Marketing Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

The educational background of marketing managers varies as widely as the nature of their diverse responsibilities. If you are interested in a managerial career, you should start preparing in high school by taking college preparatory classes. Because strong communication skills are important, take as many English classes as possible. Speech classes are another way to improve your communication skills. Courses in mathematics, business, economics, and computer science are also excellent choices to help you prepare for this career. Art and graphic design classes can also be helpful in understanding the creative aspects of marketing.

Postsecondary Training

Most marketing managers have a bachelor's degree in marketing or business administration. However, degrees in advertising, English, journalism, speech communications, economics, or the fine arts are also applicable. Useful college classes include those in psychology, sociology, business, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics and statistics, and any art medium. Graduate and professional degrees are common at the managerial level.

Digital media positions are increasingly requiring a college degree in communications, e-commerce, or a technology-related area. Media directors with a master’s degree have a distinct advantage over those with only an undergraduate degree. Some research department heads even have doctorates. Most marketing managers have years of previous marketing work experience, having started their careers in lower level advertising and marketing jobs. Candidates for managerial positions who have extensive experience and developed portfolios have a competitive edge.

Other Education or Training

Marketing managers continue their education throughout their careers. Professional associations that offer continuing-education seminars, webinars, workshops, and other education opportunities in marketing include the American Marketing Association, Association of National Advertisers, Digital Analytics Association, and the Internet Marketing Association, among others.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Marketing managers may get voluntary certification from professional associations to enhance their knowledge and skills. The American Marketing Association, for example, offers several tracks within its Professional Certified Marketer program, including specialization in digital marketing and marketing management. Visit the American Marketing Association's Web site for details,

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience working with marketing campaigns, as well as the completion of at least one college internship, will be useful for those aspiring to careers in the field. Strong communication skills are needed as is knowledge of digital media and social media.

There are a number of personal characteristics that marketing managers need to succeed in their work. You will need good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to delegate work to other members of your staff. Because marketing campaigns are often run under strict deadlines, the ability to think on your feet and work well under pressure is critical.

Other traits considered important for marketing managers are intelligence, decisiveness, intuition, creativity, honesty, loyalty, a sense of responsibility, and planning abilities.