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Online Master’s Programs in Marketing

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Updated on: 09/20/2018

The work of marketing professionals can be found everywhere: from the billboard on the highway, to an ad on television, to branding campaigns on social media. If you’re interested in managing these kinds of marketing activities, an online master’s program in marketing might be a good next step. Find out how an online advanced degree in marketing can enhance your career path and increase your salary. Plus, find out which schools offer the best online programs in marketing.

Best Online Master’s in Marketing 2018-2019

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Finding the right master’s degree program can be a huge undertaking. In order to make the process easier, we have compiled a list of the best online master’s in marketing programs we could find by using data from the U.S. Department of Education and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). In addition, we also considered published materials released from the schools themselves. Review the accredited schools below to find one that meets your needs.

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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida$9,630100%70%43%1Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia$8,05188%24%55%1Yes Yes Yes School website
3 New England College Henniker, New Hampshire$13,56077%99%36%1Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North Carolina$4,34868%41%59%1Yes Yes Yes School website
5 Bellevue University Bellevue, Nebraska$9,81062%-32%1Yes No Yes School website
6 Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado$9,62853%78%67%1Yes Yes Yes School website
7 Tiffin University Tiffin, Ohio$12,60091%76%44%1Yes Yes Yes School website
8 Wilmington University New Castle, Delaware$8,1903%-31%1Yes Yes Yes School website
9 University of the Southwest Hobbs, New Mexico$14,37699%66%16%1Yes No Yes School website
10 Franklin University Columbus, Ohio$15,528--16%1Yes No Yes School website
11 Golden Gate University San Francisco, California$17,550---1No Yes Yes School website

What Can I Learn in an Online Master’s in Marketing Program?

As marketing professionals advance in their careers, they need advanced skills to keep up with their job responsibilities. Students can expect to develop the following skills and knowledge when they enroll in an online master’s in marketing program.

  • Understanding consumer behavior
  • Developing written and verbal communication skills to effectively convey information within and outside of an organization
  • Designing marketing plans based on quantitative and qualitative data
  • Understanding the legal and ethical parameters of the field
  • Understanding marketing from a global perspective

What’s the difference between a master’s in marketing and an MBA in marketing?

Students enrolled in a master’s in marketing degree are generally expected to already have a marketing background—whether through work experience or an undergraduate degree program. As a result, these degrees are for people who already have a strong knowledge of marketing principles and want to build on their skills by exploring more advanced concepts.

When students enroll in an MBA in marketing, they are not necessarily expected to have any prior marketing knowledge, but instead have experience in business. Since these programs do not entirely focus on marketing, they provide a broader view of business principles ranging from marketing to accounting to human resources management.

What common courses are offered in a master’s in marketing program?

Master’s in marketing programs can cover a wide range of coursework, and one program may have a different focus from another. Below are examples of common courses that can be found in these programs.

Consumer Behavior

Consumers can be unpredictable, so this class provides information that marketers need to make sense of the choices they make. The curriculum may cover recent consumer research studies, information processing and strategies for influencing behavior. In addition, students may gain an understanding of the economic, psychological and anthropological influences that may impact consumer selections.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Students in this class learn about how integrated marketing communications are developed and implemented. To that end, professors may cover marketing tools, types of media, public relations and analytical procedures.

Marketing Analytics

Marketing analytics classes teach students about the quantitative tools professionals use in order to understand consumer preferences and perceptions. Concepts covered may include value marketing strategies, sales forecast development and competitive analysis.

Marketing Ethics and Law

Marketing is examined through the lens of ethical principles and business law in this course. Students may learn about product liability, advertising tactics and competitive intelligence.

Market Research

This class explores how research impacts the decisions made during the marketing process. Students learn how market research studies are conceived, designed, implemented and interpreted.

What exams or projects should I expect?

In order to provide hands-on experience, master’s degree programs in marketing generally require that students complete an internship where they apply the theoretical knowledge they learned to a workplace setting. At the end of the internship program, students write a report detailing their experience.

What specializations are available in a master’s in marketing program?

Since marketing is such a broad field, graduate programs give students the opportunity to become experts in specific areas of the discipline. The following are some of the specializations that students may choose to focus on based on their career aspirations.

International Marketing

With more and more companies selling their products in foreign countries, it’s important for marketers to understand how to create campaigns internationally. Students in this concentration learn the principles of global marketing campaigns, how culture impacts consumer behavior and the trade laws that companies need to consider when doing business abroad.

Project Management

Students who are interested in overseeing the work of a creative team and managing campaigns from start to finish can enroll in this concentration. The curriculum may cover creating a budget and ensuring it is adhered to, the project selection process and crafting a realistic schedule.

Public Relations

Students in this concentration learn the relationship between marketing and public relations and how these activities may differ. Coursework addresses consumer behavior, communication conflict and strategies for communication campaigns.

Search Engine Optimization

It doesn’t matter how clever a digital campaign is if no one actually sees it. Enrolling in the search engine optimization specialization allows students to become well-versed in how SEO helps companies get eyes on their products. Specific subjects covered may include how to improve search engine rankings organically, effectively use paid search engine marketing tools and monitor search engine traffic with analytic tools.

