Marketing involves promoting a product or service by determining a price, developing campaigns, and selecting a target audience. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers make these and related decisions. Other typical job responsibilities include performing market research studies and mentoring inexperienced staff. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these managers earn a median salary of $141,490 per year.
The BLS projects employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to grow 6% from 2019-2029. Although they may enter a strong job market, aspiring marketing managers often need every advantage to impress employers. A master’s in marketing demonstrates in-demand skills and may qualify graduates for a promotion or raise.
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Popular Questions to Ask when Pursing a Master's in Marketing
What can I do with a marketing master's degree?
Common positions for graduates include financial manager, market research analyst, and public relations and fundraising manager. Some roles may require professional experience in addition to a marketing master’s degree.
How many years is a master's degree in marketing?
A typical master’s degree requires 18-24 months to complete, depending on graduation requirements. Some students finish their marketing program faster by taking additional courses each semester.
Do marketing jobs pay well?
Marketing managers earn a median salary significantly higher than the national median for all occupations. Marketing professionals working in the advertising and public relations sectors earn higher median salaries than those in the information and wholesale trade industries, according to BLS data.
Is there a demand for marketing majors?
Demand varies based on career path. The BLS projects employment for marketing managers to increase 7% from 2019-2029. However, the BLS projects opportunities in the advertising and promotions specialization to contract slightly.
Why Get a Degree in Marketing?
The BLS projects a strong job market with many high-paying positions for master’s in marketing graduates. The field also allows professionals to use their creativity in tasks such as designing a product’s packaging. Master’s students prepare for lucrative careers by selecting a specialization, such as advertising, event planning, or social media.
Online learning features multiple benefits, such as the flexibility to attend out-of-state universities without relocating. Some online marketing programs offer asynchronous curricula, which do not require degree-seekers to attend courses at specific times. Instead, learners schedule their education around work or other responsibilities.
The tuition rate for a master’s in marketing program depends on several factors, including the type of institution. Public schools typically charge the lowest tuition rates, with discounted rates for in-state students. Private institutions usually charge higher tuition rates. Learners should also consider the cost of fees, such as technology fees for online degree-seekers.
Calculating a degree’s total cost involves researching the school’s tuition-reduction programs and institutional financial aid. Many universities offer tuition discounts to veterans and alumni. Students who work for one of the school’s partner companies may also qualify for discounted tuition rates.
Prospective students can consider learning online to save money on education-related expenses. Online degree-seekers do not typically pay for campus services, such as housing and meal plans. Many schools waive facilities fees for online learners, and these students often save on transportation and childcare services.
Calculating the Cost of a College Degree
Calculating the cost of earning a master’s in marketing involves comparing the student’s income, cost of living, and financial aid to their school’s tuition cost. The free calculator below makes this task easy for prospective and current students. If results indicate a low or nonexistent monthly contribution, learners should consult a financial aid advisor.
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Marketing salaries vary based on factors including geographic location. Advertising and promotions managers living in New York, New Jersey, and Colorado earn annual median salaries $20,000-$40,000 higher than the national median for these professionals. California and Ohio also feature high-paying positions. However, professionals working in these states may face a higher cost of living than graduates in other parts of the country.
An individual’s industry also impacts their earning potential. Marketing managers working in the pharmaceutical, medical equipment, or cable programming industry earn median salaries exceeding $170,000 per year. Other high-paying fields include public relations and electronic component manufacturing.
Professionals can further increase their salary potential by gaining relevant experience and earning industry certifications. Additional options include completing professional development courses to hone analytical, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
Courses in Marketing
Marketing program curricula vary by school and by concentration area. Specialization options often include digital marketing, new media, marketing research, and social media marketing. However, all degree-seekers in the field gain the skills necessary to develop and manage a brand from conception to final product.
The sample curriculum below features three courses common to most marketing master’s degrees. Graduation requirements vary by school, and course offerings can significantly impact students’ career trajectories. Prospective degree-seekers can review a program’s website or contact an academic advisor for details.
Students in the course analyze how managers adjust marketing campaigns to meet the unique needs of an international audience. Learners review case studies and emerging market trends. Degree-seekers also hone skills related to budgeting, market integration, and development. The course prepares learners to respond to global marketing’s significant growth in recent years.
