Learn How To Get Into Marketing Without A Degree!

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Is it possible to get into marketing without a degree? It might not be impossible, but it is hard to get certain roles without a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree.

Looking at all marketing roles currently listed on LinkedIn, 40-some percent list a degree as a requirement. What the degree is in can vary. Some openings ask for a degree in marketing, business, journalism, or otherwise related. In other words: They want you to have a college degree of some kind. Which one exactly is open for debate.

But even when jobs don’t specifically ask for a degree, many applicants do have degrees. Here’s an example from a “marketing leader” job opening that doesn’t specify a degree, yet 100 percent of current applicants have one.

degree for marketing job

Now marketing leader is a more advanced role, perhaps, so let’s look at entry-level jobs as classified by LinkedIn. Many of them also ask for a degree of some kind, and how is the applicant pool looking for ones that don’t? This is a marketing specialist role, and LinkedIn says that the majority (91 percent) also have a bachelor’s or higher.

marketing degree for entry level job

So having a degree certainly can be used as a differentiator in the screening process, but it’s not necessarily the only thing that matters. For example, many job openings – including ones I used to post – say something to the effect of “bachelor’s degree and/or relevant experience.”

So if you have the right skills that the team is looking for at that specific time, it could be a way onto the team.

Read next: Hiring writers: Are content production goals a good idea? Or pay them for performance?

The skills matter

As I discuss in “Is marketing a good career?” the skills of marketing teams can vary and depend on the specific role. For example, a long-time journalist might be able to move into a writing role in no time and has exactly the skills the team is looking for right now. Whether or not they got a degree many moons ago may never even come up.

You might be a certified project manager, which the team needs now. So, in that case, the hiring team might focus more on the PMP certification than a bachelor’s degree in a slightly related field of study. 

Some skills are so new that if you master them today and you can sell your skillset, potential employers may also focus more on that than whether or not you have a bachelor’s.

Read next: How important are reading skills in business?

The right situation

Timing matters in life, and that’s true here as well. The situations where you might not need a degree can depend on timing. Is it a hiring manager market or a job applicant market?

Another preferential situation might if if you already work at a company and have for a long time. There’s an opening on the marketing team, and the move makes sense to everyone, so it happens.

Being helpful and having the right attitude can also help hiring managers fall in love with a candidate – especially when they can prove relevant on-the-job experience.

But learning matters

Even if you don’t have a degree today, ongoing learning matters. That can include a PMP certification for anyone doing project management, other certifications, or going to college now to get a related degree to help you achieve your future goals. Working in marketing includes a certain level of unlearning outdated tactics anyways, so the ongoing aspect of learning and building our skills and knowledge is essential anyway. 

At the end of the day, is it possible to get into marketing without a degree? Yes, but it depends on the situation you are in, the stage of your career, and the hiring team’s mindset, as well as the competition. 


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