Marketing Degrees

From associate's to doctorates, learn what you can do with a marketing degree and which degree you'll need for the marketing job of your dreams. Whether you need the convenience of an online marketing degree or are looking for a quick certificate program in marketing, find out what these programs offer and what kind of salary you can expect with a marketing degree.

Marketing Degree Overview

Marketing degrees are a great option if you have a creative side but also have a business mindset. You should also be team-oriented, able to iterate and change as needed, and be self-motivated. With these intrinsic skills, a marketing degree program will prepare you to build a marketing career that capitalizes on these skills and allows you to utilize your strong communication, decision making, and analytical skills to help every sector of a business understand their customers better.

So, what types of marketing programs are there? Well, marketing programs are available at the certificate level as well as all levels of degrees. No matter your education level though, you can take your knowledge and enter the professional world in a marketing career.

Degree Program Length Online Availability Who the degree is good for
Certificate Varies; typically 3-6 months Most programs offered 100% online *Individuals seeking a marketing career
*Professionals in the field who want to update skills and better understand industry trends
Associate Degree 2 years Yes; many programs available online *Students seeking an entry-level marketing career
*Students looking to earn credits towards a bachelor's degree program
Bachelor's Degree 4 years Yes; many programs available online *Those seeking a marketing career with opportunities for advancement
*Students interested in pursuing a master's or MBA in marketing
Master's Degree Varies; typical programs last 2 years Yes; many programs available online *Students interested in specializing in a specific field of marketing
*Individuals wanting a competitive advantage when applying to jobs
MBA Varies; typical programs last 2 years Yes; many programs available online *Students seeking an upper-level management position
*Students who want a well-rounded advanced business practice education with an emphasis on marketing strategies
Ph.D or DBA Varies; can last 4-8 years Some programs available online or in hybrid format *Professionals wanting to become a marketing professor at a university

Marketing Certificate Programs

A marketing certificate program introduces you to strategies and techniques used for marketing and research in different markets. You'll learn about different approaches to marketing, whether it's through direct email campaigning, via social media, through search engine optimization (SEO) or by providing content. Although certificate programs are not as lengthy as degree programs, a marketing certificate still grants you access to the same student and alumni resources, including career placement assistance and the opportunity for networking.

Associate Degree in Marketing

An associate degree in marketing can typically be earned in two years, averaging around 60 credits total. Earning an associate of marketing degree involves the study of principles in not just marketing, but a few other industries like business, finance, and accounting. You'll cover topics in the following areas:

  • Human relations
  • Business law
  • Financial accounting
  • Business to business (B2B) marketing
  • Retailing

After finishing the associate degree, you could pursue a career as a public relations specialist, or find your place in the world of business marketing or digital marketing. You may also choose to start out with an associate degree at a community college, so you can earn the necessary credits to move on to your bachelor's in marketing, transferring the previous courses into your new program of study.

Bachelor of Marketing

In a four-year bachelor's degree in marketing program, you'll gain a deep understanding of various marketing strategies and perform real-world activities like analyzing real-world marketing situations and make recommendations based on your findings. You'll encounter topics in global marketing, strategic management, and consumer behavior.

While pursuing a bachelor's degree in marketing, opportunities for internships are available where you can earn valuable real-world experience and build your academic portfolio further on the way to finding a new career. As part of a marketing degree, a bachelor's program includes core courses in:

  • Business finance
  • International marketing
  • Integrated communications
  • Consumer behavior
  • Online marketing and social media

Programs offered include both a B.A. and a B.S. in marketing. A Bachelor of Arts is usually more generalized and allows you to explore the marketing industry by exposing you to a wider variety of marketing courses in several specialized areas. On the other hand, a Bachelor of Science in business marketing stays on a more narrow track that focuses on a specific area of the marketing industry. Usually, core electives in a B.S. program will be filled with this targeted marketing specialty coursework.

A bachelor's degree prepares you for entry-level jobs in the marketing industry as a market research analyst, promotional manager, or a brand manager.

Master's in Marketing

To improve your career options (particularly in management), you can earn a Master of Arts or Science in Marketing, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Marketing. Earning a master's in marketing requires about two years for a full-time degree program. A master's degree in marketing affords the opportunity for a specialization at certain schools, such as:

  • Marketing research and insights
  • Strategic advertising
  • Enterprise marketing management.

Another graduate degree option is an MBA marketing program. These programs are available to students who come from an undergraduate background outside of marketing or students who have an extensive background in marketing already. In a marketing MBA program, you can explore courses in the following:

  • Sales
  • Global brand strategy
  • Managing modern customers and markets

Earning an MBA with a concentration in marketing can turn the heads of hiring managers looking for someone well-qualified in business, auditing, and finance, and if you create a capstone project, you can list that on your resume. An MBA in marketing typically takes two years to complete, though you can reduce that time with an accelerated program or extend it by attending a part-time program.

PhD in Marketing

With a Ph.D. in marketing or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a focus in Marketing, you become qualified to teach marketing courses to college or university-level students. Teaching opportunities may be available during your Ph.D. program if you include teaching assistantship as part of your financial aid.

Doctorates are usually completed anywhere between four and eight years; this can vary according to how long you take to write a dissertation. Depending on the program, doctorate-level seminars may make up a significant part of your studies, but you can take traditional coursework in topics like:

  • Qualitative research
  • Consumer behavior
  • Statistics
  • Economics

Online Marketing Degree

If you prefer to earn your degree online, you're in luck; online marketing degrees are very easy to find. Anything from a certificate all the way up to a doctorate can be found in accredited online programs, allowing you to earn academic credentials from anywhere with an active internet connection. Discussion boards or synchronous meetings can be a part of the class format, depending on instructor or institution preference.

There are also hybrid marketing programs, which require some in-person attendance along with online coursework. Even programs that are advertised as 100% online might require a campus visit, so be sure to check with your syllabus and instructor.

Self-paced online programs are perfect for those who already have a career and need to devote time to schedules that do not involve the degree. At the same time, this can create more stress if you forget about a deadline for an assignment, which could get lost amid other life events.

What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree?

Earning a degree can qualify you to fill a variety of marketing careers, though academic requirements vary for different jobs. Although some marketing careers do require a Master's, most marketing jobs require at least a bachelor's. There are also many opportunities to advance your marketing career to a position with higher responsibility and management opportunities. These opportunities may come with higher education or years of professional experience.

Listed below are a few examples of where you can take your marketing degree with you as you pursue a career:

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Marketing Associate $44,664
Marketing Coordinator $41,954
Marketing Director $83,164
Marketing Manager $63,124
Marketing Specialist $49,493
Marketing Assistant $36,503
Assistant Professor $65,723

*Source: Payscale.com