Internet marketing comprises a large portion of many organizations’ advertising strategies. The class introduces degree-seekers to software suites that professionals use to craft and distribute online marketing materials. Learners develop digital marketing skills by reviewing and applying techniques to individual and group projects.
Many top marketing programs require a capstone course in the final semester. Students develop a marketing campaign, synthesizing knowledge gained throughout the program. Learners may need to conduct original research, write an extended essay, and give a presentation. Graduates often use their final project as part of a job application portfolio.
Certifications and Licensure for Marketing
Although the BLS projects strong growth for the marketing field, professionals may need more than a master’s in marketing to attain a lucrative and fulfilling position. Earning a certification may qualify workers for a promotion or raise. Many employers prefer job candidates who hold industry certifications.
Certified Digital Marketing Professional
The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) partners with the American Marketing Association to offer this credential. Candidates need at least 30 credits in areas including social media marketing, Google Analytics, and website optimization, and they must pass an exam. Interested professionals must join DMI before starting the certification process. Certified members receive additional marketing resources without paying a higher membership fee.
Google developed this free credential to recognize marketing professionals with honed data collection, administration, and planning skills. Candidates take two study courses covering introductory and advanced analytics techniques before taking the one-hour certification exam. Candidates must score at least 80% on the exam and may retest.
Marketing professionals can earn this certification to demonstrate their skills in creating effective ad campaigns and to network with other certified workers. Microsoft recommends but does not require candidates to take exam preparation courses. Microsoft offers more than two dozen prep courses in areas including shopping campaigns, Microsoft Audience Network, and universal event tracking. Candidates do not pay a certification fee.
Students pursuing a master’s in marketing degree can qualify for financial aid from sources including their institution and government agencies. Learners can also apply for private scholarships such as those below. Many organizations award funding to academically gifted students majoring in marketing or a related field. Each scholarship in the following list features a 2021 application deadline. Typical eligibility criteria include a satisfactory GPA and recommendation letters.
The Kay-Grant Group Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants for this scholarship submit a two-minute video describing their educational goals and financial need. Students attending any accredited U.S. university may qualify.
Who Can Apply: The National Aircraft Finance Association awards this competitive scholarship to the next generation of corporate aviation professionals. Interested students apply through their school’s financial aid office.
Students interested in obtaining a broad-based education in business while also entering or advancing their career in the field of marketing may want to consider the online Master in Business Administration with Marketing Concentration offered by Saint Leo University. Saint Leo's Marketing MBA program teaches students fundamental business principles as well as the marketing theories and concepts needed to work in such fields as sales, brand management, promotions, e-marketing and marketing research. Admission requirements for the Marketing MBA program include a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credits earned. Applicants failing to meet this requirement may be admitted with submittal of a GMAT test score of 500 or better. All applicants must additionally submit a resume demonstrating at least 2 years of professional work experience. To graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework. Full-time students taking 2 classes each 8-week term can complete their degree in as little as 1 year. Most students, however, take 1 class each term, requiring 2 years of part-time study to earn their degrees. All coursework can be completed 100% online. Students living near a Saint Leo Education Center (locations in California and 6 southern states) have the option of attending some of their classes in-person.
Private, Christian-affiliated Liberty University's 100% online Master of Science in Marketing program is designed to allow working students to earn an advanced marketing degree while maintaining their jobs and meeting their personal obligations. The program's curriculum builds on the student's unique knowledge and experience to develop the leadership, critical thinking and marketing skills needed to advance in their current careers or to explore other professional opportunities. Students can choose from among 4 specializations: Project Management, Sports Marketing & Media, Public Relations and Digital Marketing & Advertising. Earning the degree requires 36 credit hours of core business and specialization-focused coursework. The average program length is 1.5 years. However, students can transfer in up to 50% of the total credits required for graduation, significantly cutting degree completion time. Courses are presented in an 8-week, asynchronous format, allowing students to log in and complete their coursework according to their own schedules. Admissions requirements for LU's MS in Marketing include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university earned with a minimum 3.0 cumulative combined GPA. Students must also have completed 27 credit hours of undergraduate coursework in a range of business-related subjects. Students failing to meet this requirement must take LU's Business Common Professional Core course once admitted to the degree program. Online students connect with university support services via the Office of Online Student Life. Support services include career and academic advisement, personal counseling, writing assistance, IT help and the online resources of the Jerry Falwell Library.
