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01. An Introduction to Marketing

Marketing drives business by providing a link between companies and their customers. By using well-developed advertising and promotional strategies, marketing professionals attract customers. To keep those customers loyal to their company, marketers build relationships with them through customer service. Therefore, this area of study draws from subjects like business, sales and public relations.

If you want to study marketing, you have many educational options because programs exist in this field at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For instance, you can earn undergraduate certificates, associates degrees and bachelors degrees. And you can also get graduate certificates, masters degrees and doctorates in marketing. You should also keep in mind that you can earn both traditional and online marketing degrees, so if you are interested in taking online marketing courses, you will have an option to pursue that route through this subject.

Keep in mind that all companies rely on marketing strategies in order to profit, so students who can develop key marketing skills should have excellent job prospects after graduation. Marketing professionals are typically confident and creative individuals who are also proficient when it comes to working with numbers and analyzing data.

02. Marketing Defined

The two major responsibilities that marketing professionals have are to attract customers and to keep them coming back. Marketing degree jobs require employees to promote their company’s products and services to people who can be viewed as potential consumers. And once those people actually become customers, marketing professionals use customer service skills to build relationships with them so that they will continue to use the products and services that are sold by their company. It is easier to keep repeat customers than to gain new ones, so there will be many jobs with a marketing degree in the future as companies continue to rely on marketers to retain their customers.

03. Things to Consider

After you get your marketing degree, you can enhance your resume by earning professional marketing certifications.

Professional Certification

You can complete marketing certification programs through the American Certification Institute (ACI). A marketing certification may enhance your career since it demonstrates your knowledge of marketing fundamentals. You can even get your online marketing certification. However, you should keep in mind that these certifications are not mandatory. You should be able to find a marketing job without them. Nonetheless, if you decide to pursue a professional marketing certification, you will need to pay a fee and pass an exam. Some of the more common marketing certifications are:

  • Certified Marketing Professional
  • Certified Marketing Manager
  • Certified Marketing Executive

04. Types of Marketing Professions

If you choose to study marketing, you will be qualified for a variety of jobs with a marketing degree. Here are some of the most common jobs for marketing majors:

Advertising Sales Agent

Job Description
Advertising sales agents need the least amount of education of any marketing career. They reach out to potential clients to try and persuade them to buy advertising space in markets like the Internet, radio, television and newspaper. In some cases, advertising sales agents manage their client’s accounts and draw up their contracts.
Average Salary
$45,250
Education Required
High school diploma
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, media companies

Advertising Copywriter

Job Description
Many students go into marketing jobs as advertising copywriters, where they write print and web copy that promotes the sale of their company’s products and services. They often meet with their clients to collaborate with them on slogans and advertising strategy, as well as to better understand their products. Many advertising copywriters also help to market their copy to prospective consumers.
Average Salary
$43,000
Education Required
Bachelors (4 years)
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, advertising agencies

Public Relations Specialist

Job Description
Many people think of public relations as a part of journalism and communication programs, but it is also among the most valuable careers in marketing. In this marketing job, public relations specialists act as the liaison between the public and their company. They strive to create a positive public image for their company by writing press releases, addressing the media and responding to questions from the public.
Average Salary
$57,550
Education Required
Bachelors (4 years)
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, government agencies

Market Research Analyst

Job Description
The work that market research analysts perform affects how people in all other marketing careers do their jobs. Market research analysts help companies to decide which products will be successful in which markets. They analyze factors like geographic region, population demographics and the average income of their target markets to determine the potential value of new products that their company could release.
Average Salary
$60,570
Education Required
Bachelors (4 years) or masters (2 to 3 years of graduate school)
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, government agencies, financial institutions

Marketing Manager

Job Description
A successful career in marketing can lead to a job as a marketing manager, who creates the sales and advertising strategies that guide their employees. Marketing managers perform higher-level tasks like negotiating advertising contracts with corporate executives. They also supervise the employees in their department and hire new marketing professionals.
Average Salary
$108,260
Education Required
Bachelors (4 years) or masters (2 to 3 years of graduate school)
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, advertising agencies

