Online Marketing Degrees by Program Level

Dec 03, 2019

Essential Information

Marketing degree programs can be completed online at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field are more commonly available in a distance learning format. Some programs may be focused on marketing management, Internet marketing or marketing and public relations.

These programs usually offer the majority or all of the coursework online, though hybrid degree programs that offer a mix of campus and online courses are also available. At the bachelor's degree level, only the last two years of study may be offered fully online. Some programs may also require an internship to get real-world experience and better prepare graduates for the job market.

Associate's Degrees in Marketing

An online associate's degree in marketing introduces students to basic marketing principles and skills. It provides students with a foundation in the field that will be of benefit if they decide to pursue an advanced degree. A program may include advanced topics, such as sales techniques, public relations and consumer behavior. Students may be able to transfer their credits to a bachelor's degree program at the 4-year school. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED and at least a 2.0 GPA. Good written and oral communication skills along with courses in art or graphics would be an asset.

Program Information and Requirements

Most programs can be completed online, but some may include an in-person internship. A school may request COMPASS or ASSET scores. Students should be able to complete an online associate's degree in marketing in 18-24 months.

Students will need a computer and Internet access in order to complete the degree remotely. Other software may be required.

Course Topics

Program investigates marketing communication tools, specifically those used to carry out a direct marketing campaign. Students learn about global markets and doing business with foreign markets. Courses may include:

Marketing Principles

Students learn about marketing's role in business. Topics include effective marketing, relationship marketing, quality management and competitive strategy.

Promotion and Advertising

Course looks at direct marketing, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling. It also investigates consumer behavior, evaluation of promotion media and communication theory.

Practices and Principles of Customer Service

This course is geared towards customer service providers and managers. Students hone their skills in analyzing behaviors and attitudes of customers.

Organization Marketing

Students examine B2B (business to business) marketing. Topics include B2B marketing principles, strategies, practices and future trends.

Bachelor's Degrees in Marketing

Online marketing programs at the bachelor's level not only introduce students to the principles of marketing, they also provide a basic understanding of multidisciplinary concepts in business and industry. Students gain the skills needed to effectively develop, establish and maintain business relationships. Courses incorporate the most recent techniques, trends and practices used in the marketing field. Completing an online bachelor's degree in marketing prepares individuals for entry-level careers in marketing specialties, such as advertising, brand management, sales or public relations.

Program Information and Requirements

An online bachelor's degree in marketing requires a combination of general education, business and marketing courses usually totaling approximately 120-credit hours. Typically offered as a Bachelor of Science degree, students can expect this type of marketing degree to require four years to complete. Some online marketing programs are available completely online, while others offer only the last two years of upper division marketing courses online. Hybrid course curricula that offer a combination of online and on-campus coursework are also available.

Students enrolled in an online undergraduate degree program must have reliable access to high speed Internet and a familiarity with posting to online message boards. Students also need to possess a high level of self-discipline in order to keep up with online assignments.

Course Topics

Online marketing programs at this level provide a comprehensive marketing curriculum accompanied by courses in business foundations and general education requirements. Required coursework addresses key elements of advertising, public relations, marketing principles and marketing management.

Legal Environment of Business

This course provides an overview of ethical and legal issues that pertain to general business practices. Topics covered include the areas of the U.S. legal system that are relevant to business, such as intellectual property, contract law, liability and law of torts.

Buyer and Consumer Behavior

Online courses in buyer and consumer behavior examine social and environmental factors that influence purchase decisions. Topics include internal and external influences, post-purchase processes and customer satisfaction.

Marketing Research

This course introduces students to business research methods to collect data that can be used to develop effective marketing plans. Topics covered include problem formulation, data analysis, scientific research methods and reporting processes.

Master of Business Administration in Marketing

Online master's degree programs in the marketing field, usually offered as Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees, provide students with an advanced understanding of how to make strategic marketing decisions utilizing marketing research and other sound business practices. In addition to focusing their study on marketing principles, students are expected to complete courses in general business areas, such as business law, statistics, accounting and economics. Marketing MBA programs offered online are typically designed for working professionals who have earned a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or a related field. Graduates are able to recognize the importance of corporate positioning and implementing effective marketing strategies to attract, retain and understand new and returning customers.

Program Information and Requirements

Online MBA programs in marketing can be completed entirely online or through hybrid programs that are presented in a cohort fashion. Requiring approximately 18-24 months to complete, an online master's program typically requires students to participate in online discussions through electronic forum postings, complete group projects and, in some cases, utilize video conferencing to communicate with professors and classmates.

Graduate students are often encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities in order to better prepare for career advancement; however, most programs do not have an internship component as part of the degree. Students need to have a high-speed Internet connection and common software programs, such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to access course materials and complete assignments.

Course Topics

Online marketing MBA programs include a curriculum that requires approximately 12-17 courses. Students are expected to complete courses in marketing specialties as well as develop core competencies through general business coursework.

Marketing Management

Students become familiar with key concepts of customer communication, pricing strategies, product development and channel management in order to create marketing opportunities. Students learn to segment markets and create long-term customers through analysis of research and management strategies.

Organizational Behavior

Including theory and practical application exercises, this course examines how organizational behavior is impacted by individual and group dynamics. Students become familiar with how behavior and decision making is affecting by various factors, such as motivation, culture, power and perception.

Strategic Marketing

This course emphasizes the importance of marketing research in strategic decision making. Topics include market research methods, sampling, collection methods and data analysis.

Career Information

Graduates of an online associate's degree in marketing may work as sales associates, customer service reps, marketing assistants and retail management personnel. They may also work for advertising agencies, financial institutions or market research companies.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that job growth for customer service reps will be 10% from 2018-2028. Customer service reps made a median salary of $33,750 yearly in 2018.

Completing an online bachelor's degree in marketing prepares individuals for entry-level positions as purchasing agents, buyers, account managers, public relations specialists or sales representatives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2018 purchasing agents made a median salary of $67,600. The BLS reports that jobs in the marketing field are often highly competitive and require long work hours.

Earning an online marketing MBA degree prepares individuals for a wide array of managerial opportunities within the field of marketing, including positions as sales leaders, advertising executives, merchandising managers, market researchers and business owners. Employment decline in the purchasing management field between 2018 and 2028 is expected to decrease at a rate of 6%, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Depending on the size of the company and nature of the position, wages and salaries within the marketing professional vary greatly. However, according to the BLS, the median annual wage in 2018 for marketing managers was $134,290.

Continuing Education Information

With a global marketplace that is constantly changing, marketing managers need to be familiar with the latest trends and issues facing the industry. Regional and national conferences, seminars and workshops can help marketing professionals do just that. Continuing education opportunities are most often offered through universities and colleges as well as professional societies, such as the American Marketing Association.

Examples of continuing education topics include marketing trends in social media, international marketing strategies, ethical issues in marketing research and e-commerce. Individuals interested in entering the world of academia may choose to pursue a Ph.D. in business, marketing or a related field. It is important to note that Ph.D. programs in this field are not commonly offered online and must be completed in person.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in marketing can be fulfilled entirely online. These programs consist of coursework in advertising, customer service and marketing.

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