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Marketing - Overview


Marketing programs teach people how to promote and sell goods and services. Students learn about buyer behavior, pricing theory, importing, and exporting. They learn to market many types of goods and services such as clothing, banking services, and cars.

On occasion, someone has tried to sell you something you didn't want. You got a phone call at dinnertime. You found junk mail in your mailbox. Or someone pitched a product at a ridiculously high price. It was natural for you to resent these crude methods. But when you really have wanted to buy something, you've appreciated a clear advertisement that explained the features of the product. You were glad to speak to an informed salesperson. A marked-down price or a rebate made a product very affordable. What made these experiences so much better was good marketing, merchandising, and sales.

There are many careers that reward workers who can make the experience good for consumers, and who also make profits for the business. That's because money isn't being wasted on uninterested consumers, and happy customers are likely to be repeat buyers. Remember, customers buy a myriad of products and services, so you can work in fashion, recreation and tourism, electronics - the list is endless. In short, work in marketing can be your doorway to a rewarding career. According to a recent business survey, over 90 percent of corporate chief executive officers began their careers in marketing or sales.

As a student in this program, you learn about marketing and business skills. You learn statistical and research methods so that you can analyze trends in the industry. You study profiles of both consumers and the goods and services they buy. You then learn to use this information to more effectively develop promotional and advertising concepts.

You can study this field at various levels. A large number of colleges offer a two-year program. This program is likely to cover sales techniques and some of the basic business subjects, such as accounting and marketing. With the associate degree you earn, you may work as a sales representative or be trained as a retail sales manager. You also may be an assistant to a marketing research analyst or advertising specialist.

With four years of college you can earn a bachelor's degree in this field. This program will cover more business subjects and various liberal arts subjects, such as psychology. It also will give you understanding of the economic principles that determine prices. With this degree, you may be hired as a management trainee. A position in sales is often where businesses first assign management trainees. That's because an understanding of the market is important. Also, the work tasks in sales touch on many aspects of the business. The degree may get you work in the marketing research or advertising department of a firm.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

• Introduction to Business
• Business Computer Applications
• Public Speaking
• Economics
• Psychology

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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