BA in Useless Major = Successful Career in Marketing!
I absolutely loved my liberal arts education. I think it is important
to know about different cultures to understand the world around you and
a BA in [insert useless major of your choice here] is incredibly
valuable, I believe, for being able to function and succeed in today's
The dilemma, of course, is what to do when you graduate.
So I've got a bachelor's degree in Religious Studies - now what? To
those new to this question (and even those in their last year of
undergrad with one month to go until graduation) you may have no idea
what is the logical progression - or any possible progression - from
this degree to the business world. Well I'm here to tell you - a BA in
Useless Major = Successful Career in Marketing!
A lot of people
either (a) have biases against marketing and/or (b) have no idea what
marketing actually is. So I thought I'd provide a quick overview to
show you how awesome it can actually be, and why a liberal arts degree
is actually good preparation for this career.What is marketing?
end-goal of marketing is to generate leads to pass on to your sales
people for them to contact and try to generate new business.
Traditional marketing includes:
- Public Relations (PR)
- writing press releases about company news and working with media to pick up your story
- Direct Mail
- sending snail mail with promotions/offers
- Email Marketing
- sending email with promotions/offers
- video, print, etc. advertisements
- designing, writing, and printing things like brochures
- figuring out how to present your company externally, developing the messages you want to convey by your brand
- organizing events, from holiday parties to user conferences to trade show exhibitions
- Web marketing
- managing the company website, including textual content and design
what's even more interesting is what's included in modern marketing -
modern marketing focuses hugely on internet marketing, which now not
only includes managing your company website but even more:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- optimizing your site (content, structure, etc.) so that you are more easily found through search engines
- Blogging (& Podcasting)
- there are numerous benefits, including SEO, customer relationship, and branding benefits to having a company blog
- "Web Collateral"
(my term) such as eBooks - developing more valuable content for the web
- Focus of PR turns to optimizing your press releases
for easier, cheaper, yet very effective distribution via the web
- Viral marketing
- generating tons of buzz around your company by, for example, a popular YouTube video
of these lists is complete, but gives you a general idea of what's
going on in marketing in case you had no idea. People very frequently
get marketing and sales confused or believe marketing is manipulative.
To this last point I will clarify: there is psychology involved in
successful marketing, but you use this same type of psychology in your
everyday life during which you marketing yourself. Taking some time to
pick out what you wear in the morning? Thinking about how to tell your
friend you lost their favorite sweater? These simple things alone are
marketing activities in which you are marketing yourself - you are
still the same person but your presentation of yourself is chosen
somewhat carefully.So what would make me a good fit for a marketing job?
don't want to put down any business majors reading this, but an
undergrad business degree is, in my opinion, pretty pointless. I'm sure
this isn't the case across the board, but undergrad business programs
tend to be packed with dumb classes with some theory that students
don't understand how to apply to the real world. You learn weird things
like how to organize a group of people, but without actually learning
how groups work and how successful groups function.
So in my opinion, a liberal arts degree keys you up very well for a marketing job because marketing includes a lot of:
- particularly writing, which is an essential component of any liberal arts degree
- if you have a rigorous education, then you've by default had to deal
with a large work load and had to figure out how to organize yourself
to get things done
- Project management
- marketing projects often involve many different tasks, which require good general project management skills
addition to all this, if you like working on a lot of different types
of projects, marketing is a good place to go because there's so much
that falls under marketing and
marketing is a dynamic field, so there's always new things to learn.
it's because I'm not over the novelty effects of my new job and so I
feel compelled to share my excitement. But I don't think these feelings
are fleeting. I get a lot of satisfaction out of working in this field,
and I know I'm not alone in that. I'm happy to share my thoughts /
sales pitch here, even though, if successful in reaching people, would
actually product some job competition for me! Let's hope we can all
work together amicably...