Marketing vs. Management: Which Major, Degree and Career Should You Choose?

Studies have shown that the average person makes around 600 decisions per day. Multiply that by the number of days in a month and you’re talking about tens of thousands of decisions over the course of a single year.

Now, choosing to make the kids eggs or waffles for breakfast or wearing the red tie over the blue one doesn’t require an extreme amount of careful analysis, but bigger things – like deciding on a career in marketing versus management, for example – require you to be a bit more well-informed.

The search volume for marketing and management majors suggests that there is some confusion among potential students about which degree is right for them. We’re here to help you explore the career outlook for each field and, hopefully, clear up any questions you might have so that you can make a well-thought out decision.

Marketing vs. Management: education

It’s commonly understood that earning a degree can provide a greater number of job opportunities, but did you know that over the past year, 80 percent of jobs available in marketing  and 76 percent of those in management, preferred candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree?*

TIP #1: No matter which major you choose, earning a bachelor’s degree will qualify you for more than five times the number of jobs than those available to a high school graduate.

Marketing vs. Management: career opportunities

A great way to figure out if you’re headed down the right career path is too imagine yourself in your ideal role. Maybe you see yourself thriving in the advertising world of Don Draper. Maybe you’re the next Cake Boss. Or maybe, your ideal job falls somewhere in between. Either way, visualizing yourself in a perfect scenario will help you cut through all of your mind’s red tape and get to the heart of what you want to do.     

To help you do that, here is a list of the top jobs available in their respective fields across all levels of experience. You can learn more about the traits, skills and experience needed to succeed in each role by visiting O*Net Online, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job summary board.

marketing vs. management jobs

TIP #2: Choosing to major in marketing or management does not mean that you cannot pursue opportunities in similar fields. Try searching for jobs by keyword on Monster, Career Builder or Indeed; search “marketing degree” or “management degree” and see which positions interest you the most. For instance, if you’re interested in marketing, seeing open positions in marketing communications, sales management or promotions may give you a push towards learning more about marketing.

Marketing vs. Management: salaries

When it comes to salary, it’s important to remember that your level of education, experience and even the company you work for will have an impact on it.

marketing vs. management salaries

In fact, considering the cost of living in different regions of America, employees with the same title, at the same company will see their salaries vary depending on whether they live in New York City, Phoenix or Tallahassee.    

But the good news is that both marketing and management jobs boast an average annual salary of around $45,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the average real-time salary coming directly from online job boards for marketers being just over $75,000 and management professionals coming in at slightly over $82,000 both career options can be lucrative.

TIP #3: While you should expect your entry-level salary to be lower than these nationwide averages, knowing these salary levels will help you negotiate your initial figure and also give you a long-term outlook as to your salary potential.

Marketing vs. Management: skills

The following list of skills necessary to survive and thrive in these professions will help you gain a better understanding of the activities you may be involved in on the job.*

marketing vs. management skills

Even with two skills in common – business development and marketing – it should be clear that these two fields differ in many ways. Identifying the skills that interest you most and focusing on developing your abilities in the areas you’re lacking will help you define your own career path.  

TIP #4: Write down which of these listed interest you the most. Then perform keyword searches with online job boards to learn more about the specific job titles that require those skills. This is a great way to learn more about some of the niche job descriptions within these two broad professions.

Marketing vs. Management: how to decide

By comparing the differences in the education requirements, career opportunities, salaries and skills for careers in marketing versus management, hopefully you feel like you’ve got an overview of these two fields. The next step is to narrow down your preferences and chart your course toward the career of your choice.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose marketing over management or vice versa as both careers are filled with fantastic growth potential. 

Check out our marketing and management degree pages to learn more about how you can pursue a career in your chosen path.

*Source: (Analysis of marketing and management jobs, titles, salaries and skills, 8/20/12 to 8/19/13)

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Grant Tilus is an Associate Inbound Marketing Manager for Collegis Education who writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College with the aim to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students in a positive way.

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