Last Updated: December 8, 2020
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Marketing is a passionate and exciting profession, but sometimes you can get stuck in a rut. If you’ve spent years defining new brands and researching market strategies, you might be experiencing that common feeling of stagnation that follows mastery of a task, and long for new challenges to motivate you.
For many marketing professionals, the solution to defeating this stagnation is career advancement. Climbing the corporate ladder is an intimidating prospect in today’s competitive business world, requiring a solid educational background to meet the increasing needs of leadership. To ease the transition from lower-level marketer to expert manager, many professionals return to school to earn their master’s degrees in marketing.
Graduate students have opportunities to develop valuable skills, learn new concepts, and network with other business professionals. Whether you’re seeking a higher-level position, or looking to further advance your marketing knowledge, a master’s degree in marketing will prepare you for the next level.
What will I learn?
In a graduate marketing program, you will explore more advanced concepts used in marketing, while continuing your studies of core marketing theories. These higher-level courses allow students to learn from leaders in the marketing field.
Who earns a Masters in Marketing?
There are three main types of students who are interested in pursuing master’s degrees in marketing.
- Students who choose to enroll in specialized marketing programs immediately after completing their undergraduate degrees.
- Students who choose to enroll in specialized marketing programs after having some work experience under their belt.
- Students who initially enroll in track programs, where they complete combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marketing – only available at some schools.
Graduate-level professors provide students with a comprehensive study of marketing concepts and techniques through real-life simulations. Whether it is through mock presentations or role-playing exercises, these hands-on approaches allow students to develop a variety of management and leadership skills.
These learned skill will help future marketing managers support their employees, as well as strengthen and maintain existing relationships with consumers. With knowledge gained in your program, you’ll also be able to:
- Understand a multitude of marketing theories and practices
- Learn the psychology behind consumer buying behaviors
- Discover the global impact on today’s businesses and their marketing efforts
- Manage and develop marketing strategies to meet the changing needs of companies
- Practice influential outreach tactics used in conjunction with new media and technology
Many of these skills are developed through required courses, but students may specialize in one of several core marketing areas to differentiate themselves further. In a master’s degree program, some typical courses include:
Integrated Marketing Communications
To maximize their sales opportunities, business professionals must use integrated marketing communications (IMC). IMC includes personal and promotional selling, advertising, public relations, and media and client organizations. Students learn the process for developing and planning effective IMC strategies, and eventually create their own integrated marketing communications plan.
Financial Analysis of Marketing Decisions
This management course reviews methods and analytical tools used to integrate marketing practices with financial intelligence. Students learn how senior-level decisions are made, and what financial, functional, and managerial approaches are most effective in today’s marketing operations.
Understanding Consumer Behavior
In this course, students develop an understanding of the social psychological theories that motivate consumer decisions. Students develop analytical thinking, writing, and presentation skills while learning how social and psychological influences affect consumer choices.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer service has become an art form – an art form that, when practiced correctly, leads to huge gains for companies and businesses. This class is designed to teach students how to evaluate and develop winning customer service strategies. Students learn how to acquire and retain customers, and what components and methods are used to provide exceptional customer service.
What can I do with a Master’s Degree in Marketing?
When applying for a management position in marketing, you must bring a slate of original ideas, new uses for technology, and a list of industry contacts to the table if you hope to succeed. You want your employer to know that you are up-to-speed, and have the ability to produce quality work quickly and with little remedial training.
Master's Degree and Earning Potential
- A master’s degree will earn you $1.5 million more in your lifetime than a high school diploma.
- A high school diploma will earn you an average of $1.54 million throughout your work life.
- A bachelor’s degree will earn you an average of $2.43 million throughout your work life.
- A master’s degree will earn you an average of $3.05 million throughout your work life.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Entering the management workforce gives you a multitude of career options. The in-depth training you receive in a master’s program gives you the background to explore a variety of careers, including:
- Consumer Marketing Manager
- Advertising Sales Director
- Email Marketing Manager
- Public Relations Director
- Vice President of Marketing
To help you make decisions regarding new or advanced career opportunities, it is important to stay involved with your master’s program and school. Universities often host various clubs and organizations that allow you to network with fellow students and professionals currently working in marketing. Rubbing elbows with other business professionals can give you insight into different management career decisions, and give you a leg up on competition in the job market.
With an expanded network of contacts, you’ll strengthen your professional and educational portfolio, increasing your chances of employment in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 14% in the next decade. These managers will continue to be essential to the survival of businesses as they look to increase their share of the market.