I am not a people person–will this effect my career if I am pursuing a marketing degree?

shy-speakerTo what extend does personality influence an individual’s choice of career? Does someone really need to be a people person in order to pursue a marketing degree?  When it comes to choosing fields of study and careers, prospective students are often at the mercy of stereotypes and clichés. For example, those who seek to enter the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are often told that those careers are usually better suited to introverts. The same goes for students of literature and philosophy, although in this case the stereotype tends to be centered on bookish types.

Associating general personality types with careers is not something that career counselors delve into too much. This is not to say that there are some careers that are better suited to those who are more outgoing than others, but professional fields of study tend to be more complex than that. To eliminate a potential career solely based on whether a student is an introvert or an extrovert does not make a lot of sense.

Marketing: An Adequate Career for All Personalities

Since the field of marketing is often associated with public relations, some people are bound to assume that only outgoing people and extroverts are drawn to this career. Granted, a corporate spokesperson whose job duties may include speaking to the media and appearing on television will probably feel more at ease as an extrovert, but marketing is a lot more than this.

Marketing, as defined by the American Marketing Association of America, is an activity that encompasses the creation of processes that create value for business entities and individuals by means of communication. In terms of the relationship between personality types and marketing, there are quite a few functions that are very adequate for introverts or those who don’t consider themselves to be “people persons.”

A marketing research analyst, for example, is a good example of a career path that does not require a student to be a people person. This profession entails collecting data from a variety of sources and analyzing the correlation between consumers, goods and services. Marketing researchers often work on their own and can be seen in quiet office spaces where they concentrate and ply their valuable trade.

What’s available for the Introvert

Aside from research, there are two other aspects of marketing that are very adequate for students whose personalities lean towards the introverted. According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, copywriting and computer-based work are two major marketing components that favor autonomy instead of social interaction. Copywriters are the lifeblood of the marketing industry, and they usually work on their own. Online marketing experts often work for themselves as well, and this is one of the most sough-after skills in the job marketplace these days.

In the end, personality types are not as important as creativity and aptitude when determining a field of study. Don’t worry if you are not a people person: There will always be opportunities for you in the exciting field of marketing.