Is Marketing a good major?

Hello, I’m a high school student. Once upon a time, I believed what I was told, “Oh, just pick a major based off of your interests! You’ll do fine!”

Based off of that, I had a pretty good sense of what I would like to major in. Foreign languages, Anthropology, or perhaps Journalism!

Then, I faced the harsh, harsh, HARSH reality of those jobs. D: Egads…

So… I decided to make a compromise with my interests and to what I believed would be a good major. Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minors in French and German.

The reason for my desired minors is because… well… I love Europe and I love foreign languages and I believe that those two would provide some benefit to business.

So… what do you guys think?

This may be more suitable to IMHO… or perhaps The Pit :slight_smile:

Your major is very close to mine (International Business major, concentration in Marketing, minor in German). I had basically no problem finding a corporate job after college. I make pretty good money in a seemingly stable industry, but I can’t say I find the work particularly fulfilling.

Corporate America definitely isn’t for everyone, and I kind of wish I had gone to school for something I was truly interested in. YMMV!

I would actually love to major in what you’re currently studying, but, unfortunately, I cannot find any accredited schools within my state (Oregon) that offer International Business. If I ask, what, specifically, is your job?

EDIT: Okay, a school that I’m looking at offers an International Business certificate. Is that worth going for, or is it useless?

Looking for opinions? IMHO.

Moved from General Questions.

samclem, moderator

Well, I got a bachelors in theater which has caused my mother no end of stress, though she hides it well and I work in medical device testing. Not everyone makes such a dramatic jump but I firmly believe that as long as you have no illusions, you should study what excites you. Because of my scholarships, I graduated with about 20K in student loans. Without those scholarships, I would have looked a lot more seriously at a different major with a higher likelihood of a good income off the bat.

I think that if you want to major in a foreign language or anthropology, you should do so. (And, at least in my experience, double-majoring is quite common, especially if one major is a language. My school graduates a hella lot of people who double major in Spanish and Peace Studies, for example. How many spanish speaking Peaceniks the world needs, I’m not sure but there you go.) Just be prepared that if your major is in a field with lots of other people or with few entry level jobs, you have to be some combination of patient, persistent, and very qualified.

Internships help.

I would say to go for something more challenging and practical. Engineering, medicine, etc… something along those lines. That is if you think you can handle it.

Look at it this way. You would be far more able to actually visit those countries if you had valuable skills such as those. My friends an Engineer. He’s traveled all over the states and now he’s going to Austrailia. They’re going to pay him a boat load of money to do it too.

Plus, the best way to actually learn a language is to live in the country and speak it on a regular basis. I took 4 semesters of spanish. It was worthless. I cannot speak spanish.

Do you want to be a salesman? That it what most marketing majors get hired to do.

I laughed at the mention of medicine as a major, because if you’re in the US, that is a post-graduate degree, after your bachelor’s.

My major was chosen because I wanted to become a veterinarian. Hence, I looked at what major included most of the pre-requisites for multiple universities, and came up with animal sciences, concentration in animal biology. Along the way, I took a class of Portuguese, and ended up having that foreign language as my minor (I already speak Spanish, native language). I also picked a zoology minor, just to tack on some non-farm animal courses.

Of all those, the minor has been the most beneficial to me personally, and in large parts also professionally.

I think it is a good compromise, if you already like or are at least somewhat interested in your major.

I went to a liberal arts college and was routinely encouraged to study what interested me. As a result, I majored in ancient history and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED college more than any other educational experience I ever undertook. I worked at law firms as a secretary during college and eventually went to law school. I am now working my second in-house gig as a corporate lawyer and I am 100% certain that my non-traditional major got me my first in-house job, as it is the single subject the interviewing general counsel wanted to discuss with me.

I recognize my story is a single data point, but I offer it as an example of the possibility for everything to work out just fine if you follow your heart.

