Only 30 percent of workers say they enjoy their jobs, according to Gallup’s most recent American Workplace Report. That means that up to 70 percent of American employees consider themselves “disengaged” from their jobs.
And if you happen to be a part of that 70 percent, it makes perfect sense that you would be considering your options – including earning a degree – to pursue the career you really want.
Unfortunately, sometimes deciding on a career is easier said than done.
But don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, hundreds of searches are performed every month by individuals comparing career and/or degree options in marketing versus finance.
To clarify the difference between the two fields and help you with your decision, we identified more than 500,000 marketing and finance-related job openings from the past 12 months* to provide you with a clear step-by-step comparison of marketing versus finance. We featured five career categories that will help you better understand these two career paths and help you gain the confidence to take the next steps toward a career you will enjoy.
Marketing vs. Finance: degree requirements
You may already know that the vast majority of job opportunities in marketing and finance require a certain level of education.
In fact, 78 percent of job openings for both careers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree.
So if you’re not already seriously considering earning your bachelor’s degree, perhaps you should, as it’s a great place to start for the majority of jobs in these fields.
Marketing vs. Finance: job opportunities
Over the past year there were more than 350,000 open finance positions and 250,000 marketing positions listed online. As you consider which field to pursue, it’s important to be aware of the common job titles used in the marketplace. Becoming aware of these positions prior to starting your career will give you a clearer picture of which positions are within your interests and skill set. Most likely you will start with an entry-level position; but as you gain experience you can use this information to start to plan for advancing into a management or director position.
As you can see, marketing and finance job titles are very different from one another. Consider picking a few that sound interesting to you then go to O*Net Online, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job summary board, for an in-depth summary of each position and to learn more about the job and its duties. This will help you gain a better understanding of which jobs have the potential to becoming a long-term career for you and your family.
Marketing vs. Finance: career growth and salaries
Advancements in technology mean the job market is continually evolving – even to the point where some jobs become extinct. You can see examples of this happening with the popularity of video-streaming, smart-phones and travel comparison sites technologies and the impact they’ve had on positions like video-store clerks, phone operators and travel agents.
That is why understanding the trajectory of your chosen field is important. Deciding on a career path that is growing helps ensure that you will have employment opportunities well into the future.
In both cases, the fields of marketing and finance are projected to have strong job outlooks with double-digit projected growth – 14 and 23 percent, respectively – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When it comes to salaries, it’s important to remember that they vary depending geographic location, years of experience and organizational precedent. But when compared to the median salary for all occupations nationwide – $33,840 – those with career aspirations in marketing or finance may earn a higher than average salary from which you and your family can benefit.
Marketing vs. Finance: skills
While the specific skills needed will vary based on the position, you can gain a better overall understanding of what areas of expertise and abilities you may need to work in these fields.
With only two skills in common – business development and sales – the skills you need to acquire will lead down two very different paths.
Individuals working in marketing are involved in developing the strategy and processes to accomplishing organizational goals. Meanwhile, finance professionals are often involved in a variety of activities that pertain to the planning, management and reporting of financial information for businesses and even individuals depending on the position and industry.
It is because of these basic differences between marketing and finance that the skills needed to succeed are so different. The benefit of skill sets that vary so much is that it’s easy to isolate which skills interest you more and which will lead to the best path for you.
How to decide
Now that you have learned about the degree requirements, job opportunities, career growth, salaries and skills needed for a career in marketing versus finance, you are much better prepared to make a decision that will positively impact your work and family life.
Based on all of the information we uncovered here, it’s a win-win situation. Are you ready to make a decision?
Before you do, consider this: Both careers analyze data in order to make decisions. If you’re the type of person that enjoys coming up with creative strategies to drive business goals, marketing could be the right path. On the other hand, if you enjoy working with numbers, analyzing trends and managing budgets, finance might be the place for you.
Make today the day you make a life-changing decision.
Remember what prominent personal-success author Napoleon Hill once said, “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
*Source BurningGlass.com (Analysis of marketing and finance job postings, 8/13/12 to 8/12/13)