What is a Marketing Degree?
Are you a critical thinker, fascinated by what moves people to action and eager to make that happen yourself? Then a marketing degree may be right for you. Majoring in marketing provides unique, highly desirable skills and opens the door to a wide range of potential careers in business, government, non-profits, and more.
Whether you’re interested in data collection or consumer behavior, analytics or brand building, marketing is a fascinating field that encompasses creative thinking, research, psychology, science, and communication.
At its heart, a marketing degree is all about promotion and creating demand for an organization’s services or its products. Technology and online connection has created entirely new and exciting elements and approaches. Students who pursue a marketing degree will learn how to understand consumer behavior and dynamics, to identify preferences, and to put those factors together to drive success. There are many elements that go into marketing, and that is reflected in the diversity of topics addressed when pursuing a degree, as well as in the many concentrations that you can choose.
An undergraduate marketing degree may be offered as a bachelor of science through a business school or as a bachelor of arts through a school of communications. The same is true of a Master’s Degree in Marketing. Both can be taken in person, in a traditional campus setting or pursued as an online marketing degree. Today, students interested in marketing can choose from among several concentrations including consumer behavior, decision-making theory, modeling and measurement, and marketing strategy. Identifying the one that most appeals to your particular talents and interests is just the start of a journey into a fascinating field of study.
What is an Online Marketing Degree?
Marketing degrees are available in both brick-and-mortar college settings and online. While studying on campus offers a more traditional experience and greater opportunities for networking and social activity, there are significant advantages to pursuing a marketing degree online.
The most obvious advantage to an online marketing degree is the tremendous flexibility that students enjoy. Each online program has its own approach. Some offer classes in real time, on a synchronous curriculum, which requires students to log on and participate on a set class schedule.
Others provide asynchronous learning opportunities, with professors pre-recording lectures and making them available for download based on that time and schedule that is most convenient for each student.
In all cases, students can enroll and participate from wherever they need or want to be, pursuing their studies while still managing their other responsibilities and interests. As an additional advantage, students enrolling in online marketing degree programs are able to realize significant savings, as they frequently cost less than those offered in-person. Plus, they have the added benefit of eliminating campus-based costs, like room and board, gym or health center fees, and commuting costs.
Marketing degrees are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. While the traditional path to an undergraduate marketing degree takes approximately four years, online marketing degrees can be taken on expedited schedules and completed in half the time. Applications are considered using the same standards as that of in-person programs:
- Completion of a high school degree
- Minimum cumulative GPA
- Minimum scores on standardized tests
- Demonstrated interest via internships or work experience
- Letters of recommendation
If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s and want to earn a Master’s Degree in Marketing, you’ll find a variety of online marketing programs that can be completed in less than two years while accommodating existing career responsibilities. Online master’s programs can be earned as standalone programs or in combination with an MBA. All will require transcripts from an accredited undergraduate program, usually with a minimum GPA, relevant work experience, and letters of recommendation. Many will also require a minimum score on the standardized GRE exam.
Tips for Earning a Marketing Degree Online
The advantages and attractions of an online marketing degree can easily distract from the fact that studying alone and away from your cohort can be hard. One perk of online classes is taht they allow you to uphold work and family commitments. Plus, they make educational options possible that would otherwise be unavailable based on distance or price. However, you’ll need to be disciplined in order to translate those benefits into a successful education.
To help you overcome the challenges of studying online, here are some helpful hints:
Remember that you’re paying for your classes. It can be easy to procrastinate when you’re not required to physically attend class. But when you skip a session, you’re cheating yourself out of the value that you’re paying for. Create a convenient time to take your online classes, and then treat that schedule with the same level of seriousness and diligence that you would if you were attending in person.
Be organized, proactive, and accountable. When you attend in-person classes, you have a professor who is probably reminding you of tests, assignment due dates, project milestones, and more. Online marketing students work with a far greater degree of independence, and that means that you need to take that responsibility on for yourself. Create calendar reminders, set up accountability agreements with other online students, and organize your responsibilities at-home that are likely to interfere with your school schedule.
Identify and dedicate a study space. Your best work environment is unique to you, but it is important that you have one that helps you get into the proper mindset and helps you avoid distraction. Studying in the same spot where you are certain of your internet connection and have access to all the materials that you need. This will boost your ability to learn and focus week in and week out.
