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In many ways, the course work for a marketing degree overlaps with the coursework for a business degree. This should come as no surprise, since both business degrees and marketing degrees help you learn practical skills that work across a broad range of industries. While each college or university names their courses a little differently, the type of marketing courses you can expect to encounter while working towards a bachelors’ degree in business or marketing, an MBA, or a master’s degree in marketing, will be similar regardless of the school you attend.

Of course, marketing students will focus on marketing principles. Frequently, the core principles of marketing are referred to as the 4Ps: selecting a Product; determining the Price; selecting a distribution channel or Place; and developing a Promotion strategy. However, marketing students need to understand marketing on a deeper level than a simple 4P overview provides. For example, marketing majors may not ever have to conduct their own market research, but they should understand statistics, as well as the tools and techniques market researchers use, so that they can evaluate that research. Marketing students also need to understand how to market to businesses, including a thorough understanding of the supply chain.

One of the ways that marketing courses deviate from business courses is that they emphasize the role of human behavior. In many ways, marketing is selling, and to sell products, one must know people. Consumer behavior, or the psychology of marketing, helps explain what motivates people to make purchasing decisions.

You can expect to encounter at least one business communications course. These courses focuses on those components of communications that are most relevant in a business setting. They may include international communication, managerial communication, and even business writing courses.

Marketing students will also need to be familiar with economics. While many times you will only be required to study macroeconomics, you may find it easier to understand economic concepts if you also study microeconomics. In different ways, both approaches to economics look at the core concept of supply and demand. A marketing professional’s job is not only to create demand for a product, but also to be able to realistically assess whether such demand can be created and what price point the demand will sustain. Although it is geared more towards understanding the supply chain, Forio’s Root Beer Game can really enhance student’s understanding of supply and demand.

Given the globalization of most businesses, marketing students have to be familiar with an international business environment. Strategies that work well in one situation may be completely inappropriate in an international context, therefore students need to learn global marketing strategies. Of course, if you intend to market to a specific international area, then taking courses that are specifically tailored to that area can be helpful, even if they are not in your degree plan. It is not unusual for marketing students to study sociology, foreign language, and culture in order to gain a better understanding of their potential consumers.