The marketing industry is on fire.
With 50 percent of the top 10 marketing jobs in the exploding media/digital space, it’s no wonder this generally recession-proof industry sparks so much interest among potential college students.
But with the cost of college skyrocketing 25 percent, more parents and students are wondering if getting a marketing degree is still worth it.
Will a four-year college degree really give students what they need to be successful in the digital marketing space?
I dropped out of college at 19, uninspired and uninterested in what I was learning in college, to follow my passion. Little did I know that the brand I created at 19 would make $5 million in sales and hire 100 people!
There are amazing stories of so many self-starting entrepreneurs who have had similar experiences – I’m not the only one. We live in an incredible time. There has never been a better time to take on the challenge of taking risks. Creating our own inventions and brands with marketing skills that we can learn from a coach or practitioner, and breaking out of the norm.
Related: Here’s how to build your own DIY MBA in digital marketing
Is a Marketing Degree Worth It in the 2020s?
If you are or know of a budding creative entrepreneur considering a marketing degree, make sure you have first asked yourself these important questions:
1. Is marketing a good career for the future?
Marketing is one of the hottest fields to learn and get a job in right now, and it’s not slowing down. In the first half of 2021, the total number of marketing jobs listed on LinkedIn grew a staggering 63 percent.
However, you are not going to start, run and scale a million dollar content business with single a degree. There are very specific skills and processes involved, and many teachers simply don’t know about them. There are some solid digital marketing programs taught in higher education. But the cost can be extremely prohibitive, especially when you look at poor curricula.
Related: Here’s Why You Should Consider Getting a Marketing Degree
2. Are degrees in marketing in demand?
Important Differentiation: Marketing skills are in demand, not marketing degrees.
Digital skills are at the top of that list.
A four-year degree in marketing is going to cost a lot of time and money. And sadly, the programs being taught in universities today are just beginning to cover digital marketing. This explains why even Google announced that it wants to break the four-year run with its own certificates.
Another big catch for these in-demand marketing titles? They are not teaching people the business behind digital marketing. And that’s where the big money in the industry is: it’s in the making. Marketing titles are missing the key lessons to make content marketing scalable and sustainable, such as:
- The way to work smarter, not harder.
- Methods for forming a team and delegating tasks.
- How to scale impact and revenue without burning out.
Employers are looking for marketing managers who know not only what to do, but also how to do it. In my experience, the lack of that procedural knowledge is often the barrier between you and successful marketing in your business.
3. Does marketing pay well?
Does marketing make a lot of money? Can Marketers Make Millions?
Want to be employed on a company’s marketing team, work your way up to management, and be drawn to the 9 to 5 lifestyle within the corporate culture? Some of those companies require marketing degrees, so you’ll need one if you’re going that route.
But here’s the thing: there are successful salespeople who are rich. But if you look at the resumes of the best content marketers, they are marketing entrepreneurs running their own businesses: not employees.
When considering whether a marketing degree is worth your time in the 2020s, it’s vital to keep your long-term goals in mind. Do you want to build a sustainable online business for yourself or build someone else’s dream? If you have big career aspirations that can’t be contained in a single cubicle, you don’t need a marketing degree. You can look for a mentor, training, and a program that teaches you the processes involved in running an online content business yourself.
4. Is marketing a fun career?
Although it is not always easy, marketing can be a very fun career.
It is a creative field that attracts many gifted and imaginative people. Marketing can be impactful, artistic, and engaging.
But some marketers will tell you that day-to-day work can be a grind. Without the right processes, a fun and exciting marketing career can quickly turn bleak and exhausting.
That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s a shame more universities aren’t teaching content marketing systems in their programs. Because running your own marketing business that builds wealth while freeing up your time is tremendous fun. I can say that from experience.
5. How can I get started in marketing?
So what is the easiest way to get started in marketing?
Ask yourself what got you interested in marketing in the first place.
You’re a writer? A Don Draper superfan? Do you dream of a creative job that allows you to work less and earn more?
Review why you ended up here and ask yourself… can a teacher teach you what you need to know to thrive in today’s marketing space?
Although traditional academics have not kept up, you no longer have to discover digital marketing alone. Increasingly, we see motivated creative entrepreneurs of all ages jumping headfirst into marketing learning through much more efficient methods. For example, working with mentors and signing up for coaching programs.
You don’t have to wait until next semester: You can learn the right marketing skills and real-life processes in the next 90 days for less than 10 percent of the cost of a four-year degree. We’ve even seen parents realize incredible ROI by investing in hands-on business training for their students instead of an expensive marketing degree.
In the end, the question is really this: Is a marketing degree worth it to you?
There may be something about the college experience that appeals to you, or the expectations in our culture around institutional degrees. Those are valid factors to consider. But, if those are the only things keeping you from skipping the marketing degree and saving yourself tuition, it won’t be worth it to you.
Related: The 5 Best Digital Marketing Jobs for Beginners