Brand Manager

Job Description
Brand managers develop marketing plans that influence the public perception of the meaning of a given brand. Using these marketing plans, they attempt to portray brands so that customers recognize and come to trust them. Therefore, they need to know about consumer behavior, design, customer service, advertising and sales.
Average Salary
$120,000
Education Required
Bachelors (4 years) or masters (2 to 3 years of graduate school)
Work Environment
Corporate businesses, advertising agencies

05. Career Outlook

Overall, professionals in this field can expect good marketing salaries and strong job prospects. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, market research analysts can look forward to a job growth of 41%, which is much higher than the national average for all occupations. In 2010, the United States employed approximately 282,700 market research analysts, and thousands more marketing professionals held other jobs. The number of market research analysts is expected to jump to nearly 400,000 by 2020.

The demand for marketers should lead to competitive marketing pay and higher salaries for marketing professionals who can demonstrate a variety of skills. Remember that your marketing starting salary will vary depending on your position. And since there are so many positions in this field, an average marketing salary figure would not be very useful. For instance, advertising sales agents earn a lower marketing salary than the salary for marketing managers or brand managers. But you can expect to be compensated well for many jobs in this field, since it is related to business, which typically pays well. Job prospects will be best and your marketing degree salary will be greatest if you who have a masters degree and a strong background in statistics and data analysis.

The graphical charts below display further information on careers in marketing as a whole.

Marketing Professionals Employed Nationally

2011
694,940
2018
823,504

Average Salary growth

2007
$85,948
2008
$89,055
2009
$90,813
2010
$92,020
2011
$94,293

Salary by Percentile

10th Percentile
$44,655
25th Percentile
$61,718
50th Percentile
$85,960
75th Percentile
$117,370
90th Percentile
$139,300

06. The Educational Timeline

Most marketing jobs require at least a bachelors degree, so you will need to spend a minimum of 4 years in college in order to get a marketing job. But if you want to get a better paying job, you should plan to go to graduate school for 2 to 3 years in order to earn your masters degree in marketing.

07. Studying Marketing

At the top marketing schools, you will learn the following knowledge and skills.

KNOWLEDGE

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix consists of the 4 major elements that marketing professions use to create marketing strategy. These elements are also known as the 4 Ps since they are price, place, product and promotion. To use the marketing mix effectively, students also need to learn about product development and consumer behavior.

Business Ethics and Law

Business ethics refers to the way that morals affect business deals. Students will debate the obligations that businesses have to their employees and to other businesses. Similarly, business laws involve issues in the workplace like negotiating contracts, adhering to labor laws and fair treatment of employees.

Finance

Marketing programs discuss finance as it relates to business. This topic covers important concepts like investments and risk analysis, business valuation, financial planning and budgeting. In addition, students learn about international business finance issues like foreign income taxation.

Economics

An understanding of economic principles is essential for marketing professionals. Economics is a broad subject that studies the factors that affect how goods are produced, distributed and consumed. Economics courses will teach how supply and demand, inflation, labor supply and business competition affects markets on global, national and local scales.

Statistical Applications

Applied statistics is necessary in all marketing careers since marketing professionals must analyze and interpret data in order to decide how and where to focus marketing campaigns. Specific topics that will be addressed in this course include mathematical concepts like probability as well as computer programs that display numerical information clearly to clients and other marketers.

SKILLS

Persuasion

As you go through your marketing classes, you will learn how to assess the needs of customers so that you can convince them that your company’s products will satisfy them better than your competition. You will learn to plan marketing campaigns that make the product that you are promoting seem exclusive, cutting-edge and fashionable.

Research Methodology

You will need to research products and consumer markets in your marketing program. Therefore, you will be trained in methods of conducting research so that you can predict the success of a certain service or product. In addition, you will learn to support your conclusions by gaining statistical data and surveying customer opinions.

