Marketing Manager Career Path

How to Get onto the Marketing Manager Career Path

With the rise of digital marketing, more people are looking into marketing as a valid career path. The best part about working in marketing is that it can be done while working from home.

If you’re looking for a job that lets you live as a digital nomad, you should seriously consider the marketing manager career path. Apart from paying well, it’s an exciting job that will constantly challenge your creativity. 

What Does a Marketing Manager Do?

A marketing manager is responsible for running an organization’s marketing campaigns and programs. They manage the whole process from start to finish. Firstly, a good marketing manager hires the right people for their team. Having competent team members makes their job much more manageable.

Secondly, they are in charge of the campaign’s strategy, creative vision and execution. They effectively manage the budget to ensure that the campaign delivers the expected results within the desired timeframe. They may use in-house resources or partner with an agency to design and execute the campaigns. Consequently, they may be responsible for hiring and managing vendors and reviewing the campaign assets before they go live. 

Lastly, marketing managers review each campaign’s success and what can be done to improve it for their future. They are in charge of analyzing the data, identifying actionable insights, optimizing the campaign and presenting the results and impact of the campaign to the rest of the organization. 

How to Become a Marketing Manager

Get a Qualification

There are a few career paths where you can earn a manager level position without getting a degree—unfortunately, marketing is typically not one of them. Most organizations only want to use top-flight expertise and only trust universities to impart such knowledge. Earning a bachelor’s degree shows that you’re competent enough to create and implement a marketing plan.

With the rapidly evolving world of marketing, educational institutions are beginning to offer different types of degree specialization from integrated marketing communications, public relations, digital marketing, market research and analytics, marketing management, social media marketing, and marketing technology management.

You might get an entry-level job with a diploma, but earning a bachelor’s is the first step if your goal is to become a marketing manager.

How to Get onto the Marketing Manager Career Path

Get an Entry-level Job

Once you get your bachelor’s degree, the next step is finding an entry-level marketing job. Luckily, the Internet makes it easier for you to gain experience, build a portfolio of references, and find a job. You can sign up for freelance services like Upwork or Fiverr, and you can look through job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed.

Don’t limit your options when you’re looking for an entry-level job. Most job hunters limit themselves by only looking for jobs with “marketing” in the title. There are more ways to enter the industry than going straight for marketing.

You can work as a communications specialist, a social media coordinator, an account coordinator, web coordinator, data analyst, or an SEO specialist. Obviously, working as a marketing specialist would be preferable, but don’t be scared to apply for other jobs in similar industries.

Focus on your strengths when looking for an entry-level job in marketing. Finding a job that suits your degree and personal strengths will work in your favor in the long run. For example, if you’re a good writer, you can get a job in content marketing. If you’re good with digital media, then look for a position as a social media coordinator. Working on your strengths improves your chances of getting a job. 

Get Further Certification

Marketing gets more dynamic with each year that passes. In the past, there was a focus on print and retail advertisements, and now that focus has moved to digital media. In the future, we could be focusing on something else altogether. The most important thing is staying relevant by getting certified.

In some countries, trade associations offer certifications for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge. If you don’t have access to such services, you can use online academies. Hubspot is reliable because it’s well known and respected by prospective employers. You can also use Google Skills and learn via Udemy or LinkedIn and learn via Lynda.

HootSuite, a social media marketing company, also offers marketing certifications. If you’re already employed, you can see if your organization has subscriptions to Gartner or Forrester as both offer certification options as well.

With so many options at your service, there’s many opportunities for furthering your education. Having more certifications increases your value and improves your chances of being promoted to marketing manager.

Consider Pursuing an MBA

Becoming a marketing manager is more than just knowing how to be a great marketing specialist. It’s also about your ability to manage people. You might have the appropriate skills, but you won’t go far due to a lack of managerial and leadership knowledge.

The best way to prove your leadership knowledge is by earning an MBA in Marketing. Business schools move with the times and now offer an MBA that specifically relates to marketing. This academic path strengthens analytical as well as communication skills. It’ll also sharpen your ability to lead a team successfully.

Getting an MBA is not compulsory because some companies value experience over education. You can become a marketing manager by proving your ability to run a team successfully. However, a combination of education and experience will provide the best results. 


We make it seem like the marketing manager career path is easy, but it takes time and patience. You need to invest in your education and get the relevant experience. You should also keep an open mind and understand that there is more than one way to become a marketing manager.

There are other career options you could follow before becoming a manager. You could consider your career development much like rock climbing – sometimes you move down or across to be better positioned to rise to the top. The most important thing is gaining the relevant soft and hard skills necessary to effectively lead as a marketing manager. 

Being responsible for marketing teams and marketing campaigns isn’t easy, but it can be a very fulfilling profession. If you follow the steps that we outlined for you, you can do it in no time. We hope that this guide is helpful and it leads to a long and prosperous career.

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