Overview of an Associate's in Marketing
If you have always been curious about why people are drawn to make certain purchases, a career in marketing could be for you. Marketing professionals spend their career figuring out why some products interest people and others don’t. They then take that information and use it to create marketing strategies and advertising campaigns that appeal to the studied market. If this sounds interesting to you, then an online associate degree in marketing will help you get your foot in the door with marketing firms and let you start to learn the ropes.
While you’re in school, either in a traditional classroom or using flexible online learning, you will learn about the psychology of consumers and study trends. You will also gain some business acumen from studying business courses. With a two-year associate degree in marketing, you’ll be able to jump into the field of market research or sales and start an interesting and satisfying career. Below are just some of the areas college students might study before they begin a career in the field of marketing.
- Integrated Marketing Communications
- Public Relations
- Digital Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Research
- Business to Business Marketing
- Business Administration
There are always pros and cons when it comes to getting a degree, whether you choose to do so online or not, and an associate degree in marketing is no exception. School is a large commitment of both time and money, so it makes sense for prospective students to consider both the positive and negative aspects of attending.
The pros of attaining an online associate degree in marketing include:
- More income. Workers who have more education can often negotiate better pay than those without a degree.
- More opportunities for advancement in your career. Many companies only hire employees with degrees for certain positions, especially management positions.
- Honing and substantiating skills you already possess. You might know how to execute many tasks in the marketing field, but having a degree backs up with you already know. Employers often need the reassurance a degree provides, especially those looking to hire marketing managers and other long-term career opportunities.
- Online degrees can be earned while you continue to work, giving you more flexible options for earning a degree.
Of course, there are reasons why getting a degree might not be a good idea, even an associate degree. These include:
- Expense. Going back to school means either a rather substantial monetary outlay for you or taking out student loans and paying them back later. Even online degrees often require loans in order to cover all costs.
- No guarantee of employment. Even though a degree will make you more desirable and open up more employment opportunities for you, there’s still no guarantee you’ll be hired.
- Going to school takes up a lot of time. If you’re juggling a job and family or other personal responsibilities, adding classes, homework, and exams to the mix might be a lot to handle. Even an online marketing associate degree program might be too much to handle without careful thought.
Certificate vs. Associates
Any additional education in a field is never a bad thing, so getting a certificate in some aspect of marketing will only make you that much more valuable to an employer. You can get an online or in-person certificate in marketing from a variety of schools, and the programs range from a few months to 18 months to complete. A certificate that is based on your current position will help you perform your current job and additional certificates in other areas will make you a more viable candidate if positions that use that skill set open up.
What Marketing Degrees are Available?
Two-year online degrees in marketing are available in several forms, both online and on-campus. There are distinctions between the AA/AS and AAS/AAB degrees, and that is the AA and AS degrees are generally equal to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, while an AAS or AAB associate degree will be a career degree designed to allow a graduate to work in their chosen field.
- An Associate of Arts (AA) degree is a humanities- and social science-focused program. Along with marketing courses, students also take social science and humanity courses when completing this associate in marketing program.
- Associate of Science (AS) degrees focus on math and science. Extra courses in math and science are paired with marketing and business courses when students aim to earn a marketing degree at this level.
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees train a student in a chosen field with a math and science bent. In the case of a marketing associate degree, an AAS might help a person working in marketing become a better market researcher.
An Associate of Applied Business marketing program has a heavy concentration on business courses with a specialization, one of which is marketing. With this degree, you can secure an entry-level job with a marketing firm or another business with a marketing department.
For entrance into an Associate in Marketing degree program, potential students must do the following:
- Attain and send prospective schools a high school diploma or GED
- Take any required standardized testing (ACT or SAT)
- Meet the GPA requirement for entry into the school (at least a 2.0, but higher is better)
Some marketing associate degree programs require students to apply for admission directly with the program. Check with the school you are considering to determine the proper process of declaring a marketing major. Also, some marketing programs are part of the humanities department, while other schools include marketing as a business department offering. This is something else you’ll want to research before choosing a program and applying. It may affect how many classes prospective students can expect in public relations vs. digital marketing, email marketing, or business to business marketing
How long does it take to earn an online Marketing Associate’s?
As with most online associate degree programs, it takes roughly two years to attain an online associate degree in marketing, whether you attend online of lon-campus. Some students finish earlier by testing out of courses, being able to apply life experience for certain courses, or going to school during the summer. Others might take longer than two years because of work or family obligations, which is part of why students choose to attend classes online in the first place.
Potential Careers in Marketing with an Associates
- Associate Art Director
This is one of the more creative marketing positions because an art director works with a creative team to come up with marketing and advertising campaigns for the company and its clients. As the associate art director, this person reports directly to the art director and might do most of the day-to-day handling of the creative team. An online associate art director might have a stable of clients assigned to him as well.
