Marketing is a field that is constantly changing. With technology, social media, Big Data and other factors, it’s evolving at a rapid pace. For professionals interested in a career in marketing, an online master’s in marketing can help bridge the information gap. While the fundamentals of marketing may remain the same, earning an online marketing degree can expand your knowledge of the industry. You can also build upon previous educational and work experiences to create a career based on experience and advanced concepts.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there are more than 270,000 people employed as marketing managers in the U.S. with a median annual income of $142,170. Managers in the top 75th percentile or higher can earn upwards of $191,760.
For most master’s graduates with an online marketing degree, their career could begin as marketing specialists. The nearly 700,000 people employed as marketing specialists or market research analysts have an annual median salary of $65,810.
However, it can be difficult to find affordable online marketing master’s programs. Many students who are interested in earning their master’s in marketing online are generally professionals already working in the field, so their needs may be different from on-campus students. That’s why online marketing master’s programs, such as the ones listed below, are critical for advancing your education.
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Accredited Online College Programs
Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Marketing Online
||Columbia Southern University
||Orange Beach, AL
||University of South Florida
||University of Maryland - University College
||University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
||West Texas A&M University
||Texas A&M University at Commerce
||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
||Colorado Springs, CO
||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
||Chapel Hill, NC
||University of North Texas
Here are the most frequently asked questions about master's degrees in marketing.
What are the career options for an online master’s in marketing degree?
Graduate marketing professionals will find that one of the most popular options will be that of a manager. Another career option for marketing professionals is social media and digital marketing. Professionals in this area often work with data analytics, digital branding, and marketing to build a marketing campaign or strategy for companies or products.
How much can you earn in this field?
For most online Master’s in Marketing graduates, their career will begin as a manager; salaries for managers can range from $60,000 to $80,000 and depends on a professional’s industry and region. Executives in marketing also exist and are considered senior-level leadership positions. These salaries range from $95,000 to $200,000.
What are the various disciplines of marketing?
The field is present in nearly every sector in America, from healthcare to government to education. The field of business can be divided up into several smaller disciplines, such as management, advertising, public relations, communications, multimedia marketing, sales, Big Data, and more.
What can you do with an online master’s in marketing?
If you earn a master’s in marketing online, you’ll be able to move into a range of positions, including marketing manager, internet marketing manager, social media manager, marketing research analyst and advance all the way to the top as the chief marketing officer.
Should I get an MBA or online master’s in marketing?
A master’s in business administration, or MBA, covers a broader subject area than a master’s in marketing online. It is more focused on management and leadership. An online master’s in marketing focuses on subjects like marketing concepts, consumer behavior, advertising, communications, sales, media relations, data analysis, and marketing research. If you know you want to pursue a career in marketing, an online master’s in marketing may be the way to go.
What are the highest-paying marketing jobs?
While the median salary for marketing managers is $142,170, it varies by industry. For example, the average salary for marketing managers in the oil and gas extraction industry is $183,240, while for those in the cable industry, it’s $200,240.
How is earning an online master’s in marketing good for your career?
An online degree offers several features and perks that traditional programs just can’t compete with. From accelerated schedules to asynchronous courses to the ability to work while studying, online programs are a far better choice for marketing professionals. Also, degrees conferred online are indistinguishable from traditional degrees. Most schools have a high standard for all their degrees, regardless of how they are delivered, so the need to distinguishing the two is no longer necessary.
Why Should I Get a Master’s in Marketing?
Since marketing is an important aspect of business, every company needs skilled marketing professionals — regardless of the industry. Some reasons to get a master’s in marketing online include:
- Increase your skillset.
- If you’re in a marketing position and did not study marketing in depth as an undergraduate student, pursuing an online marketing degree will prepare you for all the techniques and strategies used in your day-to-day tasks.
- Increase your salary.
- As with most professions, you’re more likely to earn a higher salary if you have an advanced degree. For example, the median salary for a marketing manager is $142,170, but if you earn your online master’s in marketing, you may be able to earn in the 75th percentile or higher, which has an annual salary of $191,760.