Business Management

Businesses rely on marketing to drive their sales, so your marketing curriculum will include business management classes. Some of the skills that you will learn while studying business management include ethical hiring practices, project management, budgeting and ways to effectively organize your workforce.

Customer Service

Good customer service skills are essential if you want to become a marketing professional. Therefore, your curriculum will teach you why you need to act approachable and be reliable so that customers will trust you. You will also learn to listen actively to your customer’s concerns so that you can resolve them quickly and politely.

Web Writing

Most major businesses advertise on the web. And because the Internet is a text-based medium, you will need to develop solid web writing skills if you want to be an effective marketer. Your classes will teach you to write interesting marketing copy that utilizes keywords so that it will be noticed by search engines and by potential customers.

08. Types of Marketing Degrees

You can earn marketing degrees online and through traditional means at every level of higher education. That means that you can pursue both offline and online marketing degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, which includes associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. And if you do not want to earn a full marketing degree online or on-campus, you can choose to earn undergraduate or graduate certificates. In some cases, an online marketing degree takes less time to earn than traditional programs, but the amount of time that it takes to earn your marketing degree varies according to your school and program.

  • Certificates
  • Associates Degrees
  • Bachelors Degrees
  • Masters Degrees
  • Doctorate Degrees

Certificates

Marketing certificates may be a good option if you want to learn the fundamentals of marketing in a shorter amount of time than a marketing degree would take. There are both traditional marketing certificate programs and ways to earn marketing certificates online.

Types of Marketing Certificates

Undergraduate Certificate

Marketing undergraduate certificates teach the basic ideas in the field. Undergraduate certificates are a good choice if you want to learn about marketing fundamentals for personal reasons or to enhance your business curriculum.

Graduate Certificate

Marketing graduate certificates teach advanced marketing principles through graduate classes. Graduate certificates are a convenient option if you want to earn continuing education credits in order to get a promotion or enhance your resume.

Length of Marketing Certificate Programs

Undergraduate Certificates

An undergraduate marketing certificate program usually requires students to earn 12 to 18 credit hours, which generally takes 6 months to a year of study.

Graduate Certificates

Like undergraduate certificate programs, a graduate certificate in marketing usually requires students to earn 15 to 18 credit hours, which normally can be completed in about a year.

Common Courses in Marketing Certificate Programs

Undergraduate Certificates

The exact courses that you take while studying for your undergraduate certificate in marketing will vary according to your school. You may also take slightly different classes if you opt for online marketing courses or if your traditional program offers any marketing classes online. However, you are likely to take classes in advertising, branding, marketing strategy and sales techniques, whether you take your marketing courses online or not.

Graduate Certificates

Like the undergraduate certificate, your on-campus or online marketing classes will vary depending on the program that you decide to attend for your graduate certificate in marketing. You may take a slightly different set of classes if you opt to study from home and take marketing online courses. However, no matter how you choose to study, you will likely take courses in consumer behavior, marketing management, promotions and market research. Remember that in many cases, an online marketing course can be substituted for a traditional course to save you time.

Jobs That You Can Secure With a Certificate in Marketing

Undergraduate Certificates

Whether you choose to earn an online marketing certificate or a traditional undergraduate certificate, you will not be qualified for many jobs with this level of education. Although you might find work as an advertising sales agent, this certificate is mainly intended to introduce you to the field so you can decide if you want to pursue further study.

Graduate Certificates

Your graduate certificate will not prepare you for much on its own. But if you choose to add this certificate to an education in business, you may be eligible for entry-level jobs in marketing or business management.

Choosing a School to Attend for a Certificate in Marketing

Choosing a college to attend for your marketing certificate does not have to be difficult. Although you have a variety of options for earning your traditional or online certificate in marketing, at the certificate level there are few factors that distinguish 1 marketing program from another. All marketing colleges will have similar courses at the certificate level. But you do want to keep a few things in mind when you are searching for colleges that offer online marketing certificates. For 1 thing, you should make sure that the credits you earn will transfer to another school in case you decide to earn a full-fledged bachelors or masters degree. That is important because not all marketing universities will accept credits from a marketing university that is not well established.

