Why Earn a Master’s in Marketing (MMkt)?
While you can get into marketing with an associate or bachelor’s marketing degree, you’ll find it easier to work your way into management or department head positions with a master’s in marketing. You might even find that, with a master’s, you rate opportunities in the C-suites of larger corporations. Your degree will prepare you for the challenges associated with business management, which will pair well with a bachelor’s in the same field, business, or even finance. If you are looking to earn a master’s after gaining experience in the real world, you might find that your experience translates into credit hours. Many schools offer credit hours to students for real world experience, especially those that offer business degrees. Make sure you check out all your opportunities, from both on-campus and online master's in marketing, in order to make sure you are getting everything you can out of your master's program.
Your courses, no matter what background you come from, will be the same. Here are just some of the subjects those looking to work as marketing managers or other high-level marketing professionals are likely to study in a Master of Science in Marketing.
- Marketing Research/Market Research
- Consumer Behavior
- Marketing Strategy
- Integrated Marketing Communications
- Marketing Management
- Global Marketing
- Brand Management
- Marketing Analytics
A master’s in this field is essential for any individual seeking a managerial, executive, or C-level position within the profession. In fact, the field is becoming so competitive that many companies require a marketing master’s degree or a master of business administration (MBA) focused on market research, marketing management, brand management, global marketing, etc. for any management position. At the moment, there are so many intricate aspects in the field, from marketing analytics to the constant changes in search engine algorithms for page rankings, that only individuals with a higher degree are truly qualified to lead marketing teams and departments as marketing managers. With a master’s degree, you will also be more qualified for positions over people with a bachelor’s degree, and you will be able to make a significantly higher salary than them. Such a degree will also make it possible to complete professional and organizational certifications that require you to have completed a master’s program and are seen as necessary continuing education for career advancement.
One of the biggest potential cons is the chance that you don’t make your investment in the degree back from salary increases. Some of the most prestigious marketing programs offer a master’s for $50,000 or more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pay increase from a bachelor’s degree to a Master of Science in Marketing is an average of $12,000. If your job market does not pay well enough and you do not plan to move to a more competitive and higher-paying market, taking on $50,000 or more in debt may not be wise. Another potential drawback is the amount of time it takes to complete, particularly if you have full-time obligations to work, the community, or home. Many people find the balance to be too difficult and never complete the degree. While the benefits of a master’s in this field are significant, you have to decide whether it is right for you.
Types of Degrees Available for Master's
What Marketing Master’s Degrees are Available?
Marketing is a hugely popular and competitive job market and, as such, colleges and universities have capitalized on the need for higher degrees. You will find both traditional marketing degrees and progressive master’s programs that offer several degree options in less time, such as those with available concentrations in marketing research, marketing strategy and consumer behavior, or marketing communications.
- Master of Arts (MA) in Marketing:
Because marketing is a creative field with social science influences, MA in marketing programs are available in some colleges and universities. You will likely focus more on communication, writing, content, visuals, and psychology than in other marketing master’s degree programs.
- Master of Science in Marketing:
A Master of Science in Marketing will place more importance on the technical and analytical aspects of marketing than an MA program. You will gain experience with marketing tools, critical thinking, data analysis, different types of strategies, and the program may require the completion of an internship before you can graduate.
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing:
An MBA in Marketing is also referred to as an MBA with a marketing major, emphasis, concentration, or specialization. The title simply depends on the college or university and does not change the nature of the program in general. The difference between a Master of Science in marketing and an MBA in Marketing is that the MBA program provides a specialization in marketing with a greater emphasis on marketing management and high-level business concepts at the same time.
- Master’s Degree in Marketing to MBA dual degree program:
Today, as colleges and universities attempt to solidify a greater market share of those who seek a master’s degree in marketing, many higher learning institutions are beginning to provide a dual degree program that combines both a Master’s Degree in Marketing and an MBA in Marketing. These programs minimize the time and cost it would take to complete both degrees and provide you with the best of both programs as required by exceptional marketing professionals.
Most marketing master’s degree programs will examine several aspects of your personal, academic, and professional life to determine your acceptance status. They will examine your bachelor’s degree GPA, whether or not you have any relevant work experience as a full-time employee or through an internship, your short-term and long-term goals, any community service and extracurricular participation, your communications skills, and your potential leadership capabilities. Some schools may even require the completion of a graduate school entrance exam with a minimum score to be determined by the program. Each college and university will have unique requirements. Often times, the more reputable the program the more stringent and grueling the application and admissions process.
How long does it take to earn a Marketing Master’s?
The time it takes to complete a master’s degree in marketing will greatly depend on the amount of time you are able to commit to the program each term. If you can dedicate yourself to a classroom-based, fast-paced program, you can complete a marketing master’s degree in as little as 10 months. The vast majority of marketing programs at this level take between one and two years. Online programs may take longer despite requiring fewer credits in some cases, particularly if you must dedicate most of your time to work, family, or your community. Keep in mind that regardless of the length of time it takes to complete a master’s degree, many employers will reimburse you for your continued education as long as you enroll in an accredited program from an approved college or university and maintain a certain GPA.
Potential Careers in Marketing with a Master’s
- Director of Sales and Marketing:
As a director of sales and marketing you will be responsible for executing product, service, and marketing development initiatives. It will be your job to think strategically in both the short-term and the long-term and to delegate responsibilities.
