Many people come into college not knowing what to major in. There are so many different major/minors to choose from that you can get so overwhelmed and can’t decide what to do. Being a marketing major requires you to have good people skills. You are dealing with people every day and it requires you to talk, network, and, at times, be aggressive. If these skills fit you, then the marketing major might be the right major for you. Marketing is one of the most popular majors in UMD’s Labovitz School of Business & Economics, because with a marketing degree you can use the skills you’ve learned in the major in just about any job. I will try my best to convince you why marketing is a good choice for a major.
WHAT IS MARKETING?
Before you decide if you want marketing as your major, you have to ask yourself, what is marketing? I too had this question when I was deciding on which major I wanted to seek in college. Marketing is about understanding consumers’ behaviors and their needs, while being the eyes and ears of the organization. To elaborate on that more, marketers do a lot of research and implement strategies for the product they are trying to market whether it’s by pricing, development and management, distribution, or promotions. This is just a broad overview of what marketing is, but a lot of people have their own definition of what it means. Marketing deals with people every single day of the week no matter what route you decide to take with your marketing degree. Other marketing degrees you can pursue at UMD are Marketing Analytics or Marketing and Graphic Design.
WHAT SKILLS ARE NEEDED FOR A GOOD MARKETER?
The first thing you need in order to be a good marketer is great public speaking skills. You have to be brave and willing to become a social butterfly in order to be a good marketer. Many people believe that marketing is a very aggressive career and if you don’t know how to talk to people, then you will be railroaded right out of that career. After being in the major now for four years, I have found that to be false. I think it depends on what path you want to take with your marketing skills, and it does not always have to be in the business world. As a marketing major, I decided to choose a different career path and take my marketing skills into College Student Affairs. I am now working as an Outreach Assistant for the Career & Internships Services office. Some other basic skills to keep in mind for being a good marketer are writing skills, leadership, curiosity, agility and experimentation, understanding technology, and insight into analytics and interpreting data.
STEPS NEEDED TO SEEK A MARKETING DEGREE
There are many simple steps in seeking a marketing degree at UMD. As a senior right now, I can tell you some of the courses you will need to graduate with a marketing degree. All marketing majors are required to take Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Marketing Management and Strategy. In order to take these classes, you need to complete your pre-business classes that help shape the skills you need to start seeking a marketing degree. The core classes for marketing are broken into two categories. Group A are the courses I mentioned already in this section. Group B is a little bit different. In Group B, there are 11 different courses listed, but the cool part is that from the 11, you choose four of the courses that you want to take. I really like this because you can choose a focus area of marketing you really want to study.
Courses needed to complete a marketing major:
- LSBE Core: Production and Operations Management; Corporation Finance; Organizational Management and Behavior; Principles of Marketing; Human Resource Management; Strategic Management; Advanced Writing; International Requirement (choose any upper division international course); Upper Division Economics Course
More courses related to major:
- Group A: Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Management and Strategy
- Group B (choose any 4): Fundamentals of Selling; Marketing Ethics; International Marketing; Marketing Internship; Business-to-Business Marketing; Adverting and Marketing Communications; Developing and Marketing New Products; Retailing; Special Topics (such as Social Media or Sports Marketing)
In addition to these courses, you will also need to complete additional electives outside of your marketing major. These courses help you become a well-rounded person, in addition to your major. If you are still not sure if marketing is for you, these courses can help you explore other options.
I hope that I convinced you on choosing marketing as a major and gave you a little bit more understanding of what marketing is. Hope you continue to explore more opportunities on choosing the right career path for you.
Of Possible Interest:
- UMD Graduate Follow-up Report (2011-12): Marketing
- What Can I do with This Major? Marketing
- Sales: Why are People so Frightened by it?
- What Can I do with a Degree in Marketing? [infographic]
- Pathways After a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (by US Census Bureau)
- Career Planning for Business Majors