The Marketing field offers students a very wide range of opportunities. Students majoring in Marketing have excellent employment opportunities in industrial and consumer sales, industrial purchasing, retail store management, and product management. They can work with manufacturers, wholesalers, advertising agencies, retail organizations, and research-oriented firms. Recently there has been an increased demand from non-profit organizations, the health care industry, service firms, and the public sector for Marketing graduates.
Brand and product managers plan, direct, and control business and marketing efforts for their products. The are concerned with research and development, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, advertising, promotion, market research, and business analysis and forecasting. Usually an MBA is required. Product management is a very good training ground for future corporate officers.
Customer affairs people act as liaisons between large consumer goods companies and their customers. They handle complaints, suggestions, and problems concerning the company's products, determine what action to take, and coordinate efforts to solve problems. The person must be empathetic, diplomatic, and able to work with a wide range of people inside and outside the firm.
People interested in industrial marketing careers go into sales, service, product design, or marketing research. In some industries they need a technical background (e.g., engineering). Most people start in sales and spend time in training and making calls with senior salespeople. In sales, they may advance to district, regional, and higher sales management positions. Or they may go into product management.
These people are familiar with foreign languages and cultures and are willing to travel or relocate in foreign cities. Usually companies look for experienced people who have proven themselves in domestic operations.
Manufacturers' representatives are independent sales people who carry lines of often related goods for manufacturers who do not have their own sales force. This person must be highly independent and self-motivated.
People who have been trained in management science, quantitative methods, and systems analysis can act as consultants to managers who face such difficult marketing problems as demand measurement and forecasting, market structure analysis, and new-product evaluation. Most opportunities are in larger marketing-oriented firms, management consulting firms, and public institutions concerned with health, education, or transportation. An MBA is often required.
Marketing researchers interact with managers to define problems and identify the information needed to resolve them. They design research projects, prepare questionnaires and samples, analyze data, prepare reports, and present their findings and recommendations to management. They must understand statistics, consumer behavior, psychology, and sociology. Career opportunities exist with manufacturers, retailers, some wholesalers, trade and industry associations, marketing research firms, advertising agencies, and governmental and private nonprofit agencies.
People interested in new-product planning need a good background in marketing, marketing research, and sales forecasting; they need organizational skills to motivate and coordinate others, and they may need a technical background. People usually work in other marketing positions before joining the new-product department.
Physical distribution is a large and dynamic field. Major transportation carriers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers all employ physical distribution specialists.
Most organizations have a public relations person or staff to anticipate public problems, handle complaints, deal with media, and build the corporate image. People interested in public relations should be able to speak and write clearly and persuasively, and they should have a background in journalism, communications, or the liberal arts. The challenges in this job are varied and people-oriented.
In retail organizations, working as a "buyer" can be a good route to the top. In industrial companies, purchasing agents play a key role in holding down costs. A knowledge of credit, finance, and physical distribution is helpful.
Retailing provides people with an early opportunity to take on marketing responsibilities.
Sales and sales-management opportunities exist in a wide range of profit and nonprofit organizations and in product and service organizations, including financial, insurance, consulting, and government. Individuals must match their backgrounds, interests, technical skills, and academic training with the available sales career opportunities. Training programs vary in form and length from a few weeks to two years. Career paths lead from salesperson to district, regional, and higher levels of sales management, and often to the top management of the firm.
Source: Kotler, Philip and Gary Armstrong (1991), Principles of Marketing, 5th edition, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.,KENT STATE UNIVERSITY