Currently in IT, have 2 more years before I complete my BA in Marketing. What should I do?

by djbr22 8 replies
First of all, I apologize if this is the wrong thread. I typically follow /r/marketing in Reddit for advice, but it seems there are more [knowledgable] people here.

A little background: I worked in retail sales at Best buy, and then Geek Squad, and currently work in IT at a software development company and have for the last 1.5 years. I've done a lot of research, and a lot of thinking, and my passion lies with marketing as opposed to IT/system administration. As such, that's the college career path I've chosen to go.

I have my first two years and my assosicates completed, and will spend the net 2-3 years finishing out my marketing degree from a reputable college. Starting Marketing salary in Houston is about the same as I currently work in IT, so i am not opposed to start looking for entry level Marketing jobs, either.

My question is this: Am I hurting myself by not getting a Marketing job while continuing college, or will having 4-5 years of IT experience by the time I graduate also look good when it comes time to finding a Marketing job?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #career #complete #digital #experience #marketing #system #years
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    The only marketing degree I have came from the school of hard knocks by learning what not to do through a ton of trial and error. With that being said, do you have any idea which area of marketing you are looking to get into?

    Also, let me pose a question for you. If you had your own marketing company would you want the kid fresh out of college or would you want the kid fresh out of college with some actual experience in the field?

    There are guys that have education and then there are guys who have education and experience. Once you gain experience you will see the difference between education in marketing and real experience. It's two different languages so I say you should be looking to get some experience to go along with that degree.

    PS. Why would you think you are hurting yourself by getting experience in a field you are pursuing a degree in?
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    • Profile picture of the author djbr22
      I was more curious if a company would prefer to see someone who has 5 years of corporate IT experience, or someone who has been working in an entry level marketing sales position, and which of the two would "look" better. I understand working in Marketing while pursuing Marketing is ideal, but I wasn't sure if the IT experience comes into play here, or if any marketing prior marketing experience - entry level or not - would look best on future resumes.

      Because if I need to think seriously about switching current jobs, that will be my top priority.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
        Originally Posted by djbr22 View Post

        I was more curious if a company would prefer to see someone who has 5 years of corporate IT experience, or someone who has been working in an entry level marketing sales position, and which of the two would "look" better. I understand working in Marketing while pursuing Marketing is ideal, but I wasn't sure if the IT experience comes into play here, or if any marketing prior marketing experience - entry level or not - would look best on future resumes.

        Because if I need to think seriously about switching current jobs, that will be my top priority.

        I guess it comes down to which area of marketing you're looking to pursue after school. Nail that down and then start getting some experience in that area. Doesn't mean you have to quit your current job, get some other experience in the area in which you hope to get a job in after school is finished. Heck, even volunteering or talking to others who are currently in that particular field could be useful.
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        • Profile picture of the author swmktg
          There is demand for people with the combination of technical skills and marketing that you will have. I also have a technical background originally myself... but have been doing marketing in the tech industry for 20 years. With a background in IT you could be looking for tech marketing roles at business software companies, IT services firms, etc. You could definitely make that move before you have completed your degree - no harm in starting to look now, to see what your options are. Good luck!

          Joanna
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          Joanna Lees
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarvis Edwards
    djbr22, my background is IT as well.

    I'm thinking you would do well either working for a tech-related company in a marketing capacity, or if you'd like to start your own marketing company and seek-out tech companies as your clients, that may prove to be a good choice as well.

    As far as school's concerned, "theoretical" marketing is just that--theory.

    The majority of what's taught in school. Stuff that doesn't necessarily apply to the fast-changing, dynamic industries online. Experience is the best school, as another poster highlighted. And I'm sure you have lots of it; enough to land a job or client regardless of what your educational picture looks like.
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    • Profile picture of the author swmktg
      Originally Posted by Jarvis Edwards View Post

      djbr22, my background is IT as well.

      I'm thinking you would do well either working for a tech-related company in a marketing capacity, or if you'd like to start your own marketing company and seek-out tech companies as your clients, that may prove to be a good choice as well.

      As far as school's concerned, "theoretical" marketing is just that--theory.

      The majority of what's taught in school. Stuff that doesn't necessarily apply to the fast-changing, dynamic industries online. Experience is the best school, as another poster highlighted. And I'm sure you have lots of it; enough to land a job or client regardless of what your educational picture looks like.
      Yes, so true. I have no formal marketing or business education either (my degrees are all in technical fields) but I've been working in technology marketing for 20 years... I don't think I've missed anything from not taking the marketing courses.

      Joanna
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      Joanna Lees
      7-Step Marketing Toolkit - get 3 month marketing campaign for price of 1 month!
      Marketing Strategy for Software, Internet & Tech Firms

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      • Profile picture of the author dana67
        IT and Marketing could be a good mix. You'll know the technical side of websites for example and how to market them. That mix could be useful to an online company.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    I have my first two years and my assosicates completed, and will spend the net 2-3 years finishing out my marketing degree from a reputable college
    You can learn more about marketing in one month here, than you will in 3,4,5, 10 years in college. Don't get me wrong college is great, but they will sell a degree in picking up dog crap if people are willing to pay for it. Not all degrees are created equal.
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