10 Highest Paying Marketing Degree Jobs

Written by Matt Cates
Published on September 13, 2022 · Updated on September 15, 2022

10 Highest Paying Marketing Degree Jobs

Written by Matt Cates
Published on September 13, 2022 · Updated on September 15, 2022

To quote Entrepreneur, “the marketing industry is on fire.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% job growth just for marketing manager jobs alone, which is higher than the average job growth rate. But workers with a marketing degree can actually qualify for several types of jobs in addition to marketing manager roles. 

As U.S. News points out, students who major in marketing “learn the ways businesses maintain relationships with their audiences.” That means identifying (and fulfilling) consumer needs, which can extend to an unlimited array of products and services. It takes a multifaceted team to effectively market anything in today’s frenzied marketplace, so let’s explore the wide world of marketing degree jobs out there waiting for you! 

What is a Marketing Degree?

In plain terms, a marketing degree program teaches students ways they can communicate information about a business's products or services to potential consumers or other interested parties. But such communications actually work both ways, as marketers also need to learn about their customer bases and try to discover exactly what they want or need. 

At the end of the day, marketing is about establishing connections that benefit the company and the consumer. For instance, a business learns what to make and sell to shoppers in a niche market, and those shoppers then have the opportunity to buy the items they like. Win-win! 

Because of the popularity of marketing degrees, several colleges and universities around the country offer marketing programs. Many elements of marketing studies overlap other academic areas such as business administration and public relations. In addition to such overlaps, marketing, as a process, includes advertising as one of its many aspects. Marketing degree students will also learn about effective communications strategies, the psychology of consumer behavior, and how to conduct market research using high-tech tools. 

Students can earn a 60-credit Associate Degree in Marketing, which takes roughly two years to complete, if going to school full-time (or twice as long if attending part-time). You’ll learn the basics of marketing, such as research methods, target audiences, and consumer behavior. Keep in mind that a large chunk of the classes for an associate degree go toward fulfilling general education requirements. 

To save money on tuition, many students knock out their associate at a community college, which is less expensive than a four-year institution. It’s not necessary to earn an associate if you’re planning to go for a bachelor’s, but it can be useful if you want to apply for entry-level jobs before you get your Bachelor’s in Marketing. 

A 120-credit Bachelor’s in Marketing is the most common degree students opt for to qualify for a marketing degree job. The majority of employers may want to hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree educational background. A Bachelor’s in Marketing will cover all the essential marketing foundations plus enough advanced subject matter to qualify you for many great-paying jobs (as we’ll see below!). 

Students can choose from a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Marketing or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Marketing. A BA may focus more on creative elements of the field, whereas a BS will likely hone in on the business and technology aspects. 

Your undergraduate degree will take four years of full-time study or up to twice as long if going part-time, depending on course load. Marketing degree programs are available via traditional, on-campus routes, as well as online or through hybrid formats (part in-person, part online). 

Going to grad school is a serious commitment of time and money, but it could lead to higher earning potential. Students have the choice of either a Master of Science (MS) in Marketing or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a special focus on marketing. 

A lot of MBA hopefuls wait until they’ve gained some real-world work experience before applying. The MBA route features practical case studies and covers more about business and finance, whereas the MS builds upon undergrad work and expands it with classes in cutting-edge marketing strategies and advanced marketing tactics. The route you choose depends on your career goals and interests.  

A master’s tends to take two years, though some programs feature an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s path that can shave months off completion time. Part-time students can expect to take up to three or four years to finish their MS in Marketing or MBA.

It is relatively rare for marketing students to earn a PhD or a Doctor of Business Administration. UC Berkeley notes that its PhD business admin program only enrolls 14 to 16 students per year. 

Most marketing degree jobs simply don’t require a doctorate, but some do. For example, if you’re interested in working in research positions or teaching at universities, this is the degree for you! Bear in mind, however, that research or teaching jobs may not have the same earnings potential as you might find in the private sector. 

A doctorate can take three years or more, if going full-time and depending on whether there’s an internship or fellowship requirement. 

 

What Can You Do With a Marketing Degree?