Second, you want to make sure that the traditional or online marketing college that you choose to attend is accredited. If your school is not accredited, it will be a waste of time because employers will not see it as valuable.

Admissions Requirements for Certificate Programs in Marketing

There are few admissions requirements for marketing certificate programs. You do not need any previous degrees to get into an undergraduate certificate program, but you will need a bachelors degree in any subject to get into a graduate certificate program. In the best marketing programs, you may also need to demonstrate professional work experience to earn a graduate certificate.

Studying Online for a Certificate in Marketing

A lot of the best marketing schools offer a marketing certificate online. Certificates are designed to provide you with an introductory understanding rather than expertise in a field. Therefore, there are no significant reasons not to pursue your certificate through an online marketing school. Even so, you should compare the classes that are offered in an online program to the curriculum of 1 at a traditional school to make sure that you are gaining a quality education.

Associates Degree

Many schools have marketing associate degree programs, which will introduce you to marketing basics. However, a marketing associates degree will not prepare you for many jobs. The primary reason to earn an associate degree in marketing is to earn credits that you can transfer into a bachelors degree program.

Types of Marketing Associates Degrees

Associate of Arts (AA)

An AA in marketing has more humanities courses in addition to business classes. The AA degree is the best choice if you want to transfer your credits into a bachelors degree program.

Associate of Science (AS)

An AS in marketing has a lot of science and math classes to give you a technical background. The AS is also a good choice if you want to transfer into a bachelors degree program.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

An AAS in marketing has technical courses that are career-oriented. The AAS is the best degree option if you want to start your career as soon as you graduate.

Length of Marketing Associates Degree Programs

Associate in marketing degrees typically require students to complete 60 to 65 credit hours, which usually takes about 2 years.

Common Courses in Marketing Associates Degree Programs

Whether you choose to earn an online associates degree in marketing or complete a traditional program, you will take introductory marketing and business classes. Some of these classes include principles of sales, advertising techniques and finance accounting. You will also take classes in related fields that can help you in marketing like business law, ethics and business communication.

Jobs That You Can Secure With an Associates Degree in Marketing

An associates degree in marketing will not prepare you for many marketing jobs. However, you may be hired as an advertising sales agent, whose job is to sell advertising space to businesses that need to promote themselves. The best reason to get a marketing degree at the associates level is to gain credits that you can transfer into a bachelors program.

Admissions Requirements for Associates Degree Programs in Marketing

There are no special admissions requirements for associates degree programs in marketing.

Studying Online for an Associates Degree in Marketing

Several marketing schools offer associates in marketing online. Earning your marketing associates degree online may be a good option for you. There are no significant drawbacks to attending online marketing programs at the associates level because most of what you will learn is business and marketing theory. Therefore, you can earn your marketing associates degree online if you later want to transfer into a bachelors degree program.

Bachelors Degree

A bachelors degree in marketing is the most common degree that marketing students pursue because it qualifies you for all entry-level marketing jobs. A marketing bachelor degree teaches a core business curriculum that emphasizes marketing principles and sales techniques.

Types of Marketing Bachelors Degrees

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

A BA in marketing has many humanities classes to give you a broad background in the liberal arts. The BA degree is a good choice if you want to earn an MBA or masters degree.

Bachelor of Science (BS)

A BS in marketing has more science, math and computer classes to give you a technical background. The BS degree is the best option if you want to perform market research analysis or start working as soon as you graduate.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)

A BBA in marketing teaches a core business curriculum that focuses on management. The BBA is preferable if you want to become a marketing manager or work for a corporate business.

Length of Marketing Bachelors Degree Programs

A bachelor in marketing degree typically requires students to complete 120 to 130 credit hours, so most students can complete marketing bachelors degrees in 4 years.