In partnership with the Startup Institute, New Hampshire's New England College offers a Master of Business Administration in Digital Marketing, which can be completed 100% online. Based on the experiences of Startup Institute Alumni, the program is designed to provide students with important digital marketing skills in an immersive, fast-paced environment. Earning the degree requires completion of 28 credit hours of core business coursework in subjects such as Strategic Marketing, Managerial Accounting, and Finance for Leaders. In addition, students complete 3 Startup Institute "boot camp" courses (12 credit hours): Foundations of Digital Marketing, Branding Using Social Media and Marketing Immersion. The entire program is completed in 20 months. NEC's Pathways: Academic Success Services program offers a number of useful resources for students, including tutoring, academic advisement, and career and live planning services. Online students also have access to the resources of the H.R. Danforth Library. Admission requirements for the NEC/Startup Institute MBA in Digital Marketing include an undergraduate degree in business earned with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. Applicants also submit a resume. Applicants with a non-business undergrad degree may be accepted into the program if they have significant relevant work experience.
Students interested in an education in business and a potential career in marketing may want to consider the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Western Carolina University. WCU's MBA program allows students to create their own specialization by completing 3 courses in a chosen subject. The program currently offers 1 marketing course (Marketing Management). To create a marketing specialization, students can complete 2 additional marketing courses online or in-person at another accredited college or university (preferably within the University of North Carolina system) and then transfer the credits for those courses into WCU's MBA program to fulfill the 3-course specialization requirement. WCU MBA coursework is offered in an online/on-campus format requiring in-person class attendance every other week on WCU's Biltmore Park Campus, located just south of Ashville. Full-time students can complete the 36-credit-hour program with 3 semesters of study, while students pursuing their degrees on a part-time basis can expect to complete their degrees in 6 semesters. Admission into the WCU MBA program requires a bachelor's degree earned with a recommended overall GPA of 3.0 or better. Submittal of a standardized test score (450 GMAT or 300 GRE recommended minimum scores) is also required. The standardized test score requirement may be waived for applicants who have already earned a master's degree.
The fully online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing available from Bellevue University, teaches students to design data-driven marketing programs that help companies achieve their financial goals, establish and grow their brands and gain a market advantage over their competitors. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in a range of professional fields, such as market research analysis, management analysis and advertising sales. Admission into the MS in Strategic Marketing program requires a bachelor's degree (with minimum 2.5 GPA on last 60 credit hours earned) or master's degree (with minimum 3.0 on all previous graduate coursework) from a regionally accredited college or university (or equivalent). Earning the degree requires completion of 36 credit hours of coursework. Courses are presented in a cohort format in which students take 1 course at a time with the same group of peers and faculty from the start of the degree program through its finish. Bellevue offers distance learners access to wide range of support services, including academic and career counseling, IT troubleshooting, peer tutoring and writing assistance, as well as the extensive online resources of the Freeman/Lozier Library.
Individuals with a keen interest in data gathering and analysis and a desire to advance their careers with a graduate degree in business may be interested in the Master of Business Administration with specialization in Marketing Data Analytics available from Colorado State University. This 100% online degree program teaches students how to craft specific marketing questions, gather raw data and, through the application of sophisticated analytic methods, provide empirical answers to those questions. In short, students learn to take raw data and transform it into actionable intelligence. CSU's MBA with Marketing Data Analytics specialization program requires 42 credit hours of core business and 19 credit hours of specialization-focused coursework featuring self-paced lectures with scheduled class assignments. The program can be completed in as little as 21 months, but students can take up to 5 years to finish their studies. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree (in any major) from a properly accredited college or university earned with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and at least 4 years of professional work experience. Writing skills are evaluated through submittal of a resume and personal statement of purpose. CSU provides an extensive range of student support services, including academic and career advisement, IT technical support and access to the online resources of the university's Morgan Library.
