Switching from Finance to Marketing?

Right now, I am a junior majoring in Finance. So far, I hate my finance course. I have only taken Investments and Financial Institutions and Markets. I am slightly enjoying my finance elective which is called Maverick Fund. I get to help invest the school’s money into stocks. Since I am not that deep into my major, I am considering switching to marketing. I enjoy doing market research. If I decide to switch majors, I need to decide soon, so I can still be on track to graduation. I originally wanted to be a finance major because I wanted to deal with portfolios and help people invest. I have now learned that most financial planning positions are essentially sales jobs. Should I stick out this finance degree or go ahead and change majors? I fear not having job security and not being able to find a job after graduation. This is why I am still researching rather or not I want to switch to marketing.

Plenty of marketing majors end up in sales, too. A lot of the brand management type jobs go to MBAs. But not all of them. Marketing majors might work as buyers for retail stores, or in ad agencies, too. Regarding market research, there is a niche in the business world for people who like to analyze data to support marketing efforts – if you want to fit into that, you need to be well versed in statistic and have some computer analysis skills, I think. I have a marketing degree and did not like finance. :slight_smile: But honestly, I never worked in marketing, but I do occasionally draw on my marketing skills in other business work. If you have good analytical skills and good people skills with a business degree, you will find a niche. I say major in what you prefer.

In terms of getting to deal with someone’s portfolio and invest, of course there is going to be a sales element in that. The investor needs to trust you with their money, and that requires establishing rapport and explaining to them what you are doing with their money. Sometimes your incentive is to push the products of the company you work for (not always to the investor’s advantage), so you want to avoid that.

Sales is a universal function and no matter what you pursue there will be an aspect of sales. If you were to pursue the role of actual fund management where you help manage your firm’s investments rather than selling your services to consumer investors there is more analysis rather than sales in the process. With your junior year you should have a good idea of the differences between positions within the finance industry so do some more research.

Marketing can be just as sales oriented, if not more since many of the marketing depts are aligned within sales divisions. Marketing Research is very sales focused despite the analytical process as you are essentially selling the end result to drive additional purchases of your studies/firm’s services this is particularly true if you work at a vendor such as Nielsen, Millward Brown, etc. Pursuing market research on the platform side (Facebook, Google, Snapchat, etc.) for example might be more interesting since it’s a little more focused on developing reliable and accurate methods for measurement and discovering valuable data for improving products.

Marketing a borderline useless major today. Typically, you need a hard skill to go along with it, like graphic design, journalism or finance.
However, there is a new emerging trend today. You said you like market research, right? Business schools are now pushing Analytics programs. I believe those will serve marketing majors well.

If you hate finance, don’t pay for the major and consign yourself to a career path of unhappiness. Marketing is not really marketable, but if you enjoy it and have aptitude for it, try combining it with entrepreneurship or microeconomics perhaps for the analytics insight.