Marketing is a field that few people realize is constantly changing, but with technology, social media, Big Data, and other factors, it's evolving at a rapid pace; that's why the online Master's in Marketing can be helpful. While the fundamentals of the field may remain the same, the fact is that a graduate education can expand a learner's knowledge of the changing landscape of the field overall. It can also offer them the opportunity to build upon previous educational and work experience to create a career based on experience and advanced concepts.
But an online degree can be difficult to find, especially one that is affordable and offers a unique list of features. Students who take on this degree are generally professionals working in the field, so their needs are different from traditional students. That's why online programs, such as the ones listed below, are critical for advancing the education of marketing professionals.
Research was the foundation for this ranking; it was conducted using the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. Using factors such as timeline to degree completion, financial aid and student retention rates, an initial pool of about 200 schools were considered. Ten were ultimately chosen based on in-state graduate tuition; they are listed below.
Ranking Low-cost Online Marketing Master's
10. University of North Texas
Online Master's of Business Administration, Marketing Concentration
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.
9. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Online Master's of Business Administration in Marketing
A great option for the Master's in Marketing online comes from the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. The [email protected], 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.
8. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Online Master of Business Administration, Marketing Concentration
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.
7. Texas A&M University at Commerce
Online Master of Science in Marketing
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.
6. West Texas A&M University
Online Master of Business Administration, Marketing Specialization, Online Course Mode
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.
5. University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
Online Master of Business Administration, Marketing Specialization
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.
4. Bellevue University
Online Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Degree
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.
3. University of Maryland – University College
Online Master of Science in Management with Marketing Specialization
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.
2. University of South Florida
Online Master of Business Administration, Marketing Strategy Specialization
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.
1. Columbia Southern University
Orange Beach, Alabama
Online Master of Business Administration – Marketing Concentration
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master's in Marketing Degree?
Marketing professionals who go on to earn an online graduate degree in marketing will find that a variety of new career options are available to them. That's because businesses rely on marketing to make their products and services known, something that is best done by someone who specializes in the field. Graduate marketing professionals will find that one of the most popular options will be that of a manager. Marketing managers can work to help build brand engagement, oversee social media, work with potential partners in different industries, and more.
Another option is to move to senior-level or C-level executive positions. These positions generally require at least a graduate degree, enabling these professionals to take on these roles after graduation. Senior level positions are the most common at this stage, but C-level positions can be held by marketing professionals after they can prove they have a variety of experiences in the field.
A new career option for marketing professionals is social media and Internet marketing. As e-commerce grows, so too does the need for professionals who understand how brand engagement works on the Internet and through social media. Professionals in this area often work with data analytics, branding, marketing and social media to build a marketing campaign or strategy for their company.
It's always possible for a marketing professional with an MBA to create their own businesses. Utilizing their expertise in the field, professionals can build marketing consulting firms, create social media platforms, and more. While it's not a common career option, more and more professionals are viewing it as a great way to partner their marketing education with an entrepreneurial spirit.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
With over 250,000 marketing jobs in America alone and a nine percent projected industry growth rate through 2026, it's no secret that this field can be quite lucrative for professionals. The current median income in marketing is $127,560, a number that can be mind-boggling considering there are various careers within the 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. Salaries also don't include bonuses and other forms of compensation, which are consistently used as incentives for these professionals.
Executives in marketing also exist and are considered senior-level leadership positions. These salaries range from $95,000 to $200,000. A marketing executive can expect to make around $125,000 in salary while a C-level executive can expect to make around $200,000 or more.
What are the Various Disciplines of Marketing?
The marketing field is vast and can cover various subfields. The field is present in nearly every sector in America, from healthcare to government to education. While it may seem that the disciplines covered by marketing are obvious, marketing professionals know it's more complex.
For instance, since marketing is most closely tied to business, it makes sense that the discipline is regularly represented in the field. However, 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.
Marketing professionals also realize that understanding the internet, e-commerce, and even social media plays a large role in their field. The same can be said for narrative storytelling, transmedia, brand engagement, research, accounting, and more.
These disciplines are not the only ones covered in marketing; for each different specialization a professional goes into after graduation, other disciplines will also be covered. But since marketing is a broad field, students can expect to learn from a lot of different disciplines while at a university.
Is AACSB Accreditation Necessary for this Degree?
AACSB, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and its international counterpart, the AACSB International, are the accreditations that most employers look for when interviewing potential candidates. They are important accreditations, especially for online programs, and it's vital that students find a degree that carries this distinction.
Employers prefer AACSB-accredited programs over non-accredited programs for one simple reason: the quality of education. Accredited schools are distinctive because they have a high educational standard that is reflected in the graduates from those programs. While the programs may differ from school to school regarding experiential learning opportunities and specializations, the underlying foundation is the same.
This is important because both the marketing field is changing. With the advent of technology and e-commerce, marketing has undergone a massive transformation in the last 15 years, and industry insiders expect that the cycle has not yet been completed. Students have to be able to keep up with the trends and issues that are being faced right now and in the future.
To this end, accredited programs are consistently updated to keep pace with the industry. Students will find that accredited degrees offer more in-depth courses on the internet, Big Data, and social media marketing; non-accredited degrees rarely have these offerings. In order to remain competitive, students are urged to take on an accredited degree, like the ones listed above.
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 continue working while studying, online programs are a far better choice for marketing professionals.
Online programs are more affordable than traditional degrees, with many schools creating flat online tuition rates for undergraduate and graduate programs. They also offer something else: accelerated schedules. These are term schedules that can be as short as five weeks or even intensives that are a week long, enabling students to digest information by taking one course at a time.
Another benefit is that students have a lot more flexibility in their work-study schedules. Professionals can continue in their career while taking on a master's degree part-time; many traditional schools require students to study full-time for graduation. Most programs also offer asynchronous courses, meaning that their courses can be taken whenever a student chooses to do so because classes aren't streamed live and require participation. This enables students to work on their degree when they have time instead of having to fit in their education by utilizing a stressful schedule.
The last, and perhaps most important, benefit of earning an online degree is that 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 distinguish between the two is no longer necessary.
Marketing continues to be an important aspect of the business field. For professionals who are interested in advancing their own careers in the field, a Master's in Marketing is a great way forward, opening the door to new opportunities and a more rewarding career. But like with all graduate programs, it's important to find a school that gives students the flexibility and curriculum that they desire. That's why this ranking is a great resource for professionals; from providing information on term schedules to notating whether a degree is delivered solely online or as a hybrid program, this year's ranking of top online Master's in Marketing is the perfect place to start building a graduate education.