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Business Marketing

Successful business marketing professionals are both analytical and creative, with a deep interest in human behavior and strong communication skills. Jobs in this field are expected to increase in the coming decade, offering opportunities in almost every sector of private industry as well as at nonprofit and public organizations around the world. U.S. News & World Report included market research analysts and marketing managers in recent lists of "best jobs" while CNN Money ranked marketing consulting among today's top careers.

Marketing is both exciting and challenging. The analyses and insights of marketing professionals have a direct impact on an organization's success—contributing to decisions about product development, pricing, potential demand and target audiences. Most entry-level marketing jobs require a bachelor's degree in business administration or a related field. A graduate degree often is required for advancement.

Hood College has designed a bachelor of arts degree in business administration, with a concentration in marketing, to prepare graduates for leadership in today's fast-moving, intensely competitive global economy. Students develop a solid understanding of business management and marketing, as well as have opportunities to gain practical experience.

Course of Studies

It's not just "business as usual" at Hood, where the business administration degree differs from most because of its strong emphasis on social accountability, business functions, global awareness, quantitative and qualitative analytical skills and synergy between theory and practice. Hood's marketing faculty members are experienced professionals, as well as talented teachers who help students explore their interests and develop a career pathway.

All business students complete a core of courses in business administration, in addition to Hood's liberal arts core curriculum. Required business courses focus on different functional areas such as finance, accounting, marketing and corporate strategy; quantitative and qualitative analytical skills; and how to relate organizations to the greater society. Marketing, the most popular concentration within the business administration program, provides in-depth understanding of consumer behavior, marketing communications strategies, public relations and marketing research methods. An internship is required, and study abroad is strongly recommended.

Students may take classes in other majors, including communication arts, psychology and integrated marketing communications (for example, social media).

Opportunities for Practical Experience

Hood offers a variety of hands-on experiences so that students have exposure to working in differing settings within their chosen field and can build a portfolio of professional work.

Internships are required for all business majors. This hands-on experience helps students clarify their career direction and often leads to job opportunities after graduation. Hood's marketing students are in great demand at the many private firms, government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the Frederick-Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region. There also are openings in other areas of the U.S. and even abroad. Marketing students have interned with such organizations as Bechtel Corporation, a global engineering and construction firm; Experient, a national event management company; Goodwill Industries; Downtown Frederick Partnership; and High Rock Marketing, a regional marketing and design group. Marketing faculty members and Hood's career center staff help find options that match students' interests and goals.

Business administration majors are strongly encouraged to do research on a topic of interest to them, working closely with Hood's faculty. In addition to independent study, there are several Hood-funded grant competitions and a Departmental Honors paper option, a senior-year program that involves intensive research. The Management Association, a student group that connects business students with successful Hood graduates, can enable participants to build marketing skills such as promotion and event planning.

Success of Hood Graduates

Recent undergraduate marketing concentration students have joined organizations such as the K-Swiss Company, a leader in sports footwear; Experient; PNC Bank; and Downtown Fredrick Partnership. While the vast majority of Hood's marketing students find jobs immediately after graduation, about 20 percent continue their studies. Of those enrolling in graduate school, about half choose Hood's well-regarded accredited MBA program. Recent MBA graduates with a marketing concentration have joined firms such as Under Armour Inc., an innovator in athletic apparel; and Kaiser Permanente, a leading provider of integrated health care.

Job Outlook

Employment of market research analysts is expected to grow 41 percent through 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also reports that job prospects should be best for those with a master's degree. The median annual wage (reflecting salaries of experienced as well as entry-level employees) in 2010 was $60,570. The BLS reports that employment of marketing (or product) managers is expected to grow 14 percent through 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. The median annual wage was $112,800 in 2010. While the BLS does not provide information for other marketing occupations, a CNN Money listing of Best Jobs in America 2012 forecasts 41 percent growth in jobs for marketing consultants through 2020 and a median salary of $92,100.

Resources for More Information About Careers

The American Marketing Association (www.marketingpower.com) is a professional organization leading the practice, teaching and development of marketing knowledge worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why prepare to be a business marketing professional at Hood rather than a school that specializes in these fields?

