Marketing Careers

Marketing is a business discipline that focuses on interactions with the customer. A concentration in marketing provides the opportunity to utilize different skills such as problem solving, modeling, and applied psychology in creative and innovative ways.

Since our students are hired by a diverse number of firms, the UW Foster School marketing department has designed its course offerings to cover the basic principles of marketing. These principles can be applied in organizations large or small, for-profit or non-profit, local or international. We also offer elective courses that allow students to tailor their coursework for the type of marketing career they may want to pursue.

Careers in this field are wide-ranging and in an array of organizations and industries. These guides below are designed to give students a basic outline of the coursework they may want to follow to seek careers in specific marketing areas.

Here are just a sample of career areas within the field of marketing:

AdvertisingMarketing ConsultingMarketing ManagementMarketing ResearchSales

The many skills necessary to develop advertising campaigns include creativity for developing copy, marketing research for identifying audiences and establishing objectives, quantitative ability for determining budgets and analyzing research data, and managerial skills for coordinating the efforts of the institutions involved in the campaign. Although one person may handle all aspects of a campaign, typically many individuals with specialized abilities work together to produce the campaign. Common traits of successful people in advertising include strong communication skills, articulate clearly both with the written and spoken word, are able to understand a variety of people, are confident, team leaders, and quick learners.

Three basic institutions are involved in advertising and offer the following career opportunities.

  1. The media (e.g., television, radio, newspapers) employ persons to sell advertising space or broadcast time and to assist in the preparation of advertising, especially for small advertisers. Students seeking employment in this area may want to consider applying to the Sales Program.
  2. The advertising agencies (e.g., Cole and Weber, Evans/Kraft, McCann Erickson) work with clients to plan and implement their advertising.  Marketing-oriented individuals are used in media planning and buying, advertising research, and account services.
  3. Organizations themselves need liaison people to coordinate their product management with an advertising agency.

It should be understood that the glamour associated with the advertising industry, particularly in advertising agencies, has resulted in an excess number of applicants for available positions, and therefore, individuals must develop special skills to enter the industry.

Marketing Option plus the following

Recommended Courses

MKTG 340  – Advertising
MKTG 450  – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 460  – Marketing Research

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 335 – Principles of Selling
MKTG 370  – Retailing
MKTG 410 – Product Management

Courses Outside Marketing

Some courses in non-business fields which may provide specialization and/or depth in relevant areas include courses in the UW School of Art and in the Communications Department.

Although marketing consulting firms tend to prefer experienced persons, entry positions are sometimes offered to promising marketing undergraduates. Marketing majors in the Michael G. Foster School of Business have found management consulting careers at firms such as Accenture, DeLoitte, Bain, and Hitachi. Careers in management consulting tend to attract high potential, well-motivated individuals who can accept broad responsibilities easily and with little supervision, communicate well with other people, are willing to do a lot of travel, and thrive on constant change. Starting salaries are good, with career and compensation advancement based on achievement.

Marketing Option plus the following

Recommended Courses

MKTG 410 – Product Management
MKTG 420 – Marketing Channels
MKTG 450 – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research
MKTG 465 – Marketing Data: Measurement and Analysis
MKTG 485 – Strategic Market Management

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 340 – Advertising
MKTG 370 – Retailing
MKTG 430 – Sales Force Management
MKTG 455 – Entrepreneurial Marketing
MKTG 470 – International Marketing
MKTG 490 – Special Topics and Issues in Marketing
(e.g., Consumer Marketing, Marketing for Non-profit Organizations,
Environmental Issues and Marketing Strategy)

Courses Outside Marketing

BCMU 410  – Business Reports and Other Specialized Communication
COM 270     – Interpersonal Communications
COM 376     – Non Verbal Communications
COM 471     – Persuasion
ECON 481  – Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

This area deals with understanding the research, forecasting, planning, and control activities involved in the marketing function and coordinating them into an integrated effort to achieve the organization’s objectives. In recent years, most organizations have realized that a focus on increasing customer value is needed throughout the organization, not just in the marketing area. This also necessarily increases the marketing manager’s responsibility and power to determine the organization’s course of action.

A successful marketing manager is generally a person who can analyze the entire environment in which the firm operates, identify problems and opportunities, develop appropriate strategies, and direct the organization to ensure that the strategy is correctly implemented. This requires both technical problem solving skills and interpersonal skills in dealing with all business function areas.

Initial positions in a marketing management career tend to be in sales or in management as marketing management trainees or assistant brand or product managers. Employers want employees who will have the capacity to handle responsibility as well as become familiar with the organization’s operations. Successful employees are promoted to higher management positions. Many executives of both large and small organizations began their careers in the marketing area.

Marketing Option plus the following

Recommended Courses

MKTG 410  – Product Management
MKTG 420 – Marketing Channels
MKTG 445 – Multicultural Marketing and Business Development
MKTG 446 – Repositioning and Instituting Change in a Multicultural Business
MKTG 460  – Marketing Research
KMTG 470 – International Marketing
MKTG 485 – Strategic Market Management

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 335 – Principles of Selling
MKTG 340  – Advertising
MKTG 370  – Retailing
MKTG 430  – Sales Force Management
MKTG 450  – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 465 – Marketing Data: Measurement and Analysis
MKTG 490  – Special Topics and Issues in Marketing

Courses Outside Marketing

BCMU 410  – Business Reports and Other Specialized Communication
MGMT 300 – Leadership and Organization Behavior
MGMT 401 – Leadership, Critical Thinking and Decision Making
MGMT 403 – Motivating High Performance
MGMT 404 – Organization Development and Change
COM 270   – Interpersonal Communications
COM 376   – Nonverbal Communications

Marketing research involves collecting, analyzing, and reporting all kinds of information on which marketing decisions are based. Research includes primary (initially collected) and secondary (previously collected) information about consumers, competitors, products, prices, advertising, distribution, the sales force, and any other factors which might impinge on a firm’s marketing effort. Research deals largely with learning about individuals and organizations; what they have done, are currently doing, and might do in the future, with particular attention to “why” certain behaviors do or do not occur.

The special skills required in research frequently cause firms to employ advertising agencies and marketing research specialists. The ideal candidate for a market research position is a person who possess both qualitative and quantitative analytical ability, because the job depends on your ability to gather data from human subjects, crunch numbers, and interpret the results accurately.

Students concentrating on marketing research may work in the marketing department of many organizations as more and more firms see the need for on-going market research. Other companies place their marketing research activities in economic forecasting, business research, or new venture departments.

Marketing Option plus the following

Recommended Courses

MKTG 450  – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 460  – Marketing Research
MKTG 465  – Marketing Data: Measurement and Analysis

Other Useful Courses

To develop skills in problem identification and research applications, which are closely related to information acquisition, students may take one or more of the marketing management courses:
MKTG 335 – Principles of Selling
MKTG 340 – Advertising
MKTG 370 – Retailing
MKTG 430 – Sales Force Management

Courses Outside Marketing

Outside of marketing, the following course would be useful to students intending to specialize in the data analysis aspect of marketing research:
ECON 481 – Introduction to Mathematical Statistics

Students interested in the interviewing and interpretation aspects of research might consider courses offered in the psychology, sociology, and economics departments of the University. Geography also provides courses relevant to the analysis of trading areas and business locations.

Please visit our Sales Certificate Program to learn more about a career in sales.