Both full-time students and marketing professionals can benefit from certificate programs since they are flexible and specialized. Program lengths and admission requirements vary, but graduate certificates are open only to bachelor's degree holders, while a high school diploma or the equivalent is needed for undergraduate admission. Undergraduate certificate curricula often focus on fundamental concepts needed for the field. However, graduate certificate curricula go in depth on concepts covered in earlier certificate programs and discuss marketing tools and strategies used at different types of companies.
Undergraduate Marketing Certificate
Undergraduate certificate programs in marketing are meant for either new students or younger professionals wishing to enhance their skills and knowledge through additional education. Certificate programs at this level focus on fundamental marketing concepts, including pricing, promotional strategies, marketing communications, and the use of digital technologies for marketing purposes. These certificates vary in credit hours and are offered with some flexibility regarding class times and course sequence. Course offerings generally include:
- Integrated marketing communications
- Digital marketing
- Marketing management
- Sales and promotion
Graduate Marketing Certificate
Marketing professionals in entry- or mid-level positions who wish to advance their skills may pursue a graduate certificate in marketing. Students gain in-depth understanding of consumer behavior, branding, analytics for marketing, and methods of promotion.
Students often choose electives to match their marketing interests and professional needs. Course offerings for graduate marketing certificates generally include:
- International global marketing
- Interactive marketing
- Market research
- Social and viral marketing
- Entrepreneurship strategies
- Advertising copywriting
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that marketing managers could expect job growth of 8% between 2018 and 2028, while market research analysts would experience employment growth of 20% for the same decade (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $134,290 in 2018 and noted that those with knowledge of Internet and new media advertising platforms will have the best job opportunities. Meanwhile, the BLS also stated that market research analysts and marketing specialists earned a median wage of $63,120 per year in 2018.
According to O*NET OnLine, 56% of marketing managers and 57% of market research analysts and marketing specialists hold a bachelor's degree, which indicates that professionals in marketing occupations generally need education beyond the undergraduate certificate (www.onetonline.org). Some certificates are designed to transfer directly into a school's marketing or business bachelor's degree program; students may also choose to transfer these credits to a different institution.
Students who hold a graduate certificate in marketing may choose to transfer their credits to a master's degree program in marketing, business or a related field. Some may also decide to pursue doctoral work, which the BLS noted as providing a competitive edge for market and survey researchers.
Another option for marketing professionals is certification through industry organizations. The American Marketing Association offers the Professional Certified Marketer (CPM) credential, which lasts three years and requires continuing education credits to renew (www.marketingpower.com). Additionally, market researchers may choose the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) designation offered by the Marketing Research Association, which is a two-year certification granted after the applicant passes an exam (www.marketingresearch.org).
Marketing certificates can be earned at the undergraduate or graduate level. Undergraduate programs are intended for young professionals or new students learning the basics of marketing, while graduate programs advance the skills of marketing professionals who wish to learn more about entrepreneurship strategies, market research and more.