The Master of Business Administration with Marketing concentration available from Tiffin University is designed for working students who need the convenience of fully-online coursework and the flexibility of accelerated 7-week courses and full-time and part-time study options. Students can begin their studies on 1 of 6 starting dates offered throughout the year. Earning Tiffin's MBA with Marketing concentration requires completion of 20-24 credit hours of core business coursework and 12 credit hours of concentration coursework in the subjects of Information Systems for Marketing, Strategic Brand Management, Global Marketing Management and Marketing Field Analysis. Full-time students can complete their degree program in as little as 14 months, while part-time students should expect to devote at least 28 months to their studies. Admission into TU's online MBA Marketing program requires a bachelor's degree, 3-year professional degree or current enrollment in another accredited MBA program. Other requirements include an undergraduate minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of undergraduate courses in at least 8 business-related subjects. TU support services for online students include counseling services from the Career Services Center and IT assistance through the Information Technology Services Office.
Delaware's private, nonprofit Wilmington University offers its Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Marketing Management in a 100% online format. The degree prepares graduates for leadership positions at marketing and advertising firms, as well as with financial institutions, nonprofits and private businesses of all kinds. The program features accelerated 7-week courses in an asynchronous format to accommodate adult professionals working full time. To earn this degree, students must complete 7 core business courses and 5 marketing concentration courses in subjects that include Global Marketing Management, Market Research & Consumer Behavior, and Salesmanship & Sales Force Management. While most students complete the degree program in 2 years, individual completion times may be shorter or longer depending on the chosen course load and the number of qualifying credits transferred into the program. Admissions requirements for Wilmington's MBA with Marketing Management concentration include a bachelor's degree earned with specified coursework in mathematics, economics and accounting. Once admitted to the program, students move on to degree candidacy by completing 4 MBA courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Support services for distance learners at Wilmington include tutoring, career counseling, technical assistance and the online resources of the Wilmington University Library.
The University of the Southwest, a private, 4-year interdenominational Christian institution, offers its Master of Business Administration in Marketing degree in a fully online format that allows students to complete their studies at their convenience. The degree program is designed for working adults interested in pursuing careers in advertising, marketing, promotion and sales in private businesses and non-profit organizations, as well as marketing and advertising agencies. Students complete a total of 36 credit hours of coursework consisting of 7 core business courses and marketing specialization courses in 5 subjects: E-Marketing; Information Technology for E-Business; Innovation Management; Small Business Marketing; and Organizational Design and Strategy (Capstone). The entire degree program can be completed in as little as 12 months. To be admitted in to the MBA in Marketing program, an applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university earned with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. The degree need not be in business. Applicants must also submit a 500-word personal essay and professional resume. There is no GMAT or GRE requirement. Support services available to online students include academic, career and personal counseling, technology assistance and online tutoring.
Franklin University offers a Master of Science in Marketing & Communication degree with coursework that can be completed 100% online. The program's marketing/communication dual-discipline approach allows students to develop their skills in a range of highly marketable areas, such as leadership and management, marketing strategy, research and analytics, brand management and digital media. The MS in Marketing & Communication program is designed with working adults in mind employing a 6-week course format. There are 10 courses in all and the entire program can be completed in as little as 16 months. Additionally, students can transfer in up to 12 qualifying master's-level credits. Admission into Franklin's MS in Marketing & Communication program requires possession of a bachelor's degree from a properly accredited U.S. college or university (or international equivalent) earned with a 2.75 minimum overall GPA. Applicants with a GPA average below 2.75 may be admitted with submission of sufficient GMAT or GRE test scores. Applicant references, work experience and other personal characteristics and qualities are also considered in determining admission. All Franklin students are assigned a personal adviser to help them develop their academic and career goals, schedule classes, review course choices and more. Other distance learning support services include tutoring, writing and research assistance and 24/7 online access to library catalogs and databases.
Golden Gate University, a private, nonprofit institution, offers a career-focused Master of Science in Marketing degree that can be earned 100% online. Students learn to create and implement professional marketing plans, conduct market research, position brands and manage marketing budgets for private businesses, nonprofit organizations and advertising agencies. The degree is available with 3 concentrations: Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics and an individualized concentration that allows students to customize a curriculum to meet their specific career goals. Golden Gate additionally offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Marketing Concentration, which is available entirely online. Hybrid format options are also available for both degrees. Credit hour requirements and program completion times vary by specific degree concentration and the individual student's chosen course load. Most students complete their degrees in 2 years or less. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree and demonstrated writing proficiency. Admission details are available on the Admission Requirements webpage. Support services available to Golden Gate distance learners include academic advising, math and writing tutoring, and the extensive resources of GGU's Business Library.