I run into a few forum discussions of prospective students wondering if they can get rich if they study marketing. At first I thought it was a very weird question because when I was deciding what to study long time ago in 1998, I did not even think of the financial aspect of my choice. I do remember I was considering law as it always interested me and I do genuinely believe I would be a good lawyer, but the financial aspect was nowhere near my mind. I do know now I would have made much more money had I opted for a career in law, but I am still not sorry for making the choice to study Journalism and Political science for my first degrees, then working as a journalist, communications professional and entrepreneur, as well as later continuing studies to go to academia.
I am not rich and I never will be, but I love what I do and I love experiences I gained. I feel already rich in other ways, but I do see why many do not feel that way. I suppose it might have something to do with the generation and different values we were developing when we were growing up, and the one developed by present children who are addicted to Internet and their mobile phones. Nevertheless, some statistics show that more people have a mobile phone than a toothbrush. Just look at the video below:
However, a part of responsibility for youngsters asking this question also comes from the media who extensively report on most prosperous professions that can make those who opt for them rich. For example, The Telegraph published an article last year discussing study options to become a billionaire (Davidson, 2015). In that analysis, it appeared that engineering scores the best, but arts surprisingly scored well too. Marketing is not mentioned on this list, so I looked around a little bit just to see what data says. I haven’t conducted a proper research, so this is just a small insight into the field.
What about Marketing?
When it comes to marketing, if you look at average salaries in marketing, the situation is not bad at all. For example, according to Reed (2016), an average salary for marketing executive (which is more of a starting position) is over £28,000, while a marketing director has an average of £73,935. This is all just a salary without additional income or bonuses. However, what is essential to note is that marketing as a profession is on the rise as many organisations are realising they need marketers and other communication professionals in their teams. According to the Hays recruiting agency (2016), not only that marketers are becoming more popular but they also express satisfaction with their salaries and opportunities to get a raise in salary.
However, I personally think the answer to the question whether one can get rich by becoming a marketer is “depends”. I think this depends on many issues such as whether one can manage to progress to senior management in a corporation then s/he will certainly have a high salary and a competitive bonus. It is enough to remember an unsuccessful M&S CEO Marc Bolland who resigned due to bad business performance in the fashion department but was still eligible for a generous bonus (Armstrong, 2016). I have also written about M&S problems in one of my previous blogs (Topić, 2016).
Nevertheless, I think the question whether marketing can bring wealth is flawed. I think the right question is whether one can get to a high position with a degree in marketing. I personally do not see why not. To me it seems more like a matter of choice to set a goal and work hard towards achieving those goals. It may be difficult, it may take a while, it may take a few job changes, but in the end I would not see a reason why it would not work out if you have a degree in marketing.
Thank you for reading.
Armstrong, A. (2015). M&S boss Marc Bolland steps down amid falling clothing sales. Retrieved 9 March 2016 from:
Davidson, L. (2015). What degree should you study to become a billionaire? Retrieved 9 March 2016 from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11493648/What-degree-should-you-study-to-become-a-billionaire.html
Hays (2016). Marketing Salaries: Hays Salaries Guide. Retrieved 9 March 2016 from: http://www.hays.co.uk/marketing-salary-guide/2015/index.htm
Reed (2016). Marketing & PR Average Salary – UK. Retrieved 9 March 2016 from: http://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary/marketing-pr
Topić, M. (2016). Time for a Royal Visit to M&S? Retrieved 9 March 2016 from: http://martinatopic.com/2016/01/14/time-for-a-royal-visit-to-ms/