Distance Learning Certificates in Marketing Communications

A number of colleges and universities offer online certificate options in marketing or marketing communications. Keep reading to see program options, coursework, online learning methods and career information.

Essential Information

Online certificates in marketing communications are mostly available from four-year universities and colleges. Typically taking around a year to complete, these programs combine strategic marketing concepts with communication tools. They're usually meant for professionals looking to update skills or advance their careers in the industry.

Some programs are offered for college credit, usually at the graduate level, and require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and possibly relevant work experience. Other distance learning programs are offered through universities' continuing education departments, which usually do not result in earning college credit. Such programs, although geared towards professionals, often do not have any prerequisites for enrollment.


Online marketing certificate programs cover budgeting, target markets, positioning and pricing. The certificate curriculum is designed to develop students' skills in selling a product while having a keen understanding of the target audience. Specific coursework may include:

  • Advertising
  • Promotions and public relations
  • E-marketing
  • Marketing principles
  • Technical writing
  • Customer relationships

Learning Environment

In online programs, instructors post course assignments, lectures, notes and projects in a virtual classroom setting. Although students can pursue their studies at a time of day convenient for them, they're required to complete the program in a set amount of time. Classmates and their instructors are able to interact and participate in discussions using virtual message boards or class chat rooms. Certificate programs in this field usually do not have any on-site requirements.

Career Information

There are a variety of positions available within the field of marketing communications. Each organization may have different titles and job duties all centered on this one field. Possible job titles for graduates the following:

  • Advertising manager
  • Publicist
  • Marketing director
  • Creative director
  • Communications specialist

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that job growth for marketing managers would increase at a faster-than-average rate of 9% between 2014 and 2024, landing a managerial position in marketing, advertising or related areas is often a highly competitive process. Most marketing managers have a bachelor's degree and work experience.

Depending on your previous experience and career goals, students can find both online graduate certificate and non-credit certificate programs in marketing communications. These programs explore fundamental topics in advertising and public relations to prepare graduates for upper-level marketing positions.

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