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What are the drawbacks of being a Marketing major?

I was wondering what the cons for marketing majors are and if there are any factors that make it not worth it or if I should look at other majors. #marketing #college-major

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Erica’s Answer

Personally I decided to go down the path of getting my degree in public relations which was within the school of journalism and mass communications instead of getting my degree in marketing within the business school.

I do work in marketing now but in terms of my degree I decided to focus on my strengths. The marketing degree required more math and business intensive classes while the PR comms degree allowed me to better hone into my writing, creative , and digital skills that I often needed as I went into marketing.

I would say focus on whats most enjoyable to you in terms of the classes and the skills you want to build. There are always ways to tell your story and make those skills transferable into the things you want to do
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Alejandra’s Answer

Hi Maddy!

I work in marketing but do not have a marketing major. I will say I rarely meet people that work in marketing that actually majored in marketing. Something that's interesting about marketing is that it's turning very data and science-heavy. People that work in marketing are no longer just studying what looks nice, or how to make a marketing strategy stick based on intuition, they're getting behavioral data, studying neurological effects, and leaning into psychology.

While a degree in marketing touches on all these things and you might even be able to major specifically in certain areas, I think that there is something to someone who works in marketing that didn't major in marketing. It's easy to get sucked into thinking like a marketer, but it's more valuable to be able to step back, analyze the fact that average non-marketing people are going to experience your work, and really have a human understanding of perception.

That being said, my friends who did major in marketing had the benefit of knowing how to "talk industry." They didn't have to learn what ROI, B2B, Engagement, SOW, and more meant because they already had learned it in school. While they were at an advantage at the beginning, it didn't take too long to catch up as a non-marketing major.

That being said, what is important is you major in something you love. Even if you go into marketing, your niche passion will make you an overall better marketing expert in that specific field, which is more valuable than being just an overall good marketing person. Today, consumers want an individualized niche approach to branding, and you can't bring that to the table if you only know a bit about everything.

Good luck!!
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David’s Answer

As an undergrad I majored in Advertising and Integrated Marketing in grad school. In terms of minuses as a major, Marketing is less transferable as, say, a business degree. What I mean by that is that if you decided you didn't like marketing, there are fewer options for different careers where your degree would benefit you in applying.

As a career, Marketing has more perks than negatives, but there are some things to think about. I would say that 60% of marketing jobs seem to fall into two main buckets; agency work or "team-of-one" marketing teams. Both of these are difficult. Agency work is not for everyone, but if you like it you can always find work. The team-of-one roles are equally demanding and difficult and seem to be growing in popularity. These are the jobs at small to medium sized companies where they want to bring in one person to manage everything from social media to content development to advertising (note: this is more prevalent if you get into digital).

The other thing to think about to is whether or not you want to specialize in one area or another. As someone who has done most everything in the digital space over the years, my career options have become limited to leadership roles or the "team of one" roles. The teams that are funded enough to have a lot of employees usually have highly specialized experts in any given area; my broad expertise means I have less experience in each area. If you find that you really like social media, or content, or design, etc. and can commit to becoming an expert in that thing, you might have an easier time finding work down the road.
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Kelly’s Answer

Two potential drawbacks of being a marketing major is 1. if you don't love or enjoy marketing (you'd be taking time away from pursuing something you do enjoy), and 2. that the industry is fickle (marketing budgets are usually one of the first to get cut if a company is doing poorly that year).

Also good to keep in mind whether you're interested in working at a marketing agency (working on external clients' marketing) or working for a single company (in-house marketing team) as those can take different paths. Agencies are sometimes more lenient in your educational background vs corporations who are looking for someone with some relevant knowledge already.

Kelly recommends the following next steps:

Consider interning to learn more about the industry
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Carrie’s Answer

Education is definitely important and helpful, but it is not EVERYTHING. As Alejandra noted already, there are many people who work in Marketing and don't have a Marketing education background. Likewise, studying Marketing in University does not guarantee you a Marketing career either. It can be difficult to get that first Marketing job after University because all jobs usually note some degree of experience required. This is why it's also important to develop on the job experience while studying through having a part time job, internship, or volunteer experience. Networking is also critical.
So there is no real drawbacks of being a Marketing major. Your university education is just one piece of the puzzle. The most important thing is that you study and major in something. It's a starting point, but where your career actually goes can be influenced by many other experiences and opportunities.
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Deanna’s Answer

Hello Maddy - Personally I would not view it as drawbacks, but things to consider. With marketing being so broad, it might be beneficial to have a more focused pathway or a minor in a specific area. Marketing has become so far reaching and each area can require different skills and expertise. In some of the roles I have held, not having a technical background or engineering degree was viewed as a weakness to a marketing role. As many other people stated, most people I work with do not have marketing degrees and work in marketing. This goes to the nature of marketing having such a broad reach.

Deanna recommends the following next steps:

Read on different marketing opportunities and avenues - I read constantly - online / library
Most online job sites (LinkedIn, Indeed, etc) have internships you could consider
Watch webinars or seminars on different marketing topics and areas
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Sue’s Answer

Hi Maddy,

I feel a career in marketing is a great because there are so many job options to choose from. I majored in graphic/fine arts but then ended up in marketing doing print production (mostly brochures and advertising) and am currently doing digital content for web. The only drawbacks I've encountered are tight deadlines and working many long hours. It's not all the time, so that is good news. I've been doing this line of work for over 25 years and find it very rewarding.
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Constance’s Answer

Most people who work in Marketing did nor study that as a subject in school. More useful undergrad courses would be business and economics which are the foundational elements of marketing, and subjects that recruiters value more than Marketing when they are recruiting fresh graduates. I took marketing courses only during my MBA, and did not feel like I missed out on anything by not taking courses during undergrad.
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