Network marketing, which is a form of multi-level marketing or direct selling, is employed by companies to aid them in reaching out to potential customers. Although students cannot major specifically in network marketing, programs in marketing at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree levels will prepare graduates to work for companies who need them to promote their products and agendas. Aspiring network marketers, research associates and marketing managers will have opportunities to study advertising concepts, Internet marketing strategies and marketing technologies. They might also participate in internship experiences or complete a capstone or thesis project. Marketing-related certifications can be earned through various professional associations.
Associate's programs require a high school diploma or equivalent. Bachelor's programs require a high school diploma or equivalent plus SAT or ACT test scores. Master's programs require a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field, along with GRE or GMAT scores.
Associate's Degree in Marketing
Associate's degrees programs, such as the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Management with a marketing specialization or Associate of Science (A.S.) in Marketing, educate students in the areas of business and company management, as well as marketing. Students are required to take courses in marketing areas, including research, marketing campaigns and advertising principles, to gain the skills required to work as a network marketer. A high school degree or GED equivalent is typically needed to enter an associate's degree program in this field. Students enrolled in an associate's degree marketing program typically take general education courses in areas of English, mathematics and psychology, as well as major based classes similar to the following:
- Business law
- Math for business and finance
- Business orientation
- Advertising principles
Bachelor of Science in Marketing
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Marketing focuses on genre-specific marketing methods and business practices, as well as sports marketing, sales, e-commerce and other marketing areas. Degree programs with marketing specializations are also available, including the B.S. in Business or B.S. in Business Administration. Undergraduate marketing degree programs train students in many aspects of business management and marketing through hands-on and classroom work. Admission into the B.S. program also requires a high school diploma and proof of SAT or ACT test scores; however, many programs also require prerequisite work prior to admittance into the major. Students enrolled in this program will take courses centered on marketing, accounting, marketing and statistics as well as those focusing on specific types of business marketing, such as the following:
- Principles of retailing
- Internet marketing
- Marketing data analysis
- Business to business e-commerce
Master's Degree in Marketing
Graduate students in marketing degree programs, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Marketing Research or M.S. in Integrated Marketing, are introduced to advanced marketing methods in areas such as digital marketing, brand management or marketing analytics. Completing an internship course within this program is a common requirement and can lead to advanced job opportunities in the field. Master's degree programs typically require a capstone or thesis project in a marketing area, which is completed during the last year of the program. Students can expect a curriculum that covers areas of marketing, digital marketing and business strategy, as well as coursework similar to the following:
- Marketing analysis
- Pricing and metrics
- Directed internship
- Marketing technology
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an associate's degree program in marketing will probably take on an entry-level job with a company that deals primarily with sales. Popular job titles include the following:
- Sales manager
- Account coordinator
- Sales technician
Bachelor's degree programs in marketing prepare graduates for entry- to mid-level sales or marketing positions. Direct selling companies typically request these types of workers for positions similar to the following:
- Brand assistant
- Account executive
- Research associate
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marketing management job growth is projected to increase 5% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for marketing managers was $128,750 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
The Association of Product Management and Product Marketing (AIPMM) offers several continuing education options, including the Certified Product Marketing Manager certification, which focuses primarily on skill development in assessing the marketplace, strategic marketing, product analysis and more (www.aipmm.com). The Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) group offers the Certified Marketing Executive Certification designed for marketing consultants, marketing directors, chief marketing officers, marketing managers and other high-level marketing professionals (www.smei.org) . The 280Group, a company that offers training for marketing programs across the country, also offers several certification programs designed for product management and product marketing professionals (www.280group.com).
Students wishing to pursue a career in network marketing should take advantage of the topics learned through a marketing degree program, which will give them the skills to advance their careers in direct sales and network marketing opportunities.