- Advance up the career ladder.
- If you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to get such positions as marketing specialist or marketing coordinator. However, if you earn your online master’s in marketing, you’ll increase your opportunities of moving into marketing manager and chief marketing officer roles.
Depending on the college or university you’ve chosen to complete your degree, you might need to take a graduate admissions test, like the GRE.
Once admitted, if you did not major in a business discipline, you may need to take additional business courses. If you completed a business discipline in a field other than marketing, you may also need to take additional marketing courses.
Since these requirements vary by university, you’ll want to review each college’s requirements as you go about making your decision on which university to attend.
Career Outlook and Salary
There are many career options you can choose once you’ve earned your online master’s in marketing. Among these are copy or content writer, marketing research analyst, marketing specialist, marketing coordinator, marketing director and chief marketing officer. You can also focus narrowly on digital media or social media.
The job outlook is good for graduates of online marketing master’s programs. The BLS projects a faster than average growth rate of 6% for marketing managers. There are even more opportunities for market research analysts. Even though there are already close to 740,000 people employed in this profession, the projected growth rate for market research analysts is 18%, with an additional 130,000 jobs expected to be added by 2029.
Concentrations in an Online Master’s in Marketing
Depending on your career goal, you can choose from several concentrations or areas of study for your online marketing degree. Not every college offers every concentration. So it will help you narrow your list of possible universities if you already know in what area you’d like to specialize.
Marketing Communications — As marketers engage customers on more channels and platforms, having a consistent message across all these avenues becomes more important. This concentration focuses on developing consistent communications strategies across all avenues, whether it’s advertising, public relations, sales, social media, etc.
Global and Multicultural Marketing — As the borders for conducting business have increasingly disappeared, companies need specialists skilled in multicultural and international marketing and business.
Marketing Management — Marketing managers often develop a company’s marketing strategies and campaigns that other members of their team carry out.
Marketing Research or Analytics — People in this specialty collect and analyze data to determine the effectiveness of strategies and campaigns. Marketing managers then use these analytics to inform their decisions.
Digital Marketing — This concentration focuses on all aspects of a company’s online marketing strategy. This could include search engine optimization (SEO), email newsletters, market research, sales conversions and more.
Social Media Marketing — With the proliferation of social media platforms, this concentration focuses on engaging a company’s customers where they congregate, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok or other social media channels.
The 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Marketing Online
Columbia Southern University
Orange Beach, AL
Columbia Southern University confers an online Master's in Marketing that is designed to prepare professionals to take on management level positions in the field. This hybrid program generally takes about three years to complete with part-time study; students who opt for full-time study can complete the degree in less than two years. The course of study was created to teach students the newest technologies in the field as well as teach them the leadership and management skills that will be required of them when they enter the workforce. This degree requires 36 semester hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a final exam. Sample courses include Business-to-Business Marketing, Strategic Management and Business Policy, and Organizational Research and Theory.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida has one of the highest-ranked online MBA programs in the nation, regularly being ranked in the top 25 best online graduate programs. This degree is conferred on a hybrid delivery method, requiring students to visit campus throughout the academic year; the actual requirements change from year to year, but students generally take two-weekend residencies throughout the year. Students will find that this program works on data analytics in relation to creativity. Experiential learning also plays a large role in the plan of study; students can expect to take on team projects and case studies for their capstone project. The degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project for graduation. Sample courses include Logistics and Physical Distribution Management, Research for Marketing Managers, and International Marketing Management.
University of Maryland - University College
A great choice for marketing professionals is the Master of Science in Management with Marketing Specialization from the University of Maryland — University College. This 100 percent online degree combines management skills with marketing concepts, allowing students to learn how each field affects the other. It is a program geared towards professionals already in the field who wish to advance to management and leadership positions. Students can expect a well-planned curriculum that has had input from industry experts and employers as well as a fully developed virtual school complete with an online library and bookstore. The degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework and a capstone project. Sample courses include Legal and Ethical Issues in Global Communications, Marketing Intelligence and Research Systems, and International Marketing Management.
