Marketing management degree opens many doors

Whether you’re interested in business, retail, marketing, sales or starting your own enterprise, a degree in marketing management can help you get started.

“I tell prospective students that it opens a lot of doors to employment, because marketing isn’t tied to one specific industry,” said Mark Upton, director of marketing management at Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rome. “We have students who promote small or chain retail businesses. Others work as managers for industries or companies. Some work in sales or human resource departments, and some go on to start small businesses or their own marketing firms.”

Georgia Northwestern offers diploma and associate degree programs in marketing management. Prospective students need a high school diploma or GED to apply.

“Our students range in age from 17 to 65, but the typical student is someone in his 20s who is interested in business,” Upton said.

All marketing management students take courses in the principles of marketing and management; financial accounting; marketing research; professional selling; business regulations and compliance; and promotion and marketing communications. After learning the basics, students focus on one of five specializations: entrepreneurship, retail management, professional selling, marketing management or e-business.

“Those who work in marketing need to be good at planning and strategy, and be able to present their ideas well verbally and in written formats,” Upton said. “They need to know how to work in teams because they’ll always be working with others.”

Upton uses class team projects and presentations to teach students the skills they will need in the workplace. “I try to put diverse groups of people together so that they can figure out how to draw information from each other to make a better solution. It’s a valuable lesson,” he said.

Recently, students in the visual merchandising class put their skills to work when they created window displays for several downtown Rome stores.

“They got to use what they’d learned about mannequin positioning, color, balance, focal points, lighting and other visual techniques in a real-world situation, and they did a good job. The stores were very pleased,” Upton said.

Students finish their studies with a 100-hour internship with a local company. “Internships are a very valuable way to learn, because students gain experience, they get to network, and some get employed directly from their experiences,” he said.

Graduates find a wide range of jobs, depending on their interests and skills. Most start at salaries in the $20,000s and $30,000s.

“Every industry needs somebody in marketing; it’s a very transferable skill,” Upton said.

Students may enroll during any semester and take day, evening or online classes. Tuition is $1,125 per 15-credit hour semester.

“Many of our students are eligible for the HOPE scholarship or grant, or federal financial aid, which greatly reduces the cost of their education,” Upton said.

For information, go to, call 706-295-6981 or email Mark Upton at

— AJC Jobs on Twitter: