Marketing and Professional Sales are industries with a variety of opportunities and career paths to choose from with a high earning potential for those who possess the skills needed to succeed.
These individuals enjoy variation in their day to day work. The hours can be longer than a traditional schedule, but with increased use of technology there may be flexible work options available depending on the organization and experience level.
Demand for experienced individuals is high with nearly 1000 openings in SWFL in the last year (Career Source).
Entry level opportunities are available, but are more competitive.
What you will need to succeed:
These following images speak to the general message that there isn’t a prescribed pathway from one major to one job but rather that the most important career sectors draw from a number of different majors.
Major business functions such as sales and marketing make up a very large share of jobs for college graduates
Graduates from nearly all college majors succeed in these job types – there is no one required major
There’s more to career readiness than the name of your major! Students from fields like English, History, Philosophy, Poli Sci, Sociology or Anthropology fan out to a range of good jobs after graduation.
Liberal arts programs teach valuable skills like critical thinking, communication, and teamwork that prepare students for many different jobs.
Marketing and sales jobs are the most common career areas for liberal arts graduates
Marketing & Sales Careers
There are many paths to a career in Sales or Marketing – students from many majors can succeed in the field.
Sales and Marketing are among the five most common careers for graduates of Communication, Business, Language & Philosophy or Social Sciences majors.
Communication, critical thinking, interpersonal, and teamwork are skills needed to succeed in sales and marketing – skills taught in many degree programs.
Outcomes for communication graduates
Outcomes for language & philosophy graduates
Outcomes for social science graduates
Outcomes for business graduates
THE SKILLS HERE ARE LISTED IN THE LINKEDIN PROFILES OF FGCU GRADUATES WHO HOLD FOUR COMMON SALES AND MARKETING ROLES
Sales and Marketing professionals use a combination of
- transferable skills like public speaking, interpersonal skills, research or strategic thinking
- workplace skills like customer service, sales or event planning
- common computer applications like Microsoft Office or design and marketing apps
These skills are developed in many different college majors, in extracurricular and service activities, and on the job!
Source: Emsi Career Pathways, 2021. Data drawn from online professional profiles of FGCU alumni
Upcoming Trends in Marketing and Sales Careers
Increased emphasis on technology
Industry experts are looking ahead and expect that marketing and sales professions will both become industries that include more technology.
To prepare for this industry change, it would be helpful for those entering this field to be adaptive and responsive to this trend and embrace the technology aspects of the industry to gain an competitive edge in their future career.
Experience is everything but can be almost anything!
This industry emphasizes experience as well as technical requirements like a degree or certification.
For some, this may seem challenging but with the increased focus on digital marketing and digital advertising there are new ways to gain experience daily.
To gain industry experience consider the following ideas to get started:
- Apply for part time jobs while in school or going through a certification program
- Job shadowing or Informational interviewing
- Join a professional organization or ask to be a guest at an upcoming meeting to make connections in the industry
- Attend an online event
- Start a blog/vlog and practice the skills you are learning in real time
- Reach out to volunteer with a non-profit and ask if you can assist them with their social media campaigns or marketing efforts.
- If they don’t need help, ask if they can recommend another non-profit that might.
- Find an internship or part time job at a marketing firm, these may be competitive so experience will be an important factor for some opportunities.
- Gain graphic design experience- Practice using Canva https://www.canva.com
types of careers
ONET Examples of Position Titles and Related Tasks/Job Responsibilities
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
Research conditions in local, regional, national, or online markets. Gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or plan a marketing or advertising campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. May employ search marketing tactics, analyze web metrics, and develop recommendations to increase search engine ranking and visibility to target markets.
Sample of reported job titles: Business Development Specialist, Communications Specialist, Demographic Analyst, Market Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Market Research Consultant,
Market Research Specialist, Market Researcher
Sample of reported job titles: Communications Specialist, Corporate Communications Specialist, Media Relations Specialist, Public Affairs Specialist, Public Information Officer, Public Information Specialist, Public Relations Coordinator (PR Coordinator), Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist)
Traditional Tasks for Typical Jobs in Sales
Entry Level: Telemarketers, Business Development Representative, Sales Representative, Account Manager
Deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe products or services, to persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service or to make a donation.
