Zero in on Your Target with a Marketing Degree

In today's complex and competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever to target your audience correctly. Having a good grasp of modern marketing strategies and techniques can help your company exceed sales expectations while you maximize your career potential. Online degree programs in marketing provide all of the necessary tools and education to work in the exciting and fast-paced field of advertising and marketing. If you already possess an associate's degree in marketing, choosing to further your education with online marketing courses can help you reach academic goals while increasing your value to your company.

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Marketing Degree Information

The goal of marketing is to determine how consumers combine information, what choices they make and how marketing can influence those choices. This evaluation of psychological behavior leads to developing strategy and creating mathematical models that represent consumer action. Marketing management uses the ìmarketing mix,î also known as the ìfour Pís,î to promote, price, place and produce things that consumers will want and buy. Strategic marketing determines how organizations can compete with others in the same market, while operational marketing implements plans to attract new consumers and keep old ones.

Marketing uses creative and analytical skills to solve problems and develop solutions that will profit the company and please the consumer. These degree programs mold students into leaders with management courses. General education courses are necessary in addition to some statistics, finance and computer science courses. Students will learn about advertising, brand marketing, market research, sales promotion and retail along with trend analysis and the growing e-commerce industry as well as product development, consumer decision making, pricing, global marketing and legal issues with marketing.

Other subjects covered in marketing major include buyer behavior, pricing policies, channels of distribution like retail and wholesale, product development, professional selling, marketing research, advertising, sales promotion and marketing management skills.

Earning A Degree Online

For some students, going back to school is difficult because of their location or other responsibilities, like holding down a job. Marketing degrees are available online and provide a more flexible way to earn a degree than at a traditional educational institution. Make sure the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits the online degree program first. An alternative learning method is to attend community colleges in the area that award associateís degrees or transfer credit to a four-year university.

Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor of Science or Arts in Marketing prepares students for entry level and management positions in marketing sectors. The curriculum focuses on understanding consumer behavior, distributing products, collecting and analyzing information about consumers for managerial decision-making, advertising and promotion and managing retail and wholesale operations, from conceptualization to execution, merchandising, branding and buying.

Master Of Business Administration

For a focus on business with a marketing brand, ambitious students should learn more about business school and earning an MBA, or Masters in Business Administration. Degrees for MBA programs will include courses covering general aspects of business such as operations management, human resources and finance. However, MBA programs may offer a concentration in marketing and advertising, which can prove extremely beneficial in terms of getting a management or executive position. MBA program admissions require transcripts and test scores from the mandatory Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Further Education

While there are not that many schools that offer a Ph.D. in marketing, there are some notable exceptions. For example, Penn State has a program that works with graduate students that explores and researches three core areas in marketing: psychological foundations of consumer behavior, marketing models and quantitative methods, and marketing management and strategy. Each of these areas prepares the student for becoming a researcher.


The classes a student takes as a marketing major are part of an interdisciplinary program of business and social sciences. This means having a solid background in business courses like finance, international business, economics and accounting alongside mathematics courses like statistics and general psychology and sociology courses for measuring and determining human behavior.

Some of the coursework students are likely to take include basic marketing, professional selling, retail management, promotions and sales, market research, logistics and distribution, management in marketing and channels management, international marketing and business to business marketing.

Career Opportunities

Marketing is one of the broadest and largest industries around. From small businesses to massive corporations, every company needs marketers to help promote and sell products. Advertising agencies, nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, consulting firms, consumer organizations, publications, labor unions, educational institutions, hospitals, credit unions and banks all need marketing specialists.

Management positions for marketing require some years of experience or a higher degree. Market research analyst, media buyer, sales promoter, media planner and public relations director are all positions that fall within the realm of marketing degrees. Since marketing is such an expansive field of study, there are tons of job possibilities available.

Advertising, promotions, marketing and public relations management and executive levels are the main jobs of interest for those with a marketing degree. Advertising managers supervise the copy, art and communication media for an advertisement campaign in a firm. Marketing managers create a marketing strategy with research to identify prospective markets and monitor trends. Promotions managers come up with ideas for purchase incentives, while public relations managers oversee public relations specialists and work on a specific industry or focus on using communication to alleviate public concerns about an individual or company.

Other careers with a degree in marketing include bank officer, inventory manager, consumer loan officer, credit analyst, retail storeowner, advertising copywriter, account representative, product manager, advertising account executive, securities broker and media analyst.

Earning Potential

Due to the broad nature of a marketing degree, there is both room for growth and a demand for marketing professionals in every sector. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a marketing manager earns a median annual salary of $87,640. Advertising executives and promotions managers earn an annual average of $97,540, while public relations managers earn around $82,180 on average. Managing a company entirely, such as marketing or advertising firms, can bring in up to $103,070, whereas working in a scientific or technical consulting firm earns $100,200.

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Marketing Degree FAQs

Is a Degree Required to Work in Marketing?

Most hiring managers look for candidates who have at least a four-year bachelor's degree in marketing. Other types of degrees can also help you gain employment in this field as well, such as a degree in liberal arts or business. Since the responsibilities and job requirements in marketing vary, a well-rounded individual who exhibits a fair amount of experience in addition to education stands the best opportunity for landing a position.

What Do Marketing Professionals Do?

The goal of every marketing professional is to present an image of a company that makes consumers want to use their products or services. There is a high level of research, creativity and imagination required to work in marketing. Marketers must assess the needs and wants of customers, designing campaigns that can help maximize brand visibility and sales.

How Do I Become a Marketing Specialist?

Marketing is a very flexible field that requires a number of different jobs to be performed in order to attain commercial success. Some of the specialized jobs available in marketing include marketing copywriter, brand manager, marketing account manager, market research analyst and careers in public relations.

What Is the Job Forecast for the Marketing Industry?

Due to global and domestic competition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor expects the number of jobs in marketing to increase through 2016 by approximately 12 percent. However, some business sectors, such as the technology and science are expected to grow at a faster rate than others.

Why Should I Choose an Online Marketing Degree Program?

If you are like most professionals, you don't have the flexibility to dedicate full-time to coursework. You have your daily job and/or family responsibilities that take priority above all else.

Online programs in marketing allow you to take college courses in the field of your choice, according to your own schedule. You can take courses at night, early in the morning, over the weekend or whenever your time allows.

Online marketing degree programs help further your education and career, at your own pace. Financial aid and loan assistance is even available for most online courses offered by accredited colleges and universities. With online degree programs in marketing, you can strive toward the career of your dreams, without sacrificing the job you have right now.

What Is the Timeframe to Complete an Online Associate's Degree in Marketing?

Associate's degrees in marketing generally take a period of two years to complete. If divided into traditional semesters, it would generally take four full-time semesters, equating to 60 credits. Going to school from a computer offers scheduling flexibility, as students may choose to speed up the learning process in order to decrease time spent obtaining the degree.

Students who would choose to do the opposite, offering more time to work or family life, can certainly take advantage of that option. Ultimately, if a student offers quality curriculum work, he or she can complete the program successfully, regardless of pace.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Sales?

On average, students complete a bachelor's degree in marketing and sales in four years. Many students who pursue a bachelor's online accelerate or slow the process based on personal preference. Therefore, students may complete an online degree in three years or extend the process to five or six years.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Marketing MBA Students?

While the admission requirements vary from school to school, all graduate programs require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree in preparation for intensive studies. Typically, you will need to submit a completed application, GRE or GMAT scores and an official copy of your transcripts. Some colleges also ask for interviews, essays and letters of recommendation to help them decide if students have the academic experience to succeed in their programs.

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