Rockville metro area at 2,860. The cost of living in the Baltimore metro area is 17% higher than the national average.

19

Missouri

The Show-Me State offers marketers a diverse economy and low cost of living. Missouri's unemployment rate remains low at 3.1%, driven by employment in fast-growing industries such as advanced manufacturing, IT, biosciences, and financial and professional services.

Job seekers for market research analysts and marketing specialists positions join a community of 10,160 marketers who earn an annual mean wage of $64,510. Statistical data for May 2017 featured 3.64 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Most of the jobs concentrate in Kansas City at 5,700, followed by St. Louis at 5,650. Kansas City's cost of living mirrors the national average, while St. Louis is 6% lower. In addition, the state offers many activities and a great culture, including several professional sports teams, live shows in Branson, wineries, and lots to do for the outdoorsy type.

20

Arizona

The Phoenix metro area serves as the engine of job growth in Arizona, followed by Tucson, according to state data. The industries driving this growth include aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing, technology, and film and digital media. The state's unemployment rate of 4.7% reflects the state's economic stability and recovery from the stagnation of the recession years. Companies headquartered in the state include Best Western, Go Daddy, Greyhound, and ABCO Foods.

Approximately 9,900 market research analysts and marketing specialists work in the state, making an average mean wage of $66,310. Most of those jobs concentrate in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area, with 8,610 positions. The state features 3.67 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The cost of living in the Phoenix metro area is 5% lower than the national average. The state's 300 days of sunshine provide a bonus for those interested in the great outdoors.

21

Indiana

Indiana enjoys many accolades, including its position as the orthopedics capital of the world and the second largest car manufacturing hub in the world. The state's other industries include agribusiness, life sciences, and aerospace and aviation. Indiana's strong racing heritage helps maintain a vibrant motorsport industry on full display at the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The economy maintains a relatively low unemployment rate, standing at 3.5% as of October 2018.

Marketers find fewer positions in Indiana than they do in many other states with 8,720 employed as of May 2017. These specialists earn an average mean wage of $56,290, with 2.89 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. The cost of living in Indiana is 8% lower than the national average, which compensates for fewer job prospects and lower pay. Marketers should examine their prospects in the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area where 4,460 market research analysts and marketing specialists work.

22

Tennesee

Tennessee offers a thriving job market fueled by industries such as agriculture and manufacturing and holds a low unemployment of 3.7%. Marketers seeking employment may find opportunities in the state's diverse collection of large and mid-sized organizations, including Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx, Dollar General, and International Paper.

The state employs 8,210 marketers who earn an annual mean wage of $62,360. Tennessee also offers 2.82 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. About 3,800 of these professionals work in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro metro area, followed by 2,000 in Louisville. The Nashville area ranks well when it comes to cost of living, which is 3% below the national average.

23

South Carolina

South Carolina serves as home to several successful companies in the fields of agribusiness, automotive, manufacturing, biotechnology, and aerospace. These industries help drive the state's low unemployment, which stands at 3.3%. Some of the major companies with headquarters in the state include Michelin, Scana, and Denny's.

Various companies employ 7,450 market research analysts and marketing specialists. These professionals earn an annual mean wage of $53,380 and the state features 3.71 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs. Following the trend in other states, companies in the metro areas in South Carolina typically hire the most marketers. Businesses in the Greenville area hire about 1,400, while in Columbia about 1,000 find employment as marketers. The low cost of living in these areas, 5% lower than the national average, helps make them attractive places to live.

24

Connecticut

Home of the Huskies and ESPN, Connecticut resides in the middle of two bustling metropolitan areas: Boston and New York City. The state's capital, Hartford, was once known as the insurance capital of the world. Other industries such as advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and digital media, help drive the economy, keeping the state's unemployment rate at 4.2%.

Several Fortune 500 companies call Connecticut home, including Aetna, United Technologies, The Hartford, and Xerox. Marketers can find jobs at large and mid-sized companies in the state. Firms employ 7,210 of these professionals and pay an annual mean wage of $76,040. Marketing positions concentrate primarily in the Hartford metro area, where 2,200 marketers work. Hundreds more find employment in New Haven and Springfield. Although marketers earn higher salaries in Hartford compared to many other areas, the cost of living in the state runs 17% higher than the national average.