Social Media

With so many social media sites out there, marketers need to understand how to be successful on each one. This concentration teaches students how to create social media plans for specific platforms, make decisions based on campaign results, and use social media tactics effectively.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Marketing Degree?

Whether students want to work for a multinational marketing firm or the in-house marketing team at a company, having a master’s in marketing degree can provide them with the foundation they need to build a successful career. The following are some of the job choices these graduates may pursue.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers monitor the conditions of an industry in order to determine potential customer segments for a particular product or service. In addition to working directly with a firm’s clients, they must work closely with colleagues in the product development and sales departments. Daily duties may include developing pricing strategies, negotiating contracts and hiring staff members.

Market Research Analyst

The marketing industry runs on data, and market analysts generate that data by studying sales trends and making predictions about how well a product or service will sell. Specific activities may include using statistical software to crunch the numbers, preparing reports and evaluating the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. These professionals are required to have strong verbal and written communication abilities, as well as critical thinking and analytical skills.

Public Relations Manager

Although the old saying tells us that no publicity is bad publicity, when bad publicity does happen, public relations managers step in to clean up their clients’ public image. In order to do this, they write and distribute press releases to media outlets, choose a spokesperson that will field media inquiries and determine the best way to persuade the community. In addition, these professionals supervise staff members in their charge.

Sales Manager

Organizations cannot be successful unless their customers are happy, so a large part of a sales manager’s job is focused on dealing with customer complaints and fixing problems to satisfy them. Also, these professionals assign sales territories to staff, review data to ensure goals are being met and price products and services.

Marketing trends can change rapidly, so it’s important for professionals to always continue learning and networking in the field. One way they can do this is by participating in industry associations, which offer education courses, as well as opportunities to connect with other marketing professionals. The following are examples of some of the organizations people in marketing careers can benefit from.

American Marketing Association

The AMA is dedicated to helping shape the marketing profession by nurturing the people who work in it. Members of the association can participate in local chapter events, attend training programs, and find work through their career resource center. The organization publishes several industry journals, including the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, the Journal of International Marketing, and the Journal of Marketing.

Construction Marketing Association

Serving construction industry marketers since 2009, this organization has been a training hub for those who want to develop the specialized skills this sector demands. Members can earn a Certified Construction Marketing Professional (CCMP) designation through the group, as well as get access to white papers, web-based training, a career center, and networking events.

Internet Marketing Association

Marketing professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers can earn a Certified Internet Marketer credential from this organization. The association also offers membership benefits like an annual conference, a newsletter, and networking events.

Social Marketing Association of North America

This association, which is made up of practitioners and academics, offers training sessions with experts, regional networking events, and a discount on the group’s Social Marketing Quarterly Journal. There are also online forums where members can share information about jobs, resources to help them do their work more effectively, and social media news.

How Much Can I Make with a Career in Marketing?

A master’s degree in marketing can lead to a variety of career options. Here are a few positions that may be possible, though additional experience or certification may be needed.

Career Lowest 10% Earned Annually Median Annual Salary Highest 10% Earned Annually Job Growth 2016-2026
General Sales Manager Less than $57,590 $ 121,060 More than $208,000 +7%
Marketing Manager Less than $48,150 $106,130 More than $208,000 +10%
Market Research Analyst Less than $ 34,510 $ 63,230 More than $122,770 +23%
Public Relations Manager Less than $61,130 $ 111,280 More than $208,00 +10%
Public Relations Specialist Less than $32,840 $59,300  More than $112,260 +9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

The future growth of jobs in the marketing sector will be dependent on several factors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One driver for the healthy occupational outlook of marketers is the Internet, which is continuing to increase opportunities for companies to market their products and broadcast news about their organization. As a result, more marketing opportunities will drive a need for more workers to research and analyze data to help ensure that campaigns are cost effective.

Earning a master’s in marketing degree does not only train professionals for advanced positions, it also positions them to earn more money. The Center on Education and the Workforce reports that those with a bachelor’s degree in marketing can expect to make a median annual income of $63,000, but after earning a master’s, the salary potential jumps to $81,000 per year.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Marketing Programs

Just as not every marketing campaign can successfully move a product, not every master’s in marketing program will give students the preparation they need to have a successful career. One way to increase the possibility of success is by choosing a school that is accredited. Accredited colleges and universities are required to be evaluated for their curriculum, research and professors. To make the best choice in programs, prospective students should look for schools that have been accredited by the Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

How to Pay for a Master’s in Marketing Degree

A master’s in marketing degree is a big investment, and oftentimes students need financial aid in order to enroll. Here are some possible financing sources.

  • Federal Financial Aid

    The first step students should take is to find out what kind of federal aid they are eligible to receive by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Not only does this help students receive federal loans and grants, it also helps them get placement in graduate assistantships.

  • Scholarships from Professional Organizations

    It’s worthwhile for students to pursue other sources of funding beyond federal financial aid. Oftentimes, the professional organizations that serve the community—like the National Retail Federation, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island, and Marketing EDGE—offer scholarships to graduate students.

  • Program Scholarships

    Many online master’s in HR programs may offer scholarships specifically for students entering their programs. For example, Yeshiva University automatically considers all graduate applicants to their M.S. in Marketing program for scholarships and assistantships.