Hood College offers many advantages to students preparing for a career in business marketing. In the rapidly evolving and highly competitive global economy, all business professionals―and particularly those in marketing whose work has such a direct impact on organizational success―must have broad knowledge of business processes, flexibility and a commitment to accountability. Hood's academic program is designed to prepare students for success today and in the future. The business administration program prepares students to thrive in complex organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Hood's differentiating niche is a strong emphasis on business functions, social accountability, global awareness, quantitative and qualitative analytical skills and synergy between theory and practice. The curriculum builds core competencies and embeds that core curriculum in a liberal arts program. This liberal arts grounding enables Hood's students to flourish in any field, not just business. It provides them with flexibility often not provided by academic programs that are more narrowly focused on a single career track.

Marketing, the most popular concentration within the business administration program, provides in-depth understanding of consumer behavior, marketing communications strategies, public relations and marketing research methods. Other business administration concentrations include finance, accounting, human resource management and international economics and finance. Students may work with faculty to develop an individualized concentration, as well. Students who major in other fields may complete a minor in business administration.

Majors in business administration are required to complete an internship or study abroad and to participate in the departmental lecture series. The study abroad experience or internship may be either a semester, year or summer.(International students are exempt from the study abroad and internship requirement.) Marketing students have interned with such organizations as Bechtel Corporation, Experient, Goodwill Industries, Downtown Frederick Partnership and High Rock Marketing. They have studied business at universities in international cities such as London and Barcelona.

Hood provides an exceptional level of individual attention, in small classes taught by faculty members who aim to create a collaborative teaching and learning environment. Marketing faculty are experienced, successful marketing professionals, which gives students a tremendous advantage in understanding theoretical information in the context of practical application. Hood offers a variety of hands-on experiences so that students have exposure to working in differing settings within their chosen field and can build a portfolio of professional work. Students may have an opportunity to work directly with faculty on research projects, for example, in preparing a Departmental Honors Paper or participating in the Summer Research Institute.

What kinds of jobs are available for entry-level business marketing professionals?

Market research analysts scrutinize and interpret data to provide insights into product and service development, target audiences, potential demand, pricing and other areas essential to an organization's success. The 2013 Best Jobs rankings from U.S. News & World Report pegged marketing research analysts as 21st overall, and the seventh best business job. According to the news magazine, "market research analysts watch people, listen and study them to determine their habits and preferences. They then advise clients on how to package, brand and sell products appropriately. The demand from a broad range of industries, including research companies, colleges and government agencies, for data leading to the most effective marketing strategies will lead to growth in the field."

Marketing (or product) managers were ranked the ninth best business career and 57th overall in the U.S. News & World Report listing of 100 top jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "marketing managers estimate the demand for products and services that an organization and its competitors offer. They identify potential markets for the organization's products. Marketing managers also develop pricing strategies to help organizations maximize profits and market share while ensuring that the organizations' customers are satisfied. They work with sales, public relations and product development staff."

Marketing consultant was ranked second in a CNN Money listing of Best Jobs in 2012. Most marketing consultants work for consulting firms or are self-employed.

For more information on the U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs list, see http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs. To learn more about the CNN Money Best Jobs list, see http://money.cnn.com/pf/best-jobs. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 edition, can be accessed at www.bls.gov/ooh.

What's the future job outlook for business marketing professionals?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 41 percent increase in market research analyst jobs, almost three times the average for all jobs. The federal agency reports that "because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy. Some market research analysts work for the company that hires them to do research. Some work for consulting firms that do market research for many clients. A small percentage—about five percent—were self-employed in 2010. Organizations such as research firms, social and civic organizations, colleges and universities and government agencies will also increasingly use market research to ensure that program resources are being used effectively. Analysts may find more opportunities in consulting and market research firms, as companies without established marketing or research departments often find it easier to hire a person outside the organization to perform market research services."

Job growth for marketing managers will be about the average for all jobs, 14 percent through 2020. According to the BLS, "because marketing managers and their departments are important to an organization's revenue, marketing managers are less likely to be let go than other types of managers. Marketing managers will continue to be in demand as organizations seek to market their products to specific customers and localities."

While the BLS does not provide information on marketing consultants, CNN Money forecasts 41 percent growth in jobs for marketing consultants through 2020.

To learn more about the CNN Money Best Jobs list, see http://money.cnn.com/pf/best-jobs. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 edition, can be accessed at www.bls.gov/ooh.

Do marketing professionals need to certified?

The Marketing Research Association (MRA) offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for market research analysts. According to the MRA, "Certification is voluntary, but analysts may pursue certification to demonstrate a level of professional competency. Candidates qualify based on experience and knowledge; they must pass an exam, be a member of a professional organization and have at least three years working in opinion and marketing research. To keep their certification valid, market research analysts must take continuing education courses and apply for renewal every two years."

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