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Marketing VS Finance: Who Earns and Works More?

Career Insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the different roles, skills, organisations, hours and salaries of finance and marketing professionals.


Are you in a conundrum of either choosing a career in marketing or in finance? To help you make a decision, I am going to do a 5 part analysis on finance vs marketing.

You should remember to choose a field that is in consonance with your interests and personality.

Marketing is suitable for a more outgoing person who likes talking to clients and consumers. Whereas, finance is for someone who prefers working in silos or being deeply involved with crunching numbers.

1. Roles

Marketing is just jargon. It involves multiple roles from being creative to being analytical.

As a marketeer, you could be a market researcher, communication specialist, sales representative, marketing manager, advertisement manager, promotions manager or akin. This is an illustrative list, not an exhaustive one.

Similarly, finance offers a range of roles from banking to actuarial science. These can be in the format of investment banking, equity research, risk management, accounting, corporate finance, capital budgeting, finance controlling and other similar profiles.

2. Skills

To excel as a marketing professional, you should have the following skills- market research, excel, consumer insights, consumer feedback, copywriting, promotions and branding.

Finance professionals ideally have a skillset involving statistics and analytics, risk management, financial valuation and financial modelling.

3. Hiring organisations

Prestigious organisations looking for marketing professionals in India are Amazon, P&G, Hindustan Unilever, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, etc. There are also other MSMEs and Unicorns looking to hire for this profile.

Coventeous organisations in finance are Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Citi, UBS, Morgan Stanley, etc. There are other organisations in corporate finance, private equity and VC.

4. Hours

This is a general answer as hours can vary based on the organisation and the specific role.

In marketing, you are comparatively putting in fewer hours. It can range from roughly 50-60 hours a week.

On the finance side, you could be clocking more than approximately 80 hours a week. Many times your weekend could be consumed as well especially if you are employed in banking, PE and VC. However, if you are working as a risk analyst or financial analyst, then you could be working about 50-60 hours.

Evidently, the nuances really matter here.

5. Salaries

In India, on average, at a category level, marketing salaries are 10-30% higher than finance salaries.

Having said that, you must note that this information is based on my observations at the ISB campus.

But, if you are for example an investment banker at Deutsche Bank, you will get better pay than someone working as a marketing manager in a leading unicorn.

I would suggest that you should not pick either field just for the sake of salary. You should understand your interests and choose accordingly.

If you need more help getting into management consulting and product management, feel free to check out my education venture- Global Governance Initiative. We invite industry leaders to host Masterclasses and teach our students the hard and soft skills required to excel in their careers.


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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