Quiz: Is An Online Marketing Associate Program Right for Me?
Prospective students should review the following quiz to discover whether an online associate degree in marketing aligns with their personal and professional goals.
Q: Are you interested in studying communication, consumer psychology, multimedia technologies, public relations, and advertising?
A: Marketing positions are necessary in almost every industry. An online associate degree in marketing gives students basic marketing and branding knowledge from a generalist perspective, preparing students to work in fields such as sales, customer service, public relations, and advertising.
Q: Does a two-year program feel like the right study timeline?
A: Online associate degrees in marketing typically include 60 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. However, online classes often allow students to work at their own pace, which is helpful for busy students who prefer to study part time. Many online programs also allow students to expedite graduation through year-round admissions and accelerated course schedules.
Q: Do you have prior credits to transfer?
A: Many online associate degree programs offer transfer credits for prior learning, such as high school AP classes and college courses. Work experience may also qualify for credits, particularly for students who worked in a marketing-related job. Students should consult the admissions office of each prospective school to determine the number of transfer credits they're eligible for.
Q: Are you interested in eventually earning a bachelor's degree?
A: An associate degree in marketing is the minimum requirement for many entry-level marketing positions, such as marketing assistant, customer service associate, sales support specialist, and market research assistant. An online bachelor's degree in marketing provides opportunities for career advancement, qualifying graduates for marketing roles with more responsibility and higher pay. Students can typically transfer many of their associate degree credits to a bachelor's program, allowing them to expedite graduation.
What Will You Learn in an Online Associate Marketing Program?
An associate degree typically consists of 60 credits and focuses on foundational knowledge and skills rather than specialized areas. Learners study concepts such as consumer behavior research, marketing strategy, and integrated marketing communications. They also learn about the different forms of marketing, including direct, business-to-business, and digital marketing.
This section reviews what to expect when pursuing a marketing associate degree online, including common courses and skills.
Common Classes and Coursework
Introduction to Marketing: Most programs require an introductory marketing course. Students learn the fundamentals of marketing, studying concepts such as market research, target market selection, distribution, logistics, and pricing.
Promotions: This course covers promotions and integrated marketing communication plans. Learners study how to create a recognizable brand through logos, press releases, and advertisements. They also learn how to develop campaigns to promote a product or service through coupons, sales, and competitions.
Marketing Research: An important aspect of marketing is identifying target markets and consumer behaviors, needs, and wants. In this course, students explore the research process and learn how to design a research plan, collect and analyze data, and use data analysis to inform an effective marketing strategy.
Accounting Principles: Many marketing programs require an accounting principles course. Marketing professionals need to understand a company's finances to fully grasp the value of its products and services. This course covers the accounting cycle for merchandising businesses. Students learn about concepts such as inventory and cash control.
Social Media Campaigns: Not all associate programs include this course, but students can sometimes enroll in it as an elective. Brands increasingly rely on social media as an effective method of marketing, especially since social media can target specific groups of people. This course teaches students how to create a social media marketing campaign.
Skills You Will Gain
Marketing associate degree programs usually include a foundational marketing course in the first semester. The introductory marketing class focuses on topics such as how to price goods and services and create promotional materials to sell them. Learners study consumer behavior, market segmentation, and marketing strategies.
More advanced courses delve into specific aspects of marketing, such as integrated marketing communications and brand image development. Programs also usually offer a course that focuses on buyer behavior. Learners examine why consumers make certain decisions and how marketing affects purchasing choices. They also learn how to conduct consumer research.
Additionally, most associate marketing programs include a course on digital marketing, which typically covers topics such as social media and email marketing and search engine optimization. Learners may also take basic business courses, such as introduction to business, business mathematics, and finance.
Average Degree Length
Students pursuing a marketing associate degree online typically graduate in two years of full-time study. However, degree length varies by factors such as transfer credit, program format, and enrollment status. Students with eligible transfer credits can bypass certain course requirements and graduate sooner.
Additionally, many schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to expedite graduation, with students often graduating in 18 months. Courses in these programs may only last five or six weeks and require more intensive work from students. Distance learners with work and family obligations may prefer to study part time, which usually adds a year or two to the degree.
Career Opportunities with an Associate Degree in Marketing
Graduates with an associate degree in marketing enjoy diverse career opportunities, qualifying for entry-level roles such as marketing assistant and advertising sales agent. This section covers several career opportunities for graduates, including potential salaries.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Marketing graduates can work in a variety of fields, including public relations, event planning, fundraising, and sales. The following table outlines common jobs for graduates with an associate degree in marketing.