25

Utah

Utah's economic expansion lasted several years, thanks to profitable industries such as aerospace and defense, software and IT, life sciences, and financial services. The state's unemployment rate stands at 3.2%, lower than many other states. Utah's 6,920 market research analysts and marketing specialists earn an annual mean wage of $57,830, with 4.91 of these positions available per 1,000 jobs.

The vast majority of marketers, about 3,800, work in the Salt Lake City area; the others seek employment in areas like Clearfield, St. George, and Wasatch Back. Job searchers interested in living in the Salt Lake City area find the cost of living at 6% below the national average.

How to Choose a Bachelor's in Marketing Program

Marketing programs vary in length, price, size, and curriculum. To ensure the program you choose is a good fit for you, consider some of the ways marketing degree programs differ.

Cost is one of the most significant differentiating factors. A program's price can vary depending on format: online courses, like those listed here, often cost less than traditional on-campus classes. Additionally, you will not pay for transportation, parking, or room and board when you take online classes. Also be aware of cost variables between private and public institutions, as private schools are often more expensive.

Program length is another factor. How long it takes to complete a program -- and how much you eventually pay -- depends on the program's required credits. On average, you will need to complete 120 credits to graduate.

Consider each school's curriculum. Many marketing programs are actually business degrees with concentrations in marketing, which means classes will be heavily focused on business concepts and practices. Programs also offer specializations like internet marketing and graphic design, allowing students to customize their education to suit their interests. Make sure to look at a program's core coursework to see which classes you will be required to take, including whether you must complete a practicum or internship course.

Programmatic Accreditation for Bachelor's in Marketing Programs

On average, students in the United States graduate almost $40,000 in debt, according to the LendEDU's survey of 1,400 college grads. With that price tag, you will naturally want some assurance that your money is well spent. Accreditation provides that assurance.

Colleges are either accredited regionally or nationally. Vocational schools typically receive national accreditation, whereas public and private universities are regionally accredited, which is more prestigious and is overseen by regional accrediting agencies across the country. When you go to a regionally accredited school, you can be assured that the curriculum and programs have been reviewed and approved by an independent body. This is also important for job seekers after graduation, as your future employers will likely favor a graduate of an accredited school over a graduate of a non-accredited school. In addition to regional accreditation, marketing degrees are also sometimes accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB.

Bachelor's in Marketing Program Admissions

Wading through the college admissions pool is a challenge for anyone. It's easy to second-guess yourself, questioning whether you meet the admissions qualifications. At minimum, you must meet entrance prerequisites and your application must contain all required application documents, like essays, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. To increase your chances of acceptance, you should also apply to between five to 10 programs. Here are some tips to help you get into the program of your choice:

Prerequisites

  • Minimum GPA: On average, programs ask for a minimum GPA between 2.25 and 3.0. In some instances, if your GPA is lower than the requirements, you may be accepted on a provisional basis. Work experience or internships may also help offset a low GPA, in which case admissions officers may ask for a professional resume and statement of purpose.

Admission Materials

  • Application: College applications are available online and vary in length. Some require one or more essays and other supplementary materials, which can take days or weeks to complete. A handy (and free) research tool is CommonApp, which helps students search for and apply to multiple colleges. It also lets students track deadlines, compose admissions essays, and understand admissions requirements.
  • Transcripts: A college application always includes transcripts from high school or college. If you are still in high school, be sure to contact your counselor for your transcripts. For college transcripts, email or call the admissions office.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Often, you must submit two to three letters of recommendation from professional references. Possible references could be former counselors, teachers, or bosses. Sometimes character references are permitted, in which case you can get a letter from a friend or a colleague.
  • Test Scores: The most commonly required test scores are the SAT or ACT. Generally, SAT scores of 1100 and ACT scores of 22 are acceptable. Applicants with 30 to 60 transferable college credits do not need SAT or ACT scores.
  • Application Fee: College application fees can be pricey, especially when applying to multiple programs. Application fees for bachelor programs run between $25 and $50, with an average cost of $35 for undergraduate applications.

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Marketing Program?

Marketing is an interdisciplinary major that overlaps with business, advertising, communications, arts, and psychology. The approach to teaching marketing will vary from school to school. For example, one program may focus on digital marketing, whereas another may be steeped in business principles. In this section, you will learn more about what to expect from a marketing degree program, including details about the curriculum you will study.