Notify your network of your study time. The people in your network want you to succeed, and they can help you do so by avoiding contact during your study hours. Just as they choose different times to call or text if you’re at work or if you were attending an in-person class, letting them know when your study time is each day will keep them from interrupting the time that you’ve allocated for academics. Plus, it’ll be helpful to utilize the “Do not disturb” mode on both phones and computers.
Take an active role in your online marketing class. Marketing is a field of study that requires a significant amount of engagement, and that’s true whether your classes are in-person or online. Make yourself accountable for active participation wherever possible, reaching out to your professor or any online classmate interactions as much as possible.
What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree?
With a marketing degree, you open yourself to a world that is filled with opportunity. Not only is marketing an in-demand field; it is also tremendously versatile. The career choices available to you once you’ve earned your degree are limited only by your skill set, your area of study, and your personal interests. Advertising, public relations, website design, and analytics are just a few of the paths available. Here are some of the job titles that an online marketing degree can prepare you for:
- Sales representative
- Product account manager
- Marketing analyst
- Media buyer
- Retail sales analyst
- Social media manager
- SEO specialist
- Content creator
- Search manager
- Marketing coordinator
- Public relations manager
- Event coordinator
- E-commerce manager
- Brand specialist
- Advertising manager
- Research associate
- Data scientist
- Promotions manager
- Digital marketer
- Web analytics
- Director of Internet marketing
5 Best Schools with Online Marketing Degree Programs
The University of Alabama – Master of Science in Marketing
The University of Alabama is based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The school offers two different concentration options for its online Master’s in Marketing degree program. Students can choose to study either Marketing Analytics or Digital and Social Media. Both are 30-credit hour programs that are offered fully online and are taught by the same respected faculty members who are teaching on the school’s main campus. Graduates will earn both an MS degree and several certifications. The program is AACSB accredited, which is the mark of the highest quality in business education.
Saint Joseph’s University – Marketing Master of Science
Philadelphia-based Saint Joseph’s University offers a fully online Master of Science in Marketing program that can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. The curriculum takes between one and two years to complete and addresses a broad range of topics, including consumer behavior, marketing and consumer trends, marketing analytics, and marketing research to ensure that graduates are prepared with competencies for all types of career opportunities. The school also has a robust specialized career counseling service specifically dedicated to its graduate business students
University of Cincinnati – Bachelor of Business Administration Marketing
Offered by the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the online Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing facilitates an undergraduate degree earned on your own schedule, from anywhere in the world. Graduates of the AACSB-accredited program can enroll on a part-time or full-time basis and enjoy low tuition rates while learning the foundations of marketing. The school’s career services team actively engages with its online students to assist in finding the ideal job.
Northwestern University – Integrated Marketing Communications Professional Master’s Program
Offered through Northwestern’s Medill School, the IMC master’s program is the first of its kind in the nation. Created by marketing industry experts, it specifically focuses on excellence in marketing communications, digital branding, and consumer understanding. Students in the professional master’s program engage in a hybrid program that combines online course work with on-site classes. It is taught over four quarters per year, encompasses three core courses and ten electives, and can be completed in less than two years.
Georgia State University – Marketing, Online BBA Degree Completion Program
Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business offers a unique online Bachelor of Business Arts degree completion program that allows candidates with credits from an associate degree program or an undergraduate program at another college to apply them toward an online marketing degree. Students receive one-on-one support from academic advisors who help them design their own, unique program of study. Classes are offered on an asynchronous schedule that allows students to work or fulfill social obligations. At the end of the program students are able to participate in the university’s graduation ceremony.
Should I Get an Online Marketing Degree?
There was once a time when corporate America viewed online classes with a dubious eye, but those days are long gone. Today’s online marketing degrees open the door to a world of opportunity and exciting career choices.
If you’ve already decided that marketing is for you and you’re debating whether to study online or in a more traditional setting, it’s a good idea to look beyond convenience and cost and consider your own personality when making your decision.
Enrolling in an online program may feel like less of a commitment than a traditional on-campus setting, but it’s not. You’re still expected to show up, to work hard, to fulfill all curriculum requirements, and to maintain a certain grade point average. Only you know whether you have the dedication, discipline, and focus that’s needed, but if you do then you’ll be rewarded with a high quality education that suits your schedule and helps further your career success.