We scoured the web to find some of the best (and most lucrative) marketing degree jobs out there. No surprises — we found some killer, high-paying options for students looking for meaningful, respected careers with a hefty paycheck. So without further ado, let’s dive in! 

10 Highest Paying Marketing Degree Jobs

10. Channel Manager
  • Median Salary: $87,573
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Professional certification

Indeed defines marketing channels as “tools that marketers use to build a connection between a manufacturer or company to a group of potential customers.” Channels fall into different categories, such as communications, distribution, or service (with many more types of channels under those, like value-added resale, network marketing, email marketing, and catalog direct channels). 

Channel managers focus on the people and processes within one specific channel. Thus, typical job duties vary greatly from channel to channel. For instance, someone working the digital advertisements channel will focus on all the aspects related to selling eCommerce products. In addition to a four-year degree, there are many professional certifications that can boost one’s credentials, such as Certified Sales Professional. It’s also worth noting that  ~13% of workers in this field earn a master’s degree to help boost their chances of getting hired. 

9. Demand Generation Manager
  • Median Salary: $93,954
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Sales

Ready to dive into the data about consumer psychology to find out why people buy what they do? If so, then welcome to the hectic world of demand generation! As the job title implies, demand generation managers drive sales by not only finding leads but generating interest to create new ones. Their ultimate goal is long-term engagement by building strong customer relationships (because “acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer,” as Outbound Engine states). 

There are numerous existing strategies at their disposal, but the job also requires creative vision to think of original customer acquisition methods (or new spins on old ones). As a result, there’s a need for lots of testing to find what works best. Demand generation managers usually need a bachelor’s, but it’s key to have ample real-world experience in many areas, including sales and marketing. 

8. Brand/Product Manager
  • Median Salary: $114,145
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Professional certification in brand or product management

A brand/product manager has loads of responsibility riding on their shoulders. They are “jacks of all trades” who work with an organization’s leadership to outline business objectives and determine cost-effective creative marketing strategies for products or services. Their main goal is to attract new customers by promoting the brand, its values, and mission. 

Brand/product managers rely on in-depth knowledge of their employer’s brand alongside expertise in spreading awareness via multiple platforms. In addition to a bachelor’s, they generally need sufficient work experience within their company before being promoted to a managerial role. There are several professional certifications made to boost one’s credentials to better qualify them for this career, such as Certified Product Marketing Manager. Coding experience may also be helpful.

7. Advertising and Promotions Manager
  • Median Salary: $127,150
  • Career Outlook: +10% (2020-2030)
  • Required Education: Bachelor's Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Advertising

Advertising and promotions managers combine various media (such as radio, TV, print, and social media) with financial incentives to grab people’s attention. Incentives might include anything from discount codes or coupons to free merch giveaways. Anything to generate a buzz and turn casual browsers into interested consumers!

Because this career pays so lucratively, expect plenty of competition. In addition to your four-year marketing degree, it’ll help to gain relevant work experience and develop your expertise in advertising and social media before landing a manager position. If you don’t have those, consider getting a part-time job to snag practical experience in sales and marketing…or beef up your credentials with ad hoc courses related to eCommerce advertising. 

6. Sales Managers
  • Median Salary: $127,490
  • Career Outlook: +7% (2020-2030)
  • Required Education: Bachelor's Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Sales

Companies would have a hard time selling anything without their valuable sales managers. These are the people who help set goals, review data, forecast sales, and direct sales teams. Sales managers may also be tasked to hire and train new retail sales staff and wholesale/manufacturing sales reps, manage customer service issues, and plan ways to get new B2B and/or B2C customers. 

A bachelor’s plus plenty of sales experience is the best way to break into this field. Some students who majored in business, management, or finance may also get into sales manager roles, if they have a relevant sales or customer service background. 

5. Marketing Manager
  • Median Salary: $135,030
  • Career Outlook: +10% (2020-2030)
  • Required Education: Bachelor's Degree in Marketing
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Business 

One of the most popular marketing degree jobs is that of a marketing manager. Marketing managers may work in the managerial echelon that consists of “executives whose work must do largely with HR oversight and the direction of operative employees.” In other words, they are “primarily concerned with the execution and coordination of day-to-day workflow that ensures completion of projects and that deliverables are met.” 