Contact businesses or private individuals by telephone to solicit sales for goods or services, or to request donations for charitable causes.
Explain products or services and prices, and answer questions from customers.
Obtain customer information such as name, address, and payment method, and enter orders into computers.
Record names, addresses, purchases, and reactions of prospects contacted.
Respond to requests for information from the media or designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source.
Traditional Tasks for Typical Jobs in Communication/Marketing
Write press releases or other media communications to promote clients.
Establish or maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, or public interest groups.
Plan or direct development or communication of programs to maintain favorable public or stockholder perceptions of an organization’s accomplishments, agenda, or environmental responsibility.
Study the objectives, promotional policies, or needs of organizations to develop public relations strategies that will influence public opinion or promote ideas, products, or services.
Technology and Programs Commonly Used in Industry
Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics Hot technology ; Minitab Hot technology ; SAS Hot technology ; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology
Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge; Insightful Corporation Confirmit; Oracle Eloqua; Salesforce software Hot technology
Data base user interface and query software — Airtable; Amazon Redshift Hot technology; Microsoft SQL Server Hot technology; MySQL Hot technology
Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud Hot technology; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology; SmugMug Flickr Hot technology
Information retrieval or search software — Factiva; LexisNexis; Mintel Reports; Verispan Patient Parameters
Marketing (Research, Advertising, Design, Project Management)
Sales (Business Development)
Traditional Degree Level:
4-year Degree is most common, but certifications are becoming more valuable in the industry as well.
Degrees and Concentrations Common for these Careers:
Business, Management, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Design, Communication, Public Relations, Sales, etc.
While many sales positions may require a 4-year degree, some do not!
In sales based positions it takes time to build your book of business and earn your success. Knowing your products and your clients needs and being able to communicate effectively (and follow up) will play a large role in industry success.
Other degrees, experiences and certifications are valuable in this industry as well. If you have strong communication skills (written and oral) and networking skills you can build on these skills and find a career.
Colleges & universities:
- Nova Southeastern
- Ave Maria
- Cape Coral Tech
- Fort Myers Tech
- Lorenzo Walker
- Southern Tech
SWFL employers in need of marketing and sales positions: Literally Everyone!
Large Employers Vs. Small Business Opportunities
Small Businesses will often hire individuals who have blended skill sets and can focus on overall marketing needs for the organization but may have other related tasks as a part of their position.
A small business may have 1 designated person who is responsible for marketing and communications in the office who oversees both internal and external communications for the organization. They may hire a marketing firm to manage their more complex marketing projects (including grand openings, branding campaigns, print and social media etc.) while the full-time individual communicates with the agency directly to relay priorities for their organization as well as the overall vision for the organization.
A larger business may have a whole department who manages these aspects of the organization. Each individual may have a specific area of focus with more specialized skills sets like design and digital marketing, while others may manage print marketing. Another department may be responsible for sales or sales may be the responsibility of everyone in the organization.
These opportunities will likely require stronger communication skills, a strong reliable internet connection, and higher levels of competency in terms of the industry and technology and time management skills. These jobs more often go to individuals who have experience and can demonstrate success in past roles
Employment Data: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
Search regionally for localized salary information here: https://www.bls.gov/
Cape Coral/Ft Myers info:
Sales related information in terms of major needed, employment growth habits, median/mean wages for various jobs in the industry.
Marking related information:
Regional Employer Examples – Marketing and Research Based Organizations:
- AccuData Integrated Marketing
- Laurie A Bellico, Pa Real Estate
- B-Squared Advertising
- Bath Fitter LLC
- Boost Creative
- Celsius Marketing Interactive
- Conric + pr and marketing
- Diamond Girl Marketing
- Edison Business Advisors
- Flyte Digital Marketing
- For Well Being (Remote Only)
- Gotta Guy Marketing
- Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold
- Nexxa Group, Inc.
- Priority Marketing
- South Shore Marketing
- Studio 239 LLC
- The MArketing Construct
- TLC Marketing
Other Industries in SWFL that need marketing/sales and business development functions
- Real Estate