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Best Marketing & Advertising Degrees
A degree in marketing prepares individuals with the skills necessary to identify trends, understand human behavior, and to move products from producers to consumers by creating demand. An education in marketing requires individuals to understand human behavior and to influence their desires. Programs in marketing begin at the associate level and end at the doctoral. The average degree obtained is a master's degree, which usually allows for entry level positions. Bachelor's degrees in marketing are usually shunned in favor of business administration degrees with a focus on marketing.
What is the Difference Between Advertising and Marketing?
As a component of marketing, the discipline of advertising is a vital lever in business. The difference between marketing and advertising is critical to understand so we will start by describing each discipline in a succinct manner and then tackle their differences and similarities.
What is Marketing? Marketing is the broad-based discipline in business that includes creating, planning, and executing plans to conjoin sellers of a product or service with customers in a mutually beneficial exchange.
What is Advertising? Advertising is a subset of marketing where a paid, persuasive message is promoted by an identifiable entity in a non-personal and public manner.
The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising
Advertising: Advertising is a singular component of marketing alongside public relations, market research, media planning, pricing, customer service, sales, goodwill, and distribution. All individual components should work together to comprise marketing within a company. Advertising is the specialty focused on broadcasting a company’s products, services, brand, and business along with the specific strategies around the medium, placement, frequency, message, and amplification.
Marketing: Marketing is the thematic, strategic process that guides a company’s value proposition in the market. Marketing helps properly position an organization in the marketplace to maximize sales, reach, and reputation. Only after establishing a strategic marketing plan can the components of marketing, such as advertising, be implemented.
Top Online Degrees in Marketing and Advertising
Both advertising and marketing degrees can be earned on-site or online. In fact, online college degree programs are the fastest growing segment in higher education and a viable option as the quality, flexibility, and cost are more appealing than ever.
Online Associate’s Degree in Marketing & Advertising
The online associate’s degree in marketing and the online associate’s degree in advertising are 2-year programs at accredited colleges and universities. The two-year program is split between core programs and general education classes such as philosophy, English, and psychology. The mix of core marketing courses and liberal arts classes helps students think more holistically about the world around them and provides the workplace with well-rounded, thoughtful individuals.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing & Advertising
Bachelor’s degrees in advertising and marketing offered online are 4-year programs that provide students with a blend of liberal arts classes and core business courses. Bachelor degree programs in advertising and marketing can come in a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) or a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) depending on the school and curricular design. In either case, marketing and advertising can provide students with a broad set of skills in sales, marketing research, public relations, consumer behavior, international marketing, web-based marketing, retail operations, logistics, and export/import businesses.
Online Master’s Degree in Marketing & Advertising
Master’s degree earned online in marketing and advertising are most often are MBA or Master’s of Business Administration or Master of Science in Marketing (MSM) degrees. The vast majority of master degree programs allow students to specialize in a particular field. For example, an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing or Advertising or a MSM with a concentration in Marketing Management, Sales, Digital Marketing, or Marketing Analytics. In either case, the MBA or MSM programs are 1-2 year programs after all prerequisites are met for the program.
Online Doctorate Degree in Marketing & Advertising
The online doctorate degree in marketing and advertising is often found in the course catalog as a Doctor of Philosophy conferred as a PhD. The PhD degree in business or philosophy is known as a terminal degree which essentially means there are no advanced degrees beyond it denoting an end to the educational track. Most often, students pursuing a doctorate in marketing or advertising go on to perform research in advertising or marketing or choose to teach at the college level. The online PhD in advertising and marketing can be obtained in 3-5 years depending on the program and credits taken at a given time. Specializations in marketing and advertising at this level can be in fields such as statistics, economics, accounting, finance, management, marketing, and operations management.
Benefits of Earning a Marketing & Advertising Degree Online
Accredited colleges and universities across the country are rapidly adding online degree programs in marketing and advertising to keep pace with demand from students and employers. As such, quality degree programs are being added to course catalogs providing substantive choices for current and prospective students. A summary of the benefits of earning an online degree in marketing and advertising include the following:
- Cost – The overall costs associated with earning a marketing and advertising degree online tend to be less than traditional on-site college degree programs. Online learning provides students with the ability to continue working while earning a college degree thus saving significant dollars in lost wages. Additionally, students taking college courses online are not required to live on-campus saving significant dollars in room and board costs. Lastly, online students enrolled in a regionally or nationally accredited program still can qualify for financial aid. The combination of these 3 cost drivers help to make online degree programs an attractive proposition for busy professionals and working adults across the country.
- Access to Information – Students enrolled in an online course have the unique ability to jump online at any time without the traditional restrictions of being in a specific location at a prescribed time. With fewer physical restrictions, students and working professionals have an array of degree options to choose from regardless of geographic limitations.
- Accreditation – Enrolling in an online program offered by a regionally or nationally accredited program is critical to your success. Accreditation is earned by colleges and universities by independent, third-party organizations that vet a school’s processes, procedures, and curriculum to ensure quality standards are met from program to program.
- Curricular Design – Overall quality of online programs have grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Online degree programs will often mirror classroom-based degrees in lock-step. A published syllabus and an organized curricular instruction model will provide milestones for students and professors. Quality programs will frequently have a capstone course, thesis, cumulative exam, dissertation, final project, student teaching, and/or portfolio project.