Bellevue University offers students the chance to take on a fully online or hybrid Master's in Marketing degree at an affordable price. The degree is offered in a one-course, cohort format; this means that students will work on one course at a time in an accelerated time schedule, enabling them to focus on the requirements of their degree and will lead them to complete this program in less than two years. Regardless of whether a student chooses to take some courses online and some on-campus, they will be placed on a schedule of courses that are already chosen for them, taking a lot of the guesswork out of choosing their plan of study. The Master of Science in Strategic Marketing degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework for graduation. Sample courses include Social Media Marketing Campaigns, Ethical and Legal Issues in Marketing, and Advertising and Promotions Management.
University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
The cheap online marketing master's degree option that is offered by the University of Wisconsin and Whitewater is an AACSB International accredited MBA with a marketing specialization. This degree is conferred entirely online by the same faculty and professors who teach the courses on campus. What sets this program apart from others is that the specialization area is a major component of the curriculum; for marketing students, this enables them to spend a great deal of their time in their area of interest. Students are taught in an experiential format, including team projects, case studies, and more. The program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework; students who come from a non-business background may be required to take more credits prior to moving into the program. Sample courses for the marketing specialization include Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategy, International Marketing, and Consumer Behavior.
West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University has continuously been featured on U.S. News and World Report's "Best Online Programs" and carries AACSB accreditation. It is a great option for business professionals interested in earning an online Master's in Marketing degree. This program can be delivered completely online or through a hybrid format, with the choice being left up to the student. Following accelerated term schedules, ambitious professionals may find that they can complete the requirements for this degree in as little as one year; however, working students may opt for part-time study and can complete the degree in about three years. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, including their specialization, as well as a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Data and Information Management, Marketing in the Age of Social Networks, and Project Management for the Enterprise.
Texas A&M University at Commerce
Students interested in marketing master's online programs should check out Texas A&M University at Commerce. The school confers an AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Marketing that provides students with an advanced education in marketing, including international marketing, online marketing, and marketing research. Open to students of non-marketing background, it is a comprehensive program that endeavors to prepare students for the challenges and trends that the market is currently facing. The degree can be completed in as little as 18 months with full-time study, or two years with part-time students. Students will complete between 30 to 39 credit hours of coursework for this degree. Sample courses include Management and Organizational Behavior, Marketing Environment, and Business to Business Marketing.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are offered a completely online Master's in Marketing in the form of the MBA. This is an AACSB accredited degree and has been a virtual offering since 1996, making it one of the oldest programs on our list. Conferred by UCCSConnect, the school's virtual portal, students will find a variety of specializations available to them, one of which is marketing. This program is 36 credit hours in length and can be completed in two-and-a-half years with part-time study. Sample courses include Integrated Marketing Communications, Internet Marketing and Social Media, and International Marketing and Export Management.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A great option for the Master's in Marketing online comes from the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. The MBA@UNC, as the program is known, is hybrid in nature and requires not only residencies on campus but also global immersions. This is an evidence-based program, meaning that students can expect to spend much of their time working on real-world case studies and other experiential learning opportunities. Students will also have the chance to compete in national case competitions; these are team projects that partner students with a real-world business and sees them implement a marketing strategy in the real world. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework and global immersions and can be completed in as little as 18 months with full-time study. Sample courses include Marketing Strategy, Analysis, and Development, Business Strategy, and Developing Management and Leadership Skills.
University of North Texas
The University of North Texas confers an entirely online Master's of Marketing that falls in the general realm of the MBA. The program is stated to be in tune with the business needs of the Texas area as well as that across the nation. With a flexible curriculum that allows for either full-time or part-time study, asynchronous courses, and an affordable price tag and experienced faculty who have worked in the field, this is a great choice for professionals who are interested in advancing in their marketing careers. Students should expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework along with a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Decision Marketing in Global Markets, Marketing Concepts, and Introduction to Finance and Financial Mathematics.