6 answers

Does the Marketing major actually prepare you for real-word jobs?

Asked New York, New York

I'm asking because I've heard stories about how the marketing majors in college don't actually teach you what a marketing job requires and others who say the classes do help.


6 answers

Parth’s Answer

Updated San Jose, California

Hi Susuan,

I would partially agree with what's been said. If you just take a standard marketing major classes in college it doesn't really prepare you for the real job but it does provide fundamental marketing concepts that are embedded in business world that you would need to know.

What you can do is select your electives with some purpose. So you can research around what aspect of marketing do you want to be involved in and make sure that your electives are focused on that. There's business development, PR, digital marketing, retention marketing, analytics etc. Depending on your preference, you can take classes that equip you better for the real world jobs.

I am a marketing major. There were no specific focus on digital marketing when I was in undergraduate. but now there are. So you can even focus on those niche marketing topics or pair it up with a minor like Statistics or Economics or Behavioral science - that would be a long way in the real world.

Hope this helps.

Parth recommends the following next steps:

  • Research different aspects of marketing
  • Figure out whether taking focused electives or taking a minor would be helpful.
Parth - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week!

Emmet’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Susan,

It looks like you've received some great advice already! To piggyback on what others have mentioned Marketing has evolved and changed so much throughout the years and it will continue to. It is such a broad industry and there so many different types of Marketing for example, email, content, social media, research, and strategic Marketing just to name a few. Like Laura, I actually didn't major in Marketing (I wasn't sure at the time what I wanted to major in and opted to take a variety of Business and Marketing courses). I do believe that the general courses in Marketing gave me a the tools and platform to build my career today but I also continue to educate myself on how the industry is changing, what are the trends and how technology impacts Marketing. I would suggest researching the different types of Marketing as well as how technology and social media has impacted Marketing - that might give you a good starting point!

Laura’s Answer


I might be a bit of an anomaly here, but I'm a marketing professional who never stepped foot inside a marketing classroom (I studied anthropology). I sort of stumbled into the profession during my first year out of college at a media startup, and overtime learned the art of how to market to people, connect with stakeholders, and educate others -- all based on real-world experiences, mentors, and books! With hindsight, I do wish I had taken a few classes that cover the fundamentals, but you'll learn them soon enough once you're in the driver's seat.

For me, marketing has always been about, and I'm quoting Seth Godin here, "Giving people what they want isn't nearly as powerful as teaching people what they need." The fun with marketing is coming up with genuine and authentic ways to do that, learning deeply about your audience and then figuring out how to best reach them. Of course, marketing can get really technical and analytical, which is when a class or book can especially be helpful.

All of this is to say, marketing classes will help prepare for real-world jobs, but real-world jobs help prepare you for real-world jobs even more :)

Scott’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

Hi Susan,

The answer is "No." However, this is the same answer for practically every other major. It is not possible for colleges to prepare most people for every contingency of employment they may find. This being said, having a degree (from an institution known for, Marketing) and a great GPA certainly makes it easier to hire you.

I'm going to anticipate your next question: If not a degree, then what can one do to actually prepare for real-world jobs? This is pretty easy; Get a job. Where? In retail sales, or if you are ambitious, Real Estate: The entry costs are relatively low, as are qualifications, and you will be prepared for the real world.

Scott recommends the following next steps:

  • Get a Job

Alice’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

Hi Susan,

Marketing majors in college teach you the Marketing principles and concepts, which are important to understand when you plan to work in Marketing. Some majors also teach you how to do a market study, to build a marketing strategy, etc.

Indeed, most marketing jobs requirements are often not as high-level as what is being taught in college, especially for entry-level positions. You will probably learn a lot on the spot, when you start working, since you will be doing hands-on tasks.

Also when hiring, employers searching for marketers (even for entry-level positions) , will most likely prefer a candidate with a Marketing degree, over a candidate having a degree with a different major.

If Marketing is really what you are interested in, I would recommend to do a Marketing major. You can then select a more specialized minor, such as digital media, graphic design, communications studies, or whatever you feel the most interested in.

Good luck!

Kim’s Answer

Updated Nipomo, California

Hi Susan

You have been given some excellent advice already. My only additional thought is to consider what aspects of marketing really excite you. There are so many diverse options within marketing. After you embark on your career you will begin to see different paths such as strategic, creative, research etc. Try to find a mentor in an area(s) you are interested in pursuing. That person can help you understand how it works and how to get there. It can be a very rewarding career. Enjoy the journey!

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