Common Courses in Marketing Bachelors Degree Programs

Top marketing programs offer a core business curriculum that emphasizes marketing principles. Classes will vary according to your school and whether you go through a traditional school or opt to get an online bachelors in marketing. But some of the marketing courses that you will probably take are consumer behavior, market research and international marketing. In addition, you will take business classes like economics, finance, public relations and business communication. Depending on the focus of your program, you may also take specialized marketing classes, like sports marketing and Internet marketing.

Jobs That You Can Secure With a Bachelors Degree in Marketing

Marketing bachelors degrees will prepare you for entry-level jobs in marketing. You will be qualified for a job as an advertising sales agent, a copywriter or a public relations specialist. You may be qualified to work as a market research analyst or marketing manager after you gain sufficient work experience.

Choosing a School to Attend for a Bachelors Degree in Marketing

When you are looking for a good marketing bachelors degree program, you should look for top marketing colleges whose business schools that the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits. Although accreditation is not mandatory, accredited programs will give you a high-quality marketing education. In addition, you should look for a marketing college that offers internships so that you can gain practical work experience, which can boost your resume.

Studying Online for a Bachelors Degree in Marketing

If you want to earn your marketing bachelor degree online, you can choose from many online marketing programs. However, you should do your research before choosing an online marketing program. The best online marketing programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Therefore, if you want to get your bachelor degree in marketing online, it is important to attend accredited online marketing schools because they can offer you a good education that prospective employers will respect. In addition, the best online marketing schools offer internships, which give you the chance to practice your skills in hands-on situations.

Masters Degree

Graduate programs in marketing are very common. Although you do not need a marketing graduate degree to start a career in this field, it will help you stand out among your competition in the job market. In addition, a masters degree or a marketing MBA can qualify you for higher paying jobs that entail more responsibility.

Types of Marketing Masters Degrees

Master of Arts (MA)

An MA in marketing has classes about consumer behavior and marketing strategies. The MA degree is preferable if you want to continue your higher education and earn a doctorate in marketing.

Master of Science (MS)

An MS in marketing emphasizes research methods and mathematics. The MS is the best choice if you want to work as a market research analyst or enter the marketing field after you graduate.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

MBA marketing programs offer a broad business curriculum with a specialization in marketing. The MBA is the best option if you want to work in marketing management as a business executive.

Length of Marketing Masters Degree Programs

Masters degrees in marketing usually consist of 30 to 45 credits, which means that students can expect to study for 1 to 3 years before they finish a marketing graduate program.

Common Courses in Marketing Masters Degree Programs

You may take different marketing classes according to the type of degree that you choose to earn. Regardless of the kind of graduate program that you choose, you will take courses in marketing research and marketing management. And if you get an MS, you are likely to take classes in statistical analysis, financial analysis and business law. On the other hand, if you get an MA, you will also take focused classes like consumer behavior, promotions and e-commerce marketing. Finally, if you decide to get an MBA in marketing, you will take courses that are business-oriented like financial accounting, organizational management and information systems.

Jobs That You Can Secure With a Masters Degree in Marketing

Whether you go to marketing school online or attend a traditional program, all masters-level marketing training programs prepare you for upper-level marketing jobs. For instance, you will be qualified for jobs as a marketing manager, market research analyst and public relations specialist.

Choosing a School to Attend for a Masters Degree in Marketing

Students always want to find the top marketing graduate programs. If you are curious about how to pick out marketing grad schools at the masters level, your biggest concern should be whether or not your program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Marketing and business employers trust schools that have AACSB accreditation. So while you can earn a good education from a program without accreditation, you can be sure that you have a better marketing training program if it is accredited.

Admissions Requirements for Masters Degree Programs in Marketing

Whether you want to attend a marketing program online or at a traditional school, you need to have a bachelors degree in order to enroll in a masters or MBA marketing program. You may have an easier time gaining admission to a graduate school for marketing if your bachelors degree is in a field of business. However, your undergraduate degree does not have to be in marketing in order to get into marketing graduate schools.

