Is a Marketing Degree Worth It?

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Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

is a marketing degree worth it?

Is a marketing degree worth it? 🤔

Good question.

After all, marketing is one of the hottest fields out there right now for jobs. 🔥

The stats paint an incredible picture (via LinkedIn’s jobs report):

  1. Marketing jobs have grown by 63% in the last 6 months.
  2. 381,000 marketing jobs were posted within the last year.
  3. 5 out of 10 marketing job postings on LinkedIn are either in the digital or media space.
  4. The top industries for marketing job growth in the last six months? Arts (85.9% growth), retail (72.6%), and education (63.7%).

So why is marketing blowing up as an in-demand field?

Well, more and more companies are seeing that traditional marketing methods alone don’t work anymore.

And they need savvy marketers to lead them into the future, with real, proven ways to connect with customers.

Ways that work now, in the 21st century, versus ones that worked 20-30 years ago, when the world looked and operated much, much differently. (Slow + rare internet, no smartphones, no social media. 🤯)

The question is, what kind of training do you need to become a successful marketer these days? (Because now is absolutely the time for budding entrepreneurs and go-getters to jump in!)

Is a marketing degree really worth it?

Does your kid need to go to college to build an amazing career helping brands connect with and speak to customers?


Let’s discuss why, then break down the incredibly affordable alternatives to a marketing degree – the training that gives you the right-here-right-now skills you NEED to become a modern marketer without the brick-and-ivy price tag.

Prefer to watch a video? If you (or your college-age kid) are struggling with the decision between investing in a diploma or branching out solo… If you want to learn exactly what it takes to build a successful business in 90 days… Get in my free training, How to Build Your Self-Sustaining Online Business in 90 Days (Without Burnout from Overcomplicating It).

free webinar

But First: What Is a Marketing Degree, and What Does It Entail?

A marketing degree is a course of study that will prepare you for roles where you’ll be connecting with, persuading, and convincing people to trust, rely on, and ultimately spend money on a brand.

This is pretty broad, which is why it’s not immediately clear what you want to do when you say you want “a marketing degree” or marketing training.

Marketing breaks down into tons of different fields and roles within those fields.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Marketing Degree?

The fields you can pursue with marketing training (which may include, but is not limited to, a four-year degree) are endless:

  • Sales – Convincing people to buy from a brand, often in one-on-one settings
  • Public relations – Managing a brand’s public image
  • Digital marketing – Promoting brands online through a diverse array of digital platforms
  • Copywriting – Writing ads and copy that promote a brand or product
  • Content marketing – Creating content to build trust between a brand and an audience
  • Content strategy – Strategizing the planning, creation, distribution, and promotion of content to reach brand marketing goals
  • SEO (search engine optimization) marketing – Optimizing websites and content to rank highly in search engine results and thus attract more traffic and leads
  • Social media marketing – Promoting a brand and connecting with audiences on social media
  • Market research – Gathering information about the needs and preferences of consumers for brands to use
  • Advertising – Creating paid promotions for brands to influence people to buy their products/services

The Average Marketing Degree Salary

With marketing training, what you can expect to make depends on your chosen field and industry.

However, the average annual salary across industries for someone with 1-3 years of experience is about $48,000, if you work for a small business with 0-50 employees (or start your own business!).

Remember, this is an average, not an exact estimate. What you actually make in marketing could be much more, with the right skills and training.

I wrote a book about skipping the degree & saving the tuition in favor of building your own brand. Buy now on Amazon (available on Audible, too!).

Buy Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition

Why a Marketing Degree Is NOT Worth It in 2021… and Why You Should Consider the Alternative

You don’t need a marketing degree to create a successful career or business.

What do you need? The right training & coaching – not necessarily a diploma.

Here’s why a marketing degree isn’t worth it. ❌

1. College Marketing Curriculums Are Often Stuck in the Past

In marketing, skills and experience tend to matter more than education.

Knowledge will only get you so far.

  • You can understand all the various theories about consumer behavior, but yet fail to understand a particular audience segment.
  • You can memorize major marketing principles, but you’ll hit a wall when you try to actually build a business with a content strategy.
  • You can study economics, but it won’t teach you how to scale your business revenue.
  • And all the communication courses in the world won’t give you the tools you need to write for online audiences.

Added to all that, the marketing skills needed in each field tend to change rapidly thanks to ever-evolving technology as well as internet and consumer trends.

Textbooks, and thus curriculums, just can’t keep up.

Plus, four-year marketing degrees will throw useless courses at you, too, ones that you’re required to take but have nothing to do with your business dreams.

Here’s a curriculum sample from a typical Bachelor’s degree program in Marketing. If it sounds stuffy, boring, and decidedly impractical, it is. Yikes:

typical marketing degree curriculum

Now, let’s compare a college curriculum with a coaching program like mine: The Content Transformation System.

In CTS, you get zero fluff. I’m not going to throw in a module on classic literature and force you to read Ulysses. I’m not even going to bore you with a lecture on the “Principles of Marketing.”

