What is the Difference Between a Master’s in Marketing Degree and a Marketing MBA Degree?

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Updated August 8, 2023

A Master's in Marketing and a Marketing MBA – How Do They Differ?

If you're interested in enhancing your marketing resume, you may be wondering about the difference between a Master's in Marketing degree and a Marketing MBA degree. Both are related to the study of marketing, but take different approaches in education and structure. So what's the difference between the two degrees?

Online Marketing Master's Degrees for You

These top schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s programs.

Master's Degree in Marketing

A Master's degree in Marketing is usually an MS degree that takes two years to complete. Applicants are often expected to have completed an undergraduate degree in marketing. It focuses on studying customers and potential markets in order to better understand issues of demand, supply and global trade, according to the University of Colorado at Denver. Coursework is often centered around student-led research, with many universities requiring their Marketing graduate students to complete a thesis which demonstrates what they have learned during their degree. Internships are encouraged, as many Marketing students tend to have less work experience than those who have enrolled in an MBA program.

An M.S. in Marketing can often be paired with an MBA program, though it may take longer for students to earn this joint degree. Within the M.S. program, students can specialize in subjects such as global marketing, social media marketing and marketing research.

Marketing MBA

A Marketing Master of Business Administration (MBA) program tends to be more practical than theoretical. Successful applicants to such programs usually have a few years of experience in the business field. Unlike master's degree programs, people who apply for MBA programs do not always have to have a background in marketing. They may have completed undergraduate degrees in business, finance, accounting or any other field. Their work experience and academic strength is what puts them on the track towards earning an MBA. Within the program itself, students may choose to focus on Digital Marketing, Operations Management and more.

A Marketing MBA is often chosen by students who want to eventually work towards advisory positions in the field of marketing. Coursework focuses on practical applications of marketing principles, with many students being encouraged to work in their field during the degree so that they can see first-hand how their curriculum is used in the world of marketing.

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What is the Best Choice?

The decision to pursue a higher degree in marketing is not one to be taken lightly. You will need to give serious consideration as to what direction you want your future career to take. If you have a lot of work experience and want to continue in the direction you have been headed, then a Marketing MBA might be the right choice for you. If you would like to enroll in a program that emphasizes research and critical analysis of current and future trends, or you have only recently finished your undergraduate studies, then a master's degree in Marketing may be a good option. No matter which program you choose, an advanced Marketing degree will make you a top candidate for future job positions.

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