Average income: $61,200
- Event Coordinator
this person plans events for individuals and groups. A few examples of events include weddings, reunions, conventions, seminars, concerts, charity events, auctions, and other gatherings attended by a large group of people. Event coordinators might work for a venue or could be an independent contractor and work independently.
Average income: $42,400
- Inside Sales Representative
Many might not realize this, but there is a strong element of sales in some marketing positions. You aren’t just helping other businesses craft the best strategies to sell their products, you’re also selling your business to clients. Inside sales reps sell products and services using the telephone or internet. Sales reps could take inbound or make outbound sales calls. Some are paid an hourly wage, some work on commission, but many earn a combination of a base salary and commission, which will give you the opportunity to earn far above the average for this position.
Average income: $44,700
- Marketing Assistant
An assistant reports to the marketing director and is often tasked with data collection and market research. Once the person has found the needed information, the marketing assistant compiles the data into a report that the marketing director uses to map the best course and draft the most effective marketing plan.
Average income: $38,900
Options to Advance
To advance within the marketing field, obtaining additional degrees and certifications in different elements of markets is a requirement. There is always a new marketing technique or process being rolled out and those who are aware of the most current trends and methods are going to be the most attractive to employers. An additional degree shows employers that you are dedicated to studying and understanding marketing. The more education you have, the more attractive you will be to potential employers. For example, a person with a certificate will be seen more favorably than someone with no certifications, while someone with a degree will be more marketable than someone with just certifications and no degree. Online programs can be a huge help to those who need to earn new certifications or degrees while continuing to work.
Best Associate of Science in Marketing Programs
Aims Community College
A community college in Colorado that offers a variety of courses and associate's. In marketing, students can get an AA in Marketing or a certificate in marketing instead. The programs include courses in business management, advertising, accounting, and marketing. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
- AAS in Marketing Management
- Marketing/Management Certificate
Athens Technical College
Athens Tech offers students certificate programs and associate degrees in several different areas. A student interested in studying marketing can attain either a certificate in marketing or an AA in Marketing. Courses include Marketing, Management, and Sales and Accounting. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Colleges.
- AAS in Marketing Management
- Marketing Specialist Certificate
St. Clairsville, OH
Belmont College offers certificates and associate degrees for students who want to hit the job market or continue their education and get a higher degree. Belmont offers an AAS in Marketing and courses include Marketing, Advertising, Business Law, Accounting, and Economics. The school is accredited by the HLC.
- Degree in Business and IT with a concentration in Marketing
Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College offers students a variety of programs to expand their horizons and make them more palatable to employers. One program is the AA in Marketing. Students study marketing techniques, advertising, accounting and a host of other courses to help a marketing student gain a well-rounded education. The school is accredited by the HLC.
- AAS in Business – Marketing Track
- AAS in Marketing and Sales
- Social Media Marketing Certificate
Columbus State Community College
Students who want a degree that will help them hit the ground running in the job market should consider Columbus State. Students can get either a certificate or an associate degree in marketing. This makes them more marketable to potential employers as well as more attractive to the bosses they might already have. Students study a variety of business courses including marketing, advertising, accounting and business law. The school is accredited by the HLC.
- AAS in Marketing
Traditional Schools Offering an AS in Marketing
Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU offers students the chance to attain an Associates of Arts in Marketing. Students will study business and marketing classes and become trained in how to negotiate, closing sales, and how to study a market and determine where the needs for products and services lie.
- Associates of Arts in Marketing
Fortis provides students an education regarding all things in internet marketing. Students will learn how to market and advertise in the digital space and learn the differences between online and brick-and-mortar advertising.
- Associates in Applied Science in Internet Marketing
Florida Institute of Technology
Students who study at FIT gain an education that will prepare them for entry-level positions at marketing firms. They will be able to complete market research and recognize trends. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- Associate of Arts in Marketing
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Students will study classes such as Marketing Research, Selling Principles, Sales Management, and Negotiation skills. Graduates will be ready for entry-level marketing positions or to work in sales. Depending on the employer, some management or team lead positions could also be an option.
- Associates of Arts in Marketing Management
Students will study marketing and business courses such as Economics, Principles of Retailing, Consumer Buying Behavior, Integrated Marketing Communications, Management, and Accounting. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level or team-lead positions for marketing and advertising firms, or to go into market research.
Whether you want the traditional college experience or prefer the flexibility of online learning, you can attain a degree in marketing. Once you’ve finished your online associate and started working in the field, you can narrow your focus and determine which part of marketing you prefer, and tailor your education going forward.
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