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Fully online advertising degrees at the master's level are not very common, but they can be found at some public and private universities. There are also hybrid options that blend online and on-campus coursework. Some schools may not offer a distance learning graduate degree specifically in advertising but there are related programs that offer coursework in the field, such as public relations, marketing communication and strategic communication programs. Online MBA programs with a marketing concentration include advertising topics as well.
Online master's degree programs in advertising, like campus-based programs, are designed to provide students with information and skills useful in sales, marketing and advertising environments. Some programs may focus on advertising from a business-oriented perspective, while others could approach the subject from a more creative or artistic angle. Master's degree programs in this field typically take about two to three years to finish.
Many students enrolling in these programs are industry professionals looking to advance in the field by enhancing their education. For this reason, schools offering distance learning advertising master's degree programs often require applicants to submit a resume or portfolio of work that displays their professional achievements. Regardless of a school's experience requirements, all students seeking a master's degree must have first earned a bachelor's degree.
Students enrolled in online master's programs in advertising study the same topics that are covered in campus-based degree programs. Programs aim to provide individuals with expertise they can use to strategize and carry out effective advertising and marketing campaigns, while also carrying out managerial duties within organizations. Among the subjects addressed are:
- Media planning
- Direct advertising
- Communication methods
- Market research
- Consumer behavior
- Public relations
Internships and Final Projects
Distance learning master's programs in advertising typically do not have on-campus requirements, but some programs offer the opportunity to complete an internship in an appropriate setting. In addition, programs may culminate with an applied project requiring students to combine their professional experiences with field research. These capstone courses may require an oral presentation, but these could be completed using video conferencing technology over the Internet.
Career Information for Graduates
Students who earn an online master's degree in advertising have the opportunity to accelerate their careers. Graduates of these programs may be qualified for advertising manager, marketing director and public relations manager positions, depending on prior work experience. Those not interested in high-level executive positions often seek copywriting, research and consulting opportunities.
By earning an online master's degree in advertising or a related area, students develop advanced communications skills that can be applied in a wide range of industries. Because of the flexibility of online study, these programs can allow professionals to increase their advertising expertise while still working.