- Marketing Assistant
Marketing assistants work in entry-level positions in a marketing department. They carry out administrative duties and help with collecting data for market research. Marketing assistants need at least an associate degree.
Median Annual Salary: $38,077
- Marketing Representative
Marketing representatives publicize a company's products or services. They also keep tabs on customer reactions and feedback. Although many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree, professionals with an associate degree and work experience may qualify for this job, as well.
Median Annual Salary: $46,902
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts use data to conduct research on customer demand for a product or service. Associate degree-holders with certification from the Market Research Association can often find jobs as market research analysts.
Median Annual Salary: $53,378
- Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
These professionals create programs and campaigns to market goods and services. They often direct marketing representatives and assistants. Most marketing managers hold a bachelor's degree; however, graduates with an associate degree can earn this position with several years of experience.
Median Annual Salary: $132,620
- Advertising Sales Agent
Advertising sales agents sell a company's ad services to clients. These professionals may find jobs without a degree, but earning an associate degree gives candidates a competitive edge in the job market.
Median Annual Salary: $51,740
Five Marketing Scholarships to Apply For
Marketing students can take advantage of several funding opportunities to offset the cost of tuition. They can take out federal loans with low interest rates, participate in work-study programs, and apply for scholarships. We outline five scholarship opportunities for marketing associate students below.
- Marketing EDGE Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Marketing EDGE offers scholarships to undergraduate students pursuing marketing or a related major with at least a 3.0 GPA. Candidates must have participated in at least one Marketing EDGE program.
- AMA Diversity Leadership Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Marketing undergraduate students who identify as African American, Indian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic can apply for this scholarship. Candidates must hold membership to the American Marketing Association and possess a 3.25 minimum GPA.
- HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students who completed their first year of college with a minimum 3.0 GPA can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in internet marketing.
- Knowmad Internet Marketing Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship offers a one-time financial award to undergraduate students who finished their first year of college with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates must show a passion for internet marketing.
- Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Specifically for associate degree students, this scholarship offers funding to members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Candidates need a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Educational Advancement in Marketing
Associate degree graduates can begin working professionally straight away or can continue their education. Many people with two-year degrees decide to earn a bachelor's degree, which can lead to higher-level and better-paying marketing jobs. This section outlines important information for students who wish to further their marketing education.
Should You Transfer to a Four-Year Degree Program?
Many community colleges hold transfer agreements with four-year universities, which allow associate degree graduates to seamlessly transfer to a bachelor's program. Students should research their school's transfer agreements and work with an advisor to explore their transfer options and eligibility.
What Degree Paths Should You Consider?
Graduates with an associate degree in marketing can pursue a bachelor's in marketing or supplement their marketing knowledge by majoring in a related field, such as business or graphic design. The following list outlines common bachelor's majors for graduates with an associate degree in marketing.
Professional Organizations and Resources
Marketing students and graduates benefit from professional resources and associations. These organizations often offer networking, scholarship, continuing education, and professional development opportunities.
- Digital Marketing Association: This professional organization brings together digital marketing professionals through summits, conferences, and other events. Members can gain certification through the Certified Digital Marketer program.
- American Marketing Association: One of the largest professional marketing groups, AMA gives members access to its magazine, academic journals, and discounted rates on conferences. Members can also pursue the AMA professional certified marketer credential at a reduced price.
- Insights Association: The Insights Association provides resources to marketing research professionals. Members can access online educational resources, participate in discussions through digital message boards, and gain professional researcher certification.
- Direct Marketing Association: This organization merged with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). The group provides continuing education and training opportunities, including online classes and webinars. ANA also advocates for industry interests in the legislative process.
- Internet Marketing Association: This group connects internet marketing professionals through a digital membership database and events all over the world. Members can access exclusive content through LinkedIn and educational courses.
- Neil Patel's Digital Marketing Blog: This blog offers several useful lessons, free of cost, including "Seven Advanced Ways to Get Free Traffic That Converts" and "How to Respond to Poor Reviews."
- Marketing EDGE: Marketing EDGE is a nonprofit that brings together marketing students, academics, and professionals. The organization offers several resources, including scholarships, career forums, and a journal.
- Marketing Teacher: This website offers free marketing lessons and videos. Visitors can read about topics such as consumer behavior and digital marketing.
- Marketing Land: This online magazine publishes marketing news that helps readers stay on top of industry developments. Articles like "How Agencies Can Better Engage With Clients Using Agile" offer actionable advice.
- MarketingProfs: This website offers several educational resources for marketing students and professionals, including trainings, forums, and summits. Visitors can also access the site's free articles and blog posts.