True. I feel slightly embarrased and stupid too with the way you pointed it out and laughed. But, hey whatever. It’s a win-win. I’m sure the OP gets the point I was trying to get across without getting too hung up on the details, and you get a smug sense of satisfaction. : )

So… Marketing is not practical?

Thats not what I said. I said go for something more practical. Yes, I think engineering and medicine would be more practical with the goals the OP had in mind.

:wink: I’m with you in the engineering part, though. My friends who took medicine are tied up to their jobs and residencies, while my engineering friends… well, they’re travelling all over! :slight_smile:

I do have some medicine friends who have travelled, but usually thanks to some educational program/exchange. The engineering friends, it’s either business (so they’re getting well-paid), or they have the money, time, and work flexibility to travel.

Not necessarily; it’s a fairly marketable degree (no pun intended). But, as Fear Itself notes, if you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, the types of jobs which employers will be looking at you for are typically sales jobs.

My undergraduate degree is in marketing, but I immediately went to graduate school to get my MS in market research (as that’s what I knew I wanted to do). Most of my undergraduate classmates, who got their bachelor’s in marketing, then went out into the job market, got entry-level jobs in the sales organizations of big consumer-products companies.

If you want to work in marketing management / brand management, most employers (at least in the U.S.) won’t look at you without an MBA. And, most MBA programs will strongly prefer that you have at least a couple of years of work experience before you start your MBA studies.

Edit: Oh, and, frankly, if you want to go into the marketing world in the U.S., and want to be able to offer your employer your multilingual skills, go with Spanish.

Yeah, but at least with a degree in Medicine, after residency and whatever else, you can literally pick wherever you want to go. There’s hospitals in every major city.

Just so the prospective medical student knows what he’s in for…

In the U.S., to become a doctor, you’re looking at 11+ years of school / training. I’m not a doctor (as noted above), but, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you’re typically looking at 4 years of undergraduate work, 4 years in (graduate) medical school, and 3+ years of residency.

And, all that school comes with a lot of debt. The typical medical school graduate leaves school with a student-loan debt of $158,000.

The medical field is a no-no for me. The mere thought of diseases and blood make me want to vomit.

Engineering? I don’t think it’s too much of my interests and I do not think I’ll personally be successful in it. My brother has had a computer engineering degree for several years now and he, not only does not have a job in that profession, but is currently working as a telemarketer. Yes, the pay does sound nice, but the long hours, in both, studying, and as a job, are a little depressing. Plus, not to mention, that virtually of my co-workers will probably be men.

Edit: As for sales, as long as it’s not door-to-door, I think I’d be alright with that.

I like kenobi’s approach and suggestions.

I know my brother picked up one of the business-related majors (don’t know which one), and got an entry-level job travelling all around (as a salesman). He eventually got paid to get his MBA, but right now he is still a saleman (a very highly paid salesman). And he put his roots down in a place he doesn’t want leave.

No, it’s not. It’s business-to-business sales. For example, one of my college classmates in the marketing program at Wisconsin got an entry-level job as a sales rep for a sausage company (bratwurst, breakfast sausages, etc.). He worked as part of a team in a region, serving their accounts (grocery stores) in that region.

Part of the job was calling on the “buyer” at each grocery chain…when the sausage company would introduce new products, it was up to the sales guys to convince the buyers at their accounts to stock the new products.

Another part of the job was going into individual stores, and looking at how their product was being stocked (where was it on the shelf, how many feet of shelf space they had), as well as, sometimes, putting up promotional materials (coupons, tear-off pads for sweepstakes, etc.)

As KarlGrenze suggests, many sales jobs do entail frequent relocation, though that may depend on the nature of the company you wind up working for.

If you’re good in sales, you eventually get promoted to a senior sales position (often at company HQ), and that cuts down on the moving around.

My father, too, had his bachelor’s in marketing. He worked in industrial sales (selling printing presses to newspapers); he moved a half-dozen times in his first six or 8 years on the job. Just after I was born, he finally got promoted to a senior position, and we moved to Chicago (company HQ); he was with the company another 10 years, and never had to move again.