What do I need to know to work in marketing?

The question should really be, what skills do I need?

For me, it’s how should I prepare my students? They need to understand social strategy, to measure sentiment, create a visual experience, and analyze like an economist — and write really well, too.

2013 Marketing Jobs Outlook from Monster.com, last year, sums this up well:

Demand Continues to Rise for High Tech, Multichannel Media Skills

The intersection of technology and marketing will be a rich breeding ground for jobs in the marketing field in 2013, industry insiders say. “We expect to make 150 to 200 hires just in Chicago over the next few years,” says Butler. In addition to specialists in core marketing disciplines, Roundarch will be looking for media strategists, user experience designers, Web developers, Java developers and content managers.

Professionals who haven’t fully immersed themselves in the new media of marketing will likely feel less in demand in 2013. “Multichannel user experience people are the hardest to find, then mobile, while the market for creative and visual design folks is a little bit softer,” Butler says. Roundarch’s recent job postings have included SEO technical strategist, user experience director and project manager.

In fact, marketing professionals may have no choice but to get involved in digital if they want to have a future in their field. “The lines between digital and traditional media planning are blurring,” says Christine Stack, director of senior talent acquisition at MEC, a media buying agency with about 4,400 workers worldwide. “We now need strategic media planners who work across all media.” MEC has recently posted openings for senior associate of digital media, senior director of media planning and manager of marketing-mix modeling.

Marketing analytics will also be a very active area for hiring in 2013. “More employers are looking for marketers who have the potential to work with ‘big data,'” says Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University in New York City and author of The Secret to Getting a Job After College: Marketing Tactics to Turn Degrees into Dollars. “They’re looking for people who can make sense of user-generated content, online ratings and so on.”

But in addition to technical savvy, marketing firms and in-house departments say they are hard-pressed to find folks skilled in the very essence of the field: communication. “Economics majors are sought out by marketers if they can communicate,” Chiagouris says. “Marketing people are in demand if they can do analytical work.”

I always knew my economics degree would serve me well.

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