- Flexible Scheduling – College degrees earned online allow students to join class on their terms not bound by the physical requirements of an on-site class. Flexibility is a big win for working professionals and those with hectic schedules to focus on upskilling and professional growth.
- Completion Time – Online degrees in marketing and advertising can be designed as self-paced programs thus allowing students to invest as much or as little time on a path towards completion. With many schools starting online classes every 6-8 weeks, distance learning programs are no longer bound by traditional school year schedules allowing students to start on a rolling basis.
Educational Requirements in Marketing & Advertising
Students enrolled in a marketing program will be exposed to basic business principles and psychology. A majority of the program will focus on market analyses and the various tools and techniques one must use in order to identify trends and gauge interest. Students will learn to analyze data to determine wants and viability, and to prepare reports in order to present their research and to write proposals in order to utilize identified trends. Students will also learn how to propose sales campaigns, create brand identification, introduce new products into a market and to reinvent the image of an existing product. Additionally, students will utilize case studies, both fictional and real, in order to have practical experience within an educational environment.
A marketing degree curriculum may include:
- Strategic Management
- Consumer Behavior
- Advertising and Promotion
- E-Marketing Fundamentals
- Financial Accounting
- Marketing Research
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Employment Information & Specializations
A degree in marketing allows individuals to enter the workforce with an understanding of business, economics, finance and human behavior. An individual who has studied marketing is a valuable asset in regards to understanding how to appeal to a particular demographic, and how to shape a product's image in order to sell it. As technology grows online marketing gains more and more ground, individuals who understand the internet and selling in the virtual space are going to be highly sought after. The need for new and modern thinking in marketing has resulted in the opening of new methods for campaigning and research is expected to increase exponentially as the average individual spends more time online.
Marketing specialists may find employment in a number of areas. Due to the cross-section of fields employed in marketing, and individual may pursue branches in business alongside more traditional marketing roles. The primary areas of focus, though, are still research and sales, with the marketing specialist identifying what products are in demand, what products may be developed to meet demand, and how to introduce a product to the market with demand in place. As a result, marketing majors may find work within a given business, advertising agency, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Public agencies and nonprofit organizations utilize market research and advertising to further their goals and target groups of interest.
Careers in Advertising and Marketing
Marketing and advertising careers can span virtually any geographic location, any industry, and any sector. From health insurance companies looking to grow their membership base to non-profit organizations looking for donations, businesses need trained, education marketing and advertising specialists. As you think about a career in advertising and marketing, you will undoubtedly as the question, what types of careers can I enter with a marketing and advertising college degree? To help you get familiar with common job titles in the industry we have culled a list of common job titles. Below you will find a list of career titles in marketing and advertising.
- Advertising Managers
- Public relations Managers
- Creative Staff
- Public Relations Manager
- Account Manager
- Marketing Managers
- Promotions Managers
- Brand Managers
- Sales Managers
- Market Research Analysts
- Account Specialist
- Account Executive
- Account Representative
- Advertising Copywriter
- Advertising Manager
- Media Sales Manager
- Online Advertising Manager
- Interactive Media Buyer
- Print Traffic Coordinator
- Advertising Sales Director
- Digital Media Planner
- Director, Advertising
- Interactive Media Buyer
- Marketing Coordinator
- Media Research Analyst
- Advertising Specialist
- Art Director
- Assistant Media Planner
- Broadcast Account Manager
- Client Support Specialist
- Print Traffic Director
- Social Media Advertising Manager
- Senior Account Director
- Target Marketing Strategist
- Communications Coordinator
- Creative Director
- Media Specialist
How Much Can I Make in Marketing and Advertising?
The amount of money you can make after earning an advertising and marketing degree depends on a number of factors. Geographic location, industry, demand, specific skill sets, organization type, aptitude, and education all come into play. Below we have gathered data from the BLS on a few job titles and median annual income to help you understand the range of possibilities when it comes to compensation.
Account Executive & Sales Executive: The median annual income for a sales executive range between $35,000 to $80,000 of total compensation. The range is so broad as the job title can be used for a number of different industries outside marketing and advertising.
Copywriters: Median annual income for copywriters is $61,240 based on the latest data provided with an expected 4% rise in employment over the coming decade which translates to 26,100 job openings during that time.
Public Relations Manager: Mean annual wage for a public relations manager is $105,690 accordingly to the BLS with the top 10% making an average of $176,400 and the bottom 10% making an average of $50,360.
Advertising Manager, Marketing Managers, Promotions Manager: The clustering of advertising, marketing, and promotions managers median annual income is $127,560 with an expected growth of 9% which will add some 19,700 jobs in the coming decade according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Advertising Sales Agents: The median annual income for an advertising sales agent is $50,380 with steady employment predicted in the industry for the coming decade.
Sales Managers: Sales managers make an average of $117,960 a year with an expected 5% increase over the coming decade adding approximately 19,000 jobs during that time.
Jobs across the advertising and marketing spectrum are expected to grow at a steady pace, with some exceeding the average growth of jobs in the United States. This is due to the varied methods employed by marketing specialists to deliver advertising, and the increased number of tools utilized to collect market research. Individuals interested in marketing may also be interested in business administration, international business, advertising, and market research.
For additional information about the vocational outlook and career resources, national organizations may be worth looking into. Two of the largest and most popular associations include the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the American Marketing Association (AMA). Member benefits vary between each association but the goals of each are similar insofar as helping individuals network and grow professionally year over year.