In the case of marketing managers, this involves ensuring teams are conducting accurate research into consumer demand and developing feasible action plans aimed at driving sales. The educational point of entry for this job is a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or communications. To work your way up to positions of greater authority (and pay), consider doing an MBA in Marketing to learn more about finance, human resources, supply chain, and brand management.

4. Creative Director
  • Median Salary: $137,017
  • Career Outlook: +11% (2020-2030)
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s in Marketing (or MBA)
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Minor in graphic design

Creative directors are in charge of a company’s creative team. From compelling ads and marketing materials to catchy product packaging, they approve the layouts and visuals utilized to represent their company’s brand in the eyes of their potential customers. 

While a Bachelor’s in Marketing can help pave the way for this exciting career choice, a background in fine arts or graphic design is useful. Students may opt to stock up on art and design electives or apply for a related academic minor to learn applicable skills. Of course, most director-level jobs are higher than managers, so a master’s degree and plenty of practical work experience may be needed to work your way up that ladder! 

3. Chief Marketing Officer
  • Median Salary: $147,331
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s in Marketing (or MBA)
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Business administration

A chief marketing officer (CMO) is a high-ranking company executive in charge of all marketing activities. Also known as the director of marketing, they have oversight on subordinate roles within the marketing department (and may have worked their way up from such positions themselves). 

The larger and more profitable the business, the more earnings potential a CMO has. Like any C-suite position, a chief marketing officer requires a strong mix of professional work experience and academics. It’s not always necessary to hold a graduate degree, but a Master’s in Marketing or an MBA can make candidates much more competitive. Some students start working after their bachelor’s then earn a master’s at night via online classes.

2. Director of Product Marketing
  • Median Salary: $179,529
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s in Marketing (or MBA)
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Business

The salaries for product marketing directors vary depending on the size of the company they work for. They may be responsible for the oversight of an entire brand or just one large department. Duties span everything from researching markets (and competitors) to approving marketing communications and onboarding new recruits. 

A Bachelor’s in Marketing or Communications is the most common educational path to break into this career, but directors also need considerable hands-on experience. A graduate degree can bolster one’s credentials to qualify for a promotion to a director role. For those who market digital products, Zippia notes that 12% major in electrical engineering (which makes sense for marketers who work for companies selling electronic products like smartphones, tablets, etc.).

1. Director of Digital Marketing
  • Median Salary: $181,161
  • Career Outlook: Unspecified, but relatively high
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s in Marketing (or MBA)
  • Specialization Recommended, if any: Digital marketing<

And for our final and highest paying marketing degree career - director of digital marketing. It’s no surprise that e-commerce profitability has exploded in recent years and is predicted to account for 25% of all retail sales by 2025. College students who graduated in the early 2000’s didn’t even take digital marketing classes, but now in 2022 it’s a stape of any marketing curriculum.

Digital marketing has paved the way for that shift while simultaneously enhancing sales at brick and mortar establishments. In an online world of constant attention-seeking ads, directors of digital marketing strive to ensure their brands get noticed. 

From social media and email marketing to paid ad campaigns, content marketing, and SEO strategies, they handle anything to do with the digital domain. As a result — and in line with their positions as a director level — digital marketing directors ideally should hold a graduate degree plus significant work experience (or academic credentials) in digital marketing. 

 

What Else Can You Do With a Marketing Degree?

Our above list of marketing degree jobs is just the tip of the iceberg. It is common for graduates to start out in entry- or mid-level positions before working their way up to some of those higher-paying manager, director, and C-suite jobs. 

Below we’ve listed a handful of well-paid roles for graduates ready to launch into their exciting new careers. 

  • Advertising Sales Agent - Sells ad space to people and businesses. Average Salary: $52,340
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative - Brokers deals between wholesalers/manufacturers and businesses/governmental agencies. Average Salary: $61,600.
  • Market Research Analyst - Studies markets to explore product or service sales potential. Average Salary: $63,920
  • Partnership Development Manager - Develops and maintains partnerships between businesses. Average Salary: $75,838.
  • Consumer Insights Intern -  Helps companies understand their own brands. Average Salary: $83,380