Concentrations Offered for a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing
Concentration Description Careers
Public Relations Public relations is a writing-intensive field where students learn the art of communicating through multiple platforms. Students hone their technical writing skills, which they will use to create press releases, newsletters, and editorials. This concentration teaches students about media relations, public policy, and how to conduct opinion research. Public relations prepares graduates for jobs in the media, politics, and PR firms. Graduates find jobs as PR specialists, search engine optimization specialists, event coordinators, and press representatives.
Advertising A concentration in advertising focuses on teaching undergraduates about the principles of advertising, including research methods, brand strategy, economics, and consumer analysis and research. With a specialty in advertising, students can work as advertising managers, market research analysts, or advertising sales representatives.
Hospitality and Tourism Management This concentration appeals to students who want to learn more about travel and develop solid interpersonal skills. Hospitality and tourism management teaches students about the basics of business management and managerial economics, hospitality and tourism law, food and beverage management, and human resources. Students who have completed a concentration in hospitality and tourism can find work as event planners, cruise line directors, restaurant managers, and hotel managers.
Business Administration Business administration concentrations provide a cross-disciplinary education in the basics of business law, human resources management, marketing, and accounting. Students learn to analyze financial data and implement strategic business plans. With a specialty in business administration, students can land entry-level career opportunities, in sales management, human resource management, and account supervising.
Innovation and Product Management A specialty in innovation and product management teaches students about the steps of introducing a new product. This concentration teaches students problem-solving, analytic process techniques, and idea generation. Having a speciality in innovation and product management prepares students for careers in merchandising, senior product and design management, and materials management.

Courses in a Bachelor's in Marketing Program

Across institutions, marketing programs use different teaching approaches. However, there are core courses you can expect to encounter at most universities.

Introduction to Marketing

One of your first classes in your marketing program will be introduction to marketing, which provides an overview of the basic principles of the industry. Students will become familiar with the four P's: product, place, price, and promotion. Introduction to marketing teaches students to understand buyer behavior, promotion, and how to conduct marketing research.

Digital Marketing

This course teaches students to understand the strategies of digital marketing via social media, video, and email. Students learn about the stages of creating a digital marketing project, from planning to implementation. Students also analyze digital marketing from an ethical standpoint in digital marketing courses.

Brand Management

Having a successful, profitable brand is everything to a company. Students enrolled in brand management courses learn to measure and craft brand strategies in order to maximize profits for a company and build brand equity. This course typically requires written assignments, case studies, and brand plan creation.

Consumer Behavior

What makes consumers tick? Students enrolled in consumer behavior classwork learn to interpret consumer behaviors to craft marketing strategies. Students will study tools like social media to gauge how consumers make decisions. This class often incorporates principles of psychology, sociology, and economics.

Media Planning and Buying

Introductory classes like media planning and buying examines how different media -- print, radio, and TV -- function in advertising. Students will learn to develop strategic media plans with simulation projects. They will also learn to analyze and apply planning theories to media problems.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in Marketing?

The time required to graduate with a bachelor's degree in marketing depends on several variables. Typically, a bachelor's degree takes four years to complete. Marketing programs are, on average, 60 credits. Additionally, universities often require 60 credits of general education requirements, for a total of 120 credits to graduate. Some marketing programs require 64 or more credits, including capstones or internships, in which case the program may take longer to complete.

If students take the maximum number of courses each semester, pursue accelerated tracks, and take assessment exams when available, they will be able to graduate quickly. Going to college full-time rather than part-time will also expedite your time in school. Be aware that attending college part-time can make school more expensive and delay your graduation.

How Much Is a Bachelor's in Marketing?

Once you pick a program, you will need to know how much that program costs. To get an idea of what you will pay, look at the cost per credit. In addition to tuition, you will also have to pay for books, materials, parking, fees and possibly room and board, if you are attending on-campus classes.

The cost of a bachelor's marketing degree ranges from $129 to $542 per credit hour, often depending on whether the degree is conferred by a public or private institution. In- or out-of-state school is another factor to consider: note that out-of-state tuition is considerably more expensive than in-state tuition, often hundreds of dollars more per credit. Students looking to attend out-of-state should also consider moving expenses and higher costs of living. Once you fill out your FAFSA, you will know how much "free" financial aid you will receive. After subtracting that from your total tuition, the remaining figure is what you will ultimately owe.

Certifications and Licenses a Bachelor's in Marketing Prepares For

Having a bachelor's degree in marketing is the minimum qualification for jobs in the field. You may also want to consider additional marketing certifications that demonstrate your specialized credentials. Here are some possible marketing certifications that will add value to your resume.

