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Marketing Graduate Degrees: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Get the facts about graduate degrees in marketing and the classes and requirements for earning this degree. Learn about employers looking for applicants with this skill set.

What Types of Marketing Graduate Degrees Can I Pursue?

Your options for earning a master's degree in marketing include pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Marketing or a Master of Science in Marketing. The MBA path is the most common. MBA programs provide a solid foundation in all aspects of business through core courses that focus on development of leadership, financial planning and business strategy skills. Typically, you will pursue a specialization in marketing by taking elective courses. MBA programs are designed to meet your scheduling needs, with weekend, day, evening and online programs available on a full- or part-time basis.

If you're interested in the research or scholarship aspects of marketing, you might consider a Ph.D. program. On-campus programs are better equipped to prepare you for an academic career because they provide enhanced research opportunities, closer interaction with faculty and teaching experience. Online Ph.D. programs are also available, however, and can be a good option if your primary goal is the development of professional expertise or career advancement.

Degree Options Master of science in marketing, MBA with marketing concentration, doctorate
Online Learning Access lectures, assignments and exams online; interact with instructors and other students using e-mails, conference calls and discussion boards
Common Courses Promotional strategies, global marketing, consumer behavior, distribution channels, marketing research
Career Options Product management, advertising and sales, marketing research, distribution
Job Outlook (2018-2028)8% growth (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)*
Median Salary (2018)$132,620 (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Earn a Degree Online?

If you're a working adult with a busy schedule, an online marketing program may be your best option. A computer with sufficient memory, an Internet connection and standard software are all that's required to take marketing courses online. To provide optimal flexibility, many online programs are available in an asynchronous format. Asynchronous programs allow you to log in at your convenience to access lectures, assignments or exams.

In synchronous courses, you log in to a chat room to interact with your instructor and fellow students. Conference calls, e-mails, discussion boards and sometimes blogs are used for class communication. In both types of online course formats, learning management systems allow you to take assessments, post discussion responses and upload assignments.

What Will I Study?

At the master's degree level, you will study the theory and practice of the major areas of marketing in-depth. If you're enrolled in an MBA program, you will take courses in business administration - such as management, information systems, finance, economics and statistics - as well as marketing courses. Internships are highly recommended in various aspects of marketing to provide experience as well as networking opportunities. Representative marketing courses include the following:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Distribution channels
  • Marketing research
  • Promotional strategies
  • Services marketing
  • Global marketing
  • Marketing communications

What Can I Do When I Graduate?

With a graduate degree in marketing, you may work in advertising and sales, product management, distribution or marketing research, among other areas. You may become a sales, marketing or promotions manager. Manufacturers, retailers, consulting agencies and business service firms are among the types of organizations that employ marketing professionals. If you earn a Ph.D., you may find work in academia as a marketing professor, performing research, publishing journal articles and teaching.