Studying Online for a Masters Degree in Marketing

Online marketing masters degrees are quite common since many professionals choose to get their marketing training online. Options include earning a marketing MBA online or getting your online masters degree in marketing. But either way, you should do your research before choosing a program. Do not get a degree from a marketing program online unless it is accredited by the Association for Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB accredits business and marketing schools that offer degrees like online masters in marketing programs and MBA marketing online programs.

As of 2012, several dozen programs at online schools for marketing were accredited by the AACSB at the masters level. These are the schools that you should look into if you are considering getting your graduate training in marketing by studying online. Once you earn your degree, you will likely have an easier time finding employment because AACSB-accredited schools often provide job placement services. And employers are generally more likely to trust that you have gained good skills while earning your online MBA marketing degree or online masters in marketing degree if you attend an accredited school.

Doctorate

Though a masters degree is generally considered to be the highest level of education that a professional needs to be considered for competitive positions, doctorates are also available in marketing. Most schools only offer marketing training at the masters level, since doctorates in marketing are for those who want to teach marketing at the university level and conduct academic research. But some of the best marketing colleges and universities offer doctoral degrees.

Types of Marketing Doctorates

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD marketing programs have advanced business and marketing classes that focus on theoretical research. PhD programs are the best option if you want to teach and research at a college or university.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

A DBA in marketing technically has more applied research, but in reality this degree is very similar to the PhD. The DBA also prepares you to teach and to conduct research at the university level.

Length of Marketing Doctorate Programs

Most doctoral programs in marketing require students to complete 60 to 72 credit hours, whether you choose to earn a traditional degree or an online DBA or online PhD in marketing. Students can usually finish doctoral degrees in 5 to 7 years.

Common Courses in Marketing Doctorate Programs

Whether you decide to take traditional courses or online marketing classes, the best colleges for marketing offer advanced doctorate courses like consumer behavior, research methods and product planning. In addition, most of your curriculum will be determined by the particular research that you choose to pursue.

Choosing a School to Attend for a Doctorate in Marketing

When you are considering different colleges for marketing, you have the option to earn your doctorate through either marketing programs online or on campus. But whether you are interested in brick-and-mortar schools or universities that have marketing online PhD programs, you need to look at more than just the national marketing PhD ranking. Specifically, you should investigate the research interests of the faculty at the top marketing PhD programs. The kind of research that your school’s faculty produces is a good indication of the work that you will be expected to produce as a student in that program as well as the quality of the program itself.

Admissions Requirements for Doctorate Programs in Marketing

No matter whether you apply to traditional or online marketing graduate programs, you need to have at least a bachelors degree to apply to a doctorate program. Your degree does not have to be in marketing, but your chances of admission to either marketing online graduate programs or offline programs will be much better if you have a strong background in business and a demonstrated ability to conduct academic research.

Studying Online for a Doctorate in Marketing

You have the option to attend marketing schools online, even at the doctorate level, since a limited number of schools offer an online marketing PhD. But even though you can get your online PhD in marketing, you should not go to marketing graduate school online for this degree. While it is acceptable to earn your marketing masters online, it is a bad idea to earn your marketing online training at the PhD level because doctorates require you to conduct intensive research. You will need to form a strong relationship with your professors and advisor in order to perform this kind of research. This is nearly impossible to do through marketing programs online. Keep in mind that you may be able to take some classes online through distance learning programs, but you should not complete the majority of your marketing doctorate online.

09. Useful Marketing Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Market Research Analysts
Bureau of Labor Statistics – Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers
Bureau of Labor Statistics – Public Relations Managers and Specialists
Business Civic Leadership Center
Business Marketing Association
BtoB – The Magazine for Marketing Strategists
Marketing Professional Resources
Chief Marketing Officer Council
eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit
Institute for the Study of Business Markets
Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice
Marketing Power – American Marketing Association