Integrated marketing communications is a degree program for individuals who want to learn not only about aspects of business, but also how to promote their company's products or services to others. Individuals may earn a 4-year bachelor's or 2-year master's degree, depending on their career goals.
Bachelor's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications
Many colleges and universities offer this undergraduate program as a combination of communication or journalism studies with business and management training. Some institutions host the program through a business school while others present it as a liberal arts program. Regardless, it typically covers management principles, statistics and marketing, along with writing, media studies and media law. It culminates in either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program. Alternately, a bachelor's degree program in marketing may include coursework in integrated marketing communications. These programs require students to have a high school diploma or GED to be admitted.
In addition to core coursework, this program's curriculum features general education classes, such as English, math and science. Many programs also require the completion of a research project and internship. Classes may discuss:
- Public relations
- Advertising principles
- Media law and ethics
- Consumer behavior
- Promotional management
Master's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications
Students learn about analyzing the market, creating campaigns and promoting a business' goods or services. As is the case with the bachelor's degree program, coursework from business, marketing and communications is included. This program most often results in a Master of Science, but may sometimes lead to a Master of Arts.
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is required to enroll in a master's degree program. Some programs require applicants submit an essay to determine writing ability or statement of purpose. In some cases, a prerequisite course in introductory integrated marketing communications may be required.
This type of program typically involves intense study into business, marketing and communication principles. Some programs involve a research project, thesis, internship or similar work experience. Courses may address:
- Direct marketing
- Market research and analysis
- Emerging media
- Social media
- Creative strategy and implementation
Popular Career Options
Individuals with advanced training from an integrated marketing communications program may be prepared for senior-level positions. Some possible job titles are:
- Chief marketing officer
- Integrated marketing communications director
- Vice president of marketing communications
- Media buyer
- Regional communications manager
- Direct marketing manager
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Several schools offer certificate programs for graduate-level study in integrated marketing communications. Those programs may be appealing to people who don't have the time to commit to a longer and more expansive master's degree program.
The Association of Product Management and Product Marketing offers a Certified Product Marketing Manager credential that involves passing an exam. It provides training and preparation courses for the exam. The Sales and Marketing Executives International offers credentials for advertising, marketing and sales managers that involves adherence to a code of ethics and taking an exam.
Professional organizations like these also offer continuing education opportunities for professionals, such as conferences and seminars. Several institutions offer communications or marketing Ph.D. programs, and some may even have interdisciplinary programs in both.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
One possible role for an individual who has earned a bachelor's degree in integrated marketing communications is in marketing management. Marketing managers identify markets for their firms' goods or services and supervise marketing staff members, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS predicts 8% job growth for marketing managers from 2018 to 2028, which is about as fast as average for all national occupations. The median salary for marketing managers was $134,290 in 2018, according to the BLS.
Integrated marketing communications degrees at both the bachelor's and master's levels require coursework in advertising and media, as well as other related courses. There are various career opportunities in the marketing field available for graduates, though some may prefer to pursue certification or advanced degrees.