Google Certifications

Digital marketing skills are invaluable in today's world. A certification in digital marketing shows your employer that you are an expert in online advertising. Google offers numerous free certifications in AdWords, Publisher, and Analytics. Getting certified in AdWords, for example, requires passing the 100-word fundamentals exam and another specialty exam with a minimum score of 80%.

Hootsuite Academy

Hootsuite Academy offers numerous paid marketing and advertising certifications, including platform and social marketing certifications. Fees range from $99 to $999. To become certified, applicants must pass an online exam and score at least 75%. Certification, once received, never expires.

HubSpot Inbound Sales Certification

HubSpot Academy offers free online training courses to help graduates and professionals hone their digital skills in social media, Facebook ads, SEO training, and inbound marketing. Courses are comprised of eight to 12 lessons with videos and an exam in the end. You must pass the HubSpot Marketing Software Certification to get the Agency Partner Certification.

Professional Certified Marketer

The American Marketing Association offers a Professional Certified Marketer program, with different tracks and specialities to suit individual interests. Graduates or professionals can become certified in content marketing or digital marketing, which teaches students about SEO best practices, email marketing, and metrics and optimization.

Project Management Professional Certification (PMP)

The Project Management Institute offers eight certifications, including the Project Management Professional certification. Applicants must meet the prerequisites and pass a 200-question multiple choice exam. To keep the certification, you are required to complete 60 professional development units every three years. The certification costs $405.

Resources for Marketing Students

MediaBistro

MediaBistro is the go-to website for "savvy media professionals." Students and working professionals can take career training courses to strengthen their digital skills. Paid courses are offered in copywriting, SEO metrics, and public relations. There are also job postings and tips for resumes and interviews.

Ad Age

Working professionals regularly read Ad Age, founded in 1930. You can subscribe to the print magazine or go online to AdAge.com to read the latest industry news. In addition to the news coverage, you can also find job openings in the "Career" section. Ad Age also hosts numerous industry events each year for professionals to network.

Marketing Sherpa

Looking for a trusted resource for free marketing research and case studies? MarketingSherpa offers free access to marketing resources, including marketing how-to-guides. There are also online and in-person certifications and an annual summit.

Marketing Teacher

More than 400 free marketing videos and 40 videos are available on Marketing Teacher, a marketing resource for students, working professionals, and teachers. The website also hires marketing writers to create content for its website.

AdWeek

AdWeek is primarily a publication dedicated to advertising. On their website, you can find the latest new and innovative commercial advertisements. You can also access job postings, webinars, and events listed on the AdWeek's website.

Professional Organizations in Marketing

Marketing is a competitive field. Therefore, the importance of professional memberships as they relate to the growth of your career cannot be overstated. For current students and graduates, it is invaluable to join organizations that offer access to internships, scholarships, and job openings. As a fledgling marketer, you will want to make industry connections, and marketing conferences are a prime environment for networking. Below are five prominent marketing organizations to consider joining.

Data & Marketing Association

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is an organization of more than 100,000 industry members, including affiliations with 1,400 membership companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The organization was founded in 1917 and currently has headquarters in Washington, D.C. and New York. Membership provides discounts to DMA events, marketing education courses, and certificate programs. DMA also advocates on behalf of all marketers on key policy issues.

American Marketing Association

The American Marketing Association (AMA) is an organization of about 30,000 members with more than 70 chapters in the United States and Mexico. Members get exclusive access to research articles, white papers, and webcasts. For career advancement, the organization offers the AMA Marketer's Toolkit with calendar and budgeting templates and the Career Resource Center, which features job postings and certification programs. The AMA also offers educational courses and discounted conference fees for members.

Society for Marketing Professional Services

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) boasts 7,185 members and serves as a career development association and marketing resource hub. Joining this society gives marketing students and graduates the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and access industry jobs and other opportunities via the Marketing Resource Center.

Association of National Advertisers

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which includes the Business Marketing Association and Brand Activation Association divisions, was founded in 1910. ANA has 50,000 members, who stay active with events like webinars, workshops, and free regional conferences.

Insights Association

Insights Association is a global marketing research and analytics company, launched in 2017 after the CASRO and MRA merger. There are currently 12 chapters. Members get access to live and archived webinars and a subscription to Alert!, the organization's quarterly magazine. They also receive discounts to industry events, including the annual Insights Association conference.