CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a marketing manager.

Step 1

Is becoming a marketing manager right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do marketing managers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are marketing managers happy with their careers?
What are marketing managers like?

Still unsure if becoming a marketing manager is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a marketing manager or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

High School

If you're interested in pursuing a career in marketing, there are several high school courses that can help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful marketing manager. Here are some courses that are particularly relevant:

  • Business and Entrepreneurship: This course can introduce you to the basics of running a business, including marketing concepts such as market research, branding, and customer segmentation.
  • Communications: Marketing is all about effective communication, so taking courses in public speaking, persuasive writing, and journalism can be helpful.
  • Mathematics and Statistics: Marketing often involves analyzing data and making strategic decisions based on numerical information, so courses in algebra, statistics, and calculus can be beneficial.
  • Psychology and Sociology: Understanding human behavior is essential for marketing managers, so courses in psychology and sociology can help you develop insights into consumer behavior and motivation.
  • Digital Media and Technology: Marketing is increasingly focused on digital media, so taking courses in web design, social media, and digital marketing can be advantageous.
  • Creative Arts: Marketing often involves creating visually appealing and engaging content, so courses in graphic design, photography, and creative writing can be helpful.
Step 3

Bachelor’s and Master's Degree

A formal education in marketing can be beneficial for individuals aspiring to become marketing managers. Most marketing managers hold a bachelor's degree, although some may also have a Master's Degree in Marketing, Business Administration, or a related field.

  • Bachelor's Degree in Marketing: A degree in marketing typically covers the fundamentals of marketing, including market research, branding, advertising, and sales. Some programs may also include courses in digital marketing and data analytics.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration: A degree in business administration can provide a broad foundation in business concepts, including marketing. This program may include courses in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing.
  • Master's Degree in Marketing: A Master's Degree in Marketing can provide more in-depth knowledge and skills in marketing strategy, consumer behavior, and marketing research. This degree may be particularly helpful for individuals looking to advance to upper-level marketing management positions.
  • Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA): An MBA degree can provide a comprehensive education in business administration, including marketing. This program typically covers advanced topics such as marketing strategy, marketing analytics, and global marketing.
Step 4

Employment Opportunities

Marketing managers have a wide range of employment opportunities in various industries and organizations. They may work in-house or for an agency, and may specialize in specific areas of marketing. Some areas of employment include:

  • Advertising and Public Relations Agencies: Marketing managers can work for advertising and public relations agencies, where they develop and execute marketing campaigns on behalf of their clients.
  • Consumer Packaged Goods Companies: Marketing managers can work for companies that produce and sell consumer packaged goods, such as food and beverages, personal care products, and household items.
  • Technology Companies: Marketing managers can work for technology companies, where they develop and execute marketing strategies for software, hardware, and other technology products.
  • Healthcare Companies: Marketing managers can work for healthcare companies, such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers, where they develop marketing strategies for healthcare products and services.
  • Retail Companies: Marketing managers can work for retail companies, where they develop marketing strategies to promote products and services in physical stores and online.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Marketing managers can work for non-profit organizations, where they develop and execute marketing campaigns to promote their mission and raise awareness for their cause.
Step 5

Networking and Professional Associations

There are many professional associations for marketing managers that offer resources, networking opportunities, and career development programs. Here are some of the most well-known associations:

  • American Marketing Association (AMA): The AMA is a leading professional association for marketers that offers a range of resources, including conferences, webinars, certification programs, and publications.
  • Association of National Advertisers (ANA): The ANA is a trade association that represents marketers and advertisers. It offers resources, such as webinars, events, and research studies, and provides a forum for industry professionals to exchange ideas and best practices.
  • Business Marketing Association (BMA): The BMA is a professional association for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. It offers resources, such as research studies, events, and webinars, and provides networking opportunities for its members.
  • Digital Marketing Association (DMA): The DMA is a professional association for digital marketers. It offers resources, such as certification programs, research studies, and events, and provides networking opportunities for its members.
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): The PRSA is a professional association for public relations (PR) professionals. It offers resources, such as certification programs, events, and publications, and provides networking opportunities for its members.

Reasons why networking and professional associations can benefit marketing managers:

  • Opportunities For Learning: Professional associations offer a wealth of resources for marketing managers, including webinars, conferences, seminars, and workshops. These events provide opportunities for marketing managers to learn about new trends, best practices, and emerging technologies in their field.
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning: Through networking, marketing managers can learn from their peers and exchange ideas, knowledge, and experiences. This can help them develop new skills, get fresh perspectives, and find solutions to common challenges.
  • Career Development: Professional associations can provide marketing managers with access to job boards, career counseling, and mentoring programs. They may also offer certification programs that can help marketing managers demonstrate their expertise and enhance their career prospects.
  • Industry Connections: Networking and professional associations can help marketing managers build valuable connections within their industry. These connections can provide access to potential employers, collaborators, partners, and suppliers. They may also lead to new business opportunities and referrals.
  • Brand Building: By participating in professional associations, marketing managers can establish themselves as thought leaders in their field. They can share their knowledge and expertise with others and enhance their credibility and reputation.
Step 6


There are various types of certifications available for marketing managers. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Certified Marketing Professional (CMP): This certification is offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and is aimed at professionals who have at least two years of experience in marketing. It covers a broad range of marketing topics and requires passing an exam.
  • Digital Marketing Certification: This type of certification is offered by various organizations and covers digital marketing strategies, including SEO, SEM, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. Some of the popular digital marketing certifications include Google Ads certification, HubSpot certification, and Hootsuite Social Media Marketing Certification.
  • Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM): This certification is offered by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM) and is aimed at professionals who are responsible for product marketing. It covers product management, product marketing, and the product lifecycle.
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM): The CIM offers a range of marketing qualifications, including a Certificate in Professional Marketing, a Diploma in Professional Marketing, and a Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. These qualifications cover marketing strategy, marketing communications, and digital marketing.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP): While not specifically a marketing certification, the PMP certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) is becoming increasingly popular among marketing managers. It covers project management principles, including planning, execution, and closing, which are important skills for marketing managers to have.