Median Salary: $83,300
- Social Media Marketing Manager:
A social media marketing manager is responsible for the overall social media marketing campaigns, the execution of company directives, and the analyzing of those results. You must determine the efforts that work and those that do not.
Median Salary: $52,600
- Public Relations (PR) Director:
A public relations director might work for a PR company, a corporation, a non-profit, a government entity, a sports team, start their own firm, or more. In this position, it is your job to establish relationships with influential sources to project the best image of your employer or client as possible.
Median Salary: $85,900
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO):
A CMO is becoming more and more commonplace in the business world. As a C-level executive, you will address the high-level issues of marketing strategies and initiatives. You will determine the message of the organization and the brand directives that are to be followed exactly.
Median Salary: $174,000
- Vice President (VP) of Marketing:
As a VP of marketing, you are likely to be responsible for the spending and budgeting of the entire department. You might also spend much of your time reviewing the success and failures of campaigns and you must have a solid understanding of all marketing methodologies both traditional and digital.
Median Salary: $148,600
Options to Advance
Marketing is one of the most competitive and necessary fields in business today due to the introduction of digital marketing. The most effective marketing strategies use psychology, which is the analysis of human behavior, as a basis for successful campaigns. If you wish to reach the highest levels of career aspirations in the marketing profession, you should complete a PhD or a doctorate. Such a degree will allow you to understand human behavior to the highest degree and ensure that you use psychological strategies ethically, legally and, respectfully. You will only succeed in this profession as long as you are following the rules of human decency and do not cross the line. A master’s degree, a PhD, or an alternative doctorate will help you learn how to keep within ethical and legal boundaries and to become an industry leader as a vice president or a chief marketing officer.
Best Master's of Science in Marketing Programs
Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Business
The Master of Marketing program at Vanderbilt prides itself on your ability to complete the degree in 10 months, which also includes a summer internship. They offer a personal career coach and emphasize leadership development. You can contribute up to 12 credit hours toward an MBA once you have completed 3 to 5 years of relevant work experience, and you will have small class sizes for greater attention.
- Master of Marketing
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is a world-renowned business school and they offer several high-level graduate degrees in marketing. They even offer an exclusive joint major master’s degree in marketing and operations. You will be able to customize your curriculum to some degree in regard to the electives of your choice. The programs will take roughly two years and they include a summer internship.
- MBA in Marketing
- MBA in Marketing and Operations Management
- Doctoral in Marketing
Texas A&M, Mays Business School
College Station, Texas
Texas A&M offers a Master of Science in Marketing. Unlike many other such programs, this program offers an education in a variety of business sectors without having to complete an MBA. The program is ranked as high as the second-best MS in marketing program in the US in some polls. Program participants have an average completion time of 16 months and you will have to complete an internship to graduate. All those who are accepted and enroll in the marketing program will automatically be considered and be eligible for scholarships and graduate assistantships.
- MS in Marketing
Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management offers both an MBA in Marketing and a Doctorate in Marketing. The MBA program places emphasis on essential tools for marketing analytics and consumer behavior. The program prides itself in that graduates of their programs will excel in adapting to market disruptions, providing exceptional customer experiences, and possessing the ability to achieve sustainable growth.
- MBA in Marketing
- Doctorate in Marketing
University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin School of Business
University of Wisconsin at Madison has a dedicated department of marketing in the Wisconsin School of Business. You can pursue both MBAs in Marketing and a Ph.D. marketing program. The department is associated with several marketing and supply chain centers to provide program participants with the most well-rounded and hands-on experience.
- MBA - Specialization in Marketing Research
- MBA - Specialization in Brand and Product Management
- Ph.D. in Marketing
Traditional Schools Offering a M.S. in Marketing (MMkt)
University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Manning School of Business
The University of Massachusetts at Lowell and their Manning School of Business are one of the pioneering schools to offer a bachelor’s to master’s degree in marketing. This program is not available online; however, you can pursue an MBA in Marketing degree entirely online. Individuals who earned at least a B in marketing courses in their undergraduate courses can reduce the number of credits required to complete the program from 42 credits to 30.
- MBA in Marketing
Washington State University, Carson College of Business
The Carson College of Business at Washington State University (WSU) offers an online MBA in Marketing. This program combines business courses essential to understanding the fundamentals of business at a high level with marketing courses required to become a marketing executive. The online MBA program at WSU is in the top 5% of online MBA programs and it is ranked eighth, as one of the best online MBA programs for veterans.
- MBA in Marketing
Indiana University at Bloomington, Kelley School of Business
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington offers the same MS in Marketing program for both online students and classroom students. The program is designed for professionals seeking career advancement and continued skill development. They allow program participants to complete the program on their own time, as long as it is completed within five years.
- MS in Marketing
- MS in Marketing to MBA
University of New Hampshire, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics
Durham, New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire offers a few master’s degrees in marketing alternatives; however, only the MBA in Marketing is available online at this time. It is offered through the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and they, too, encourage military members to participate.
- MBA in Marketing
Drexel University, Drexel LeBow College of Business
Much like many traditional colleges and universities, they do not offer all of their marketing master’s degrees online as of yet. At the Drexel LeBow College of Business, you can complete the same MBA in Marketing degree both online and in the classroom as a part-time or full-time student.
- MBA in Marketing
Business Degrees & Career Paths