Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marketing is WAY harder than Engineering

I've written on this topic before, but I just thought it would be worth a mention again.  I do think Marketing is harder/more challenging than Engineering, and I'm starting to think I understand why...

  1. Marketers have to figure out "what" to build... Engineers figure out how to build it.
  2. Marketers have to choose what to say, and when to say it... Engineers get to stay quiet in public.
  3. Marketers have to figure out why something isn't selling well... Engineers get to work on the next thing.
  4. Marketers stress over business success and deadlines... Engineers fret over deadlines (sometimes).
  5. Marketers micro-optimize the un-measurable... Engineers optimize the measurable.
  6. Marketers have to deal with shifts in culture, business, and fashion... Engineers work with laws of physics.
Having been (and loved being) an Engineer, I can also make 1 more statement that I think perhaps most interesting of all....

Engineers get to see, daily, their progress and fruits of labor... they are appreciated for it.
Marketers often can't see the effects of their work at all... and many question a Marketers value.

So, pat a Marketing guy on the back next time you see one... believe me, they are likely stressing more than you are!


  1. You my friend are a clown.

    There is no way any marketing program in any respective university is harder than an engineering degree. Even if it is "penis engineering," it would still be harder than penis marketing wouldn't it?

    Engineers have to actually think and go to school for their job. A person doesn't need an education or schooling to be a marketer.

  2. agreed^

    I've done some marketing modules in my engineering degree and they were so easy compared to the rigours of engineering in both work effort and intellectual stimulation.

  3. You work your ass off to get an engineering degree so that you can get a high paying job and work less hard than the 98% of the world who don't understand engineering at all. Marketing may be harder as a job, but that's the outcome of going to school for a business degree and spending half the week wondering why you have so much time.

  4. I agree with all the comments. I'm in my fifth year studying engineering and have completed many business subjects with one of them focusing on marketing. The subject was a joke compared to one of my structural design subjects. Engineering will still be harder than marketing as a job. Putting aside all the professional skills, the technical skills that are required from an engineer outweigh the technical skills required from a person with a marketing background. I might have to bring you to one of my lectures.

  5. I'm an engineering student in my 3rd year and we have started a business module regarding management and innovation and with all do respect its a joke compared to our other modules. I mean we were given our first assessment and felt there was a catch with simplicity of the requirements.

  6. First, I want to say I have a BSEE... and the coursework was hard. Much harder than business school... (I also have an MBA and am working on my PhD).

    That said, ya'll are missing the reality... in reality, doing "Marketing right" and somehow "being successful at marketing"... e.g. getting people to buy the stuff you build... IS the harder part.

    Engineers can build anything <- I believe that!

    Marketing is knowing "What to build" and "How to get the word out" and "How to sell it".

    In business those 3 are way harder than building it.

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