Online Degrees in Marketing

Can corporations focus on maximizing profits and customer satisfaction at the same time? Do these two facets of business have to be mutually exclusive? Marketing experts know how to navigate this gray area, finding the delicate balance between making profits and building a good relationship with consumers. Applying effective pricing strategies, media communications and targeted research are just some of the ways marketers enhance a brand’s value.

The College Board reports that marketing professionals need to be creative, have leadership abilities and be able to communicate well with different members of their team as well as the public. An online marketing degree program can help you develop these vital skills. An added benefit offered by online degree programs is that you learn to collaborate with your peers through discussion forums and email, a trait that can be extremely useful for marketing professionals in today’s digital age.

As most marketing topics are theoretical, online marketing degree programs can suit individuals who need a flexible study schedule due to work, family or other commitments and can work well for recent high school graduates, working professionals and career changers looking to gain or advance their college education.

Gaining and retaining customers are the top marketing goals.

Marketing professionals don’t just create advertisements — they play a critical role in helping companies anticipate consumer demand, identify the right products and services for diverse customer segments, and develop brand recognition and loyalty. There are various jobs you can get with a marketing degree. A few occupations and their related duties are:

Sales managers:
  • Monitoring customer choices and habits to target sales campaigns accordingly
  • Developing sales plans to acquire new customers or retain old ones using a variety of different sales techniques
  • Training, advising and recruiting sales representatives and other members of their teams
Market research analysts:
  • Gathering and analyzing data on consumers, competitors and market trends
  • Monitoring and projecting sales and marketing trends
  • Creating reports and communicating their findings to clients and management
Advertising, promotions and marketing managers:
  • Estimating the demand for a company’s products and services and comparing it with competitors
  • Working with sales, public relations and product development staff to develop pricing strategies to ensure customer satisfaction and company profitability
  • Creating marketing plans for company products and services

The jobs you can get with a marketing degree can vary depending on the industry you work in along with your previous work experience and degree. These include positions in multinational corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment growth is likely to vary by occupation.

The table below lists the various occupations related to the field along with projected job openings, average wages and job outlook for 2016-2026 using data from the BLS.

Median Salary
Projected Job Growth
Marketing Managers270,200$ 154,4706%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers88,0000$118,4309%
Sales Managers433,800$132,2904%
Advertising and Promotions Managers22,490$147,5604%
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Choose a degree that can help you meet your career goals

Brands and agencies have been experimenting with using machine learning … so that their teams can focus on driving insights and more creative work.

Online marketing degree programs can be offered as a specialization within a business degree program or as dedicated, stand-alone degree programs. The time taken to complete each degree can vary allowing you to tailor your education to align with your career goals and your lifestyle.

Certificate programs may help you add marketing abilities to your existing skillsets while associate degree programs can equip you with the knowledge needed for entry-level jobs in the industry.

Earning an online bachelor’s degree in marketing may qualify you for a wide range of marketing careers while masters’ and a doctoral degree may allow you to move into executive management positions in the industry.

Take a look at the education level most marketing managers have:

Education Level Required & Percentage of Respondents

What can I expect to learn in an online certificate program?

It is essential that brands find new and inventive ways to tell their story and share their message.

Online certificate programs in marketing can introduce you to the fundamental principles of marketing and can give you the skills to apply them practically.

Typical duration: Up to one year of part-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Topics may help you understand the driving factors behind consumer behavior, how target markets are defined, modern marketing practices and communication. Some courses you may take are:

  • Digital marketing
  • Integrated marketing communications
  • Introduction to advertising
  • Introduction to market research
  • Principles of marketing

What can I do after earning a certificate?

A marketing certificate can allow you to apply marketing skills to your existing job role or make you eligible for basic jobs in the marketing industry. You may also be able to transfer the credits you earn toward an online marketing degree. Potential occupations are:

  • Advertising associate
  • Copywriter
  • Media planner
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representative

What can I expect to learn in an online bachelor’s degree program?

A picture is worth a thousand words but, according to Forrester, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

Online marketing associate degree programs can equip you with the skills to act as a liaison between your company and its consumers. You can learn to build lasting relationships that produce satisfied customers and profitable companies.

Typical duration: Up to two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Topics normally aim to improve your business knowledge with a focus on marketing activities such as advertising, research, customer service, retailing, packaging and distribution. Some courses you may take are:

  • Advertising and promotions
  • Customer service
  • Introduction to business
  • Mobile and email marketing
  • Social media and marketing communications

Possible electives: Human resource management; principles of management; small business management

What can I do after earning an associate degree?

An associate degree can pave the way for earning your bachelor’s degree or can make you eligible for entry-level roles in marketing and sales. Potential occupations include:

  • Advertising sales agent
  • Search engine strategist
  • Social media manager

What can I expect to learn in an online bachelor’s degree program?

A degree program at this level can help give you the knowledge necessary to effectively study market conditions and consumer demand. You can learn to ensure that your company earns both positive recognition and a satisfied customer base.

Typical duration: Up to four years of full-time study

General prerequisites: High school diploma or GED

Typical coursework: Topics at this level explore marketing in greater depth than in an associate degree program. Students may learn how businesses market their products and services internationally, to other businesses and conduct research to help in their marketing strategies. Some courses you may find included in your curriculum are:

  • Applied marketing management and leadership
  • Competitive marketing strategy
  • Consumer behavior
  • Marketing strategy
  • Services marketing strategy

You may also have to complete a capstone course as a part of your degree program

Possible electives: Global marketing; advertising management; retailing

What can I do after earning a bachelor’s degree?

Individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing may qualify for a wide range of careers. In fact, according to the BLS, many employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. Potential occupations are:

  • Field researcher
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Merchandiser
  • Sales manager

What can I expect to learn in an online master’s degree program?

A master’s degree program can teach you how to nurture a brand and expand its reach, develop messages that reach specific demographics, and create marketing plans that take advantage of traditional and/or new media. You can learn advanced tactics on how to achieve this like crafting a strong brand, enticing new customers with targeted marketing communications, and mitigating problems with timely, thoughtful public relations campaigns.

Typical duration: Up to two years of full-time study

General prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree

Typical coursework: Subjects of study include brand management, marketing analytics, supply chain management and international marketing. Some topics you may find included in your program are:

  • Brand and product management
  • Ethical and legal issues in marketing
  • From marketing strategy to execution
  • Optimizing marketing performance
  • Relationship marketing

You may have to complete a master’s thesis or a capstone project as a part of your program.

Possible electives: Electives may be based on your chosen specialization

What can I do after earning a master’s degree?

Many individuals earn their master’s degree while maintaining a job in order to better qualify for management positions in their field. You may be eligible for upper-management or even executive-level jobs roles spread across an array of businesses and industries. Potential occupations are:

  • Account executive
  • Advertising manager
  • Brand manager
  • Channel manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Marketing strategist

What can I expect to learn in an online doctoral degree program?

There are two different degrees that can be earned at this level:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in marketing — typically focuses on research methods like multivariate analysis and econometrics
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a concentration in marketing — generally focuses on marketing concepