What Can I Do with a Major in Marketing?

The Marketing Major at KU Business:

The curriculum is designed to give students both a broad liberal arts background and a strong professional education. You'll learn the basics of marketing, such as market research, market segmentation and targeting, consumer behavior, marketing strategy, the distribution of goods and services, pricing policies, promoting products communications, and marketing management. Topics you might study in more depth are product management and the development of new products to satisfy customer demand, effective customer service, global marketing, Internet marketing, and database management.  We encourage you to participate in field trips, experiential learning activities, and to develop your leadership skills through membership in student organizations like the KU Marketing Club. 

Marketing is a practical, career-oriented major that requires analytical skills, logic and creativity.  Typical marketing activities include:

  • Determining the wants and needs of consumers,
  • Developing products to satisfy customer demands,
  • Communicating information about these products and services to prospective buyers
  • Pricing products to reflect costs, competition, and the customer’s ability to buy.
  • Making products and services available at times and places that meet customers’ needs, and
  • Service and follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction.

While we generally think of marketing as a "business" activity and thus, employed by profit-seeking firms, it is also used extensively by non-profit organizations. 

Primary Areas of Employment for Business Marketing Majors:

  • Sales
  • Customer Relations
  • Purchasing/Procurement
  • Retail
  • Brand Management
  • Market Research
  • Advertising


Sales has more job opportunities than other specializations, especially entry-level positions in personal selling.    Graduates skilled in consultative selling skills generally enjoy relatively high levels of compensation and are in demand across a wide variety of industries (retail, business to business concerns, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, etc.).  A second path is to become sales manager of a region or district, formulating the sales strategy and supervising sales representatives. Finally, the bridging role of salespeople (between customer needs and company resources) often proves to be fertile training ground for rapid career advancement into other top management positions. 

Brand Management:

Brand or Product Managers are responsible for planning and directing the entire marketing program for a given product or group of products. A brand manager is involved in new product ideas and research, advertising, sales promotion, packaging decisions, pricing, inventory levels, sales, and the legal aspects of marketing a product.

Marketing Research:

Marketing Researchers provide a great deal of the information businesses need to make sound decisions about the marketing of their products. This involves analyzing data on products and sales, designing surveys, conducting interviews, preparing forecasts, and making recommendations on product design, advertising, pricing, and distribution.


Retail offers a variety of positions, including sales, buying, distribution, and staff functions such as advertising and marketing research. Entry-level jobs may involve some sales work, moving up to assistant buyer and then buyer, with control over types of merchandise displayed, nature of promotions, and even price levels.


Advertising has several entry-level positions. One can begin as a media buyer, copywriter, or assistant account executive.  After a year or two in one of these positions, you may become a junior or assistant account executive doing analytical work and having moderate client contact. As you move to account executive, account supervisor, management supervisor, and various agency principal positions, the responsibility increases and the workload involves strategic planning and implementation in a highly competitive, fast-paced environment.

View 2016-2017 salary data for KU graduates in Marketing 

Typical Positions/Areas in Marketing Include:

  • Account Representative
  • Customer Services Representative/Manager
  • Internet Marketing Specialist
  • Business Development Officer
  • Market Manager
  • Brand/Product Manager
  • Market Research Specialist
  • Purchasing Agent
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Merchandising
  • Inside Sales
  • Research Analyst
  • Retail Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Marketing Assistant

View employers by state. 

Typical Employers in Marketing Include:

  • For-Profit and Not-for-Profit organizations
  • Consumer products groups
  • Financial services firms
  • Advertising firms
  • Market research firms
  • Consulting firms
  • Public relations organizations
  • Educational groups
  • Government institutions
  • Print and electronic media
  • Department stores, drugstores, specialty stores, super retailers, and other retail outlets
  • Athletic organizations
  • Manufacturers

General Tips for Students Considering a Major or Career in Marketing:

  • Obtain experience through an internship or other relevant part-time or summer work.
  • Conduct informational discussions with individuals from industry.
  • Participate in a job shadowing experience through Jayhawks on the Job or a company visit through a Friday Field Trip. Both are programs coordinated through the BCS.
  • Attend the Marketing Mixer held each fall and Business Career Fair events each September.
  • Join the Marketing Club, PRSSA, or other student organizations that will facilitate career exploration.
  • Seek leadership opportunities on campus.
  • Engage in professional networking to enhance employment prospects.
  • Develop skills including: customer focus, problem solving, self-direction, team orientation, analysis, and research.

Additional information on careers in marketing is available at Business Career Services in 1130 Capitol Federal Hall. Students are encouraged to review the following resources:

Hubspot's Ultimate Guide to Jobs in Marketing 


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