Instead, we’ll get straight into the nitty-gritty. Everything I teach in this program is essential to your success as a marketing whiz, a savvy business owner, or a content star (or all three ⭐). Nothing more, nothing less.

You’ll build incredible marketing skills. Business skills. Team-building skills. Leadership skills. Not just knowledge, skills. Real-world, real-life, practical skills you can actually USE and apply immediately.

A program like mine is not about memorizing stuffy knowledge or writing formal, academic papers. Instead, you’ll get skills you can apply to actually build your career and run your business.

See the difference?

(If your interest is peaked, apply here to get in the program.)

2. Four-Year Marketing Degrees Cost $$$ with Dwindling ROI

Did you know the return on investment (ROI) for an expensive college education has taken a nose-dive in recent years?

In my book, Skip the Degree, I discuss this exact topic along with my co-author, Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang of Classroom Without Walls – as well as how to skip the degree entirely and build your career from scratch. Get your copy here.

Here are some stats we discuss in the book:

  1. Over the last 10 years, the cost of college has skyrocketed, increasing annually by an average of 25%.
  2. Federal student loan holders borrow an average of $35,000 – each.
  3. In 2020, total national student loan debt stood at $1.6 trillion.
  4. During the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, and the more recent COVID-induced recession, who were the most affected in terms of lack of jobs and financial devastation? Young college graduates.

Education is only getting more expensive, but the returns on investing in that education are dwindling. You’re not guaranteed a steady, well-paying job once you graduate with a diploma anymore.

It’s more likely that you (or your child) will graduate, struggle to find a job out of the gate, and feel crushed under the weight of student payday loan debt.

Is this what we want for ourselves? Our kids?

student loan math

Don’t forget: Your student loan debt also accrues interest over time. 😖

What if, instead, you could save 90-95% of that $35k student loan and invest it into REAL life coaching and do way better for your student/budding entrepreneur?

We have had parents actually do this – invest in Content Hacker courses as well as The Content Transformation System for their students. The results were SO cool to see. These fledgling entrepreneurs got so much more out of our books and training than they would from a stuffy degree.

And they were able to enroll at 10% of the cost of a diploma. 🤯

Honestly, situations like these are why I create training programs and resources in the first place. I, too, was once a floundering college student who wasn’t thriving. When I grabbed the reins and pivoted to the career I cultivated myself, everything changed. I found my calling and built success with my own two hands – and any kid who struggles in a college environment can do the same.

serious business owner

That leads me to my next point.

3. For Many Modern, Budding Entrepreneurs, College Is the Wrong Path

College isn’t right for everyone.

15-20 years ago, this fact wasn’t quite so accepted. If you didn’t go to college, everyone – peers, teachers, mentors, adults – might have looked at you askance.

Today, people are generally more understanding that our varied life paths simply cannot and will not follow the same trajectories.

Everyone is different, and college isn’t for everyone.

That’s especially true for the budding creative entrepreneur.

Think: that kid (maybe your kid) with big dreams laid out in exceptional detail. That kid who knows exactly where they want to be in five years. That kid who’s motivated to get up and create a career for themselves from scratch. That kid who is bright, creative, and who will NOT thrive when placed within the constraints of an institution like college.

These types of people need space to stretch their creativity, experiment, learn, and grow on their terms.

That means they may be more suited to flexible learning environments, where they have a much bigger say in guiding their education.

For example, coaching/training programs like mine are great to take alongside or in addition to training from other experts, depending on where you need extra help or focus.

With this approach, you can essentially build your own marketing training, build necessary skills, and focus on areas in the field that really interest you, like copywriting, SEO, or building an agency – with zero fluff or time wasted.

For some of my best tips on how to start your own content business, check out this video:

Consider the Alternative to a Marketing Degree for a Bright Future

A marketing degree isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

College education is expensive as heck. It’s also mostly stuffy, impractical, and not for everyone.

When you weigh out the costs vs. benefits, it’s pretty clear that marketing training programs win over traditional marketing degrees.

They cost less, cut straight to the meat of skill-building, and provide real, practical techniques and tools to help you strive forward in your marketing career – whatever you want that to look like.

If you’re a parent and you see your kid’s potential…

If you love their entrepreneurial spirit…

But also see them struggle in formal education, where their creativity, independence, and originality may be tamped down and/or thwarted…

You HAVE to know: College isn’t the only way forward.

Your child has options. And you don’t need a traditional diploma to achieve a fantastic career in marketing.

Luckily, an alternative is right in front of you.

My all-new, powerful Content Transformation coaching system teaches you how to build a brand from the ground up.

Imagine positioning your student for a powerful marketing career OR entrepreneurial career? With my program, they’ll learn to build a digital business and harness the power of content marketing in 90 days.

Real skills, techniques, mindset, and knowledge that they can apply immediately to their marketing career– taught by a practitioner that’s been there, done that. Not an outsider in a lecture hall. The choice is right in front of you. Learn more & apply today. 💥


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