How to Become a Marketing Manager: 3 Ingredients in the Recipe for Success

It is no surprise that a go-getter like you has big dreams on the horizon. Being a business savvy people-person has gotten you pretty far in your current career, but you’ve reached a dead end. Isn’t it time for you to finally scratch that itch to keep up with your friends as they progress to more lucrative jobs with bigger responsibilities and more impressive job titles?

You’ve likely been intrigued by the term ‘marketing manager’ in your research for the perfect marketing career for you. You’re in luck because recent statistics have shown employers are looking to fill marketing manager positions more than other titles you could snag with a marketing degree.

Well, you’ve come to the right place to continue your research.  We used real-time job analysis software to identify more than 200,000 marketing manager jobs posted over the past year.* After analyzing the job requirements listed, we concocted the can't-miss recipe for becoming a marketing manager.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is a marketing manager?

You’ll undoubtedly want to know what you’re getting yourself into before investing the time and effort it takes to pursue a career in marketing. So before we discuss how to become a marketing manager, let’s start with the basics: What does a marketing manager actually do?

FACT: Marketing manager positions are projected to grow 13% through 2022.

Here’s the short version: marketing managers work to determine the potential markets for a company’s products, as well as estimating demand, developing pricing strategies and working directly with the sales staff and product development staff. All of this is done with the end goal of maximizing the company’s profits.

Marketing managers are important to a company’s revenue and for that reason they will continue to be in-demand, growing about 13 percent throughout the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How do you become a marketing manager?

Step 1: Acquire the education

There are a few different paths you can take when pursuing an education in marketing. You have the option of earning a marketing diploma, an associate degree in marketing or a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

Our previously mentioned job analysis helped us determine the minimum levels of education employers are seeking when hiring marketing managers. More than 6,000 postings called for an associate degree or lower, while more than 110,000 were available for candidates equipped with a bachelor’s degree.

We know what you’re thinking. You’re ready to hit the ground running NOW; you don’t have four years to spend in school first. You’ll be happy to know that earning your bachelor’s bachelor's degree in marketing can be done in as little as 18 months and it would include industry-relevant courses like web analytics, strategic sales, consumer behavior, contemporary leadership and more.

Step 2: Gain work experience

Earning your degree will help you build the foundation of knowledge on which to build your career as a marketing manager. But in most cases, you’ll need some on-the-job experience under your belt, too.

More than 13,000 job postings sought marketing manager candidates with less than 2 years of working experience. That number jumps to more than 62,000 job openings available for those with 2-5 years of experience. It’s obvious that a little hands-on experience goes a long way!

There are a handful of entry-level marketing jobs that can help you acquire the skills and experience needed to become a marketing manager. Some of these positions include working as a marketing assistant, a marketing analyst, a sales representative or a marketing account executive. Your current job may even qualify as relevant experience for a marketing management position.

Step 3: Go above & beyond

It is likely safest to aim for that 2-5 year window of on-the-job experience but our analysis proves that there are some openings for applicants with less than that. So how can you snag one of those positions? Every company is different, so it’s hard to say—but one thing you can do in the meantime is beef up your résumé with extra courses taken or volunteer opportunities seized.

Be on the look-out for ways you can gain experience outside of the workplace. Attend conferences or seminars in your area or even watch them on the web. Keep up with marketing trends by immersing yourself in poignant articles online. Get lost in books written by or about leading business professionals around the world. See if any local non-profits need volunteers to help them with the marketing and public relations sectors of their business.

Long story short: anything you can do to add to your arsenal of must-have marketing skills now will pay off in the long-run.

What are you waiting for?

The first ingredient in the marketing management recipe is to earn your degree. You can learn more about the Rasmussen College marketing degree program here. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for opportunities big and small that can help you build up your industry experience along the way.

Before you know it your résumé will be hard to ignore—and maybe you’ll be the one buying that second round for your buddies at happy hour!

* (Analysis of marketing manager job postings, July 9, 2012 - July 8, 2014)

Jess Scherman

Jess is a Content Specialist at Collegis Education. She researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College to help empower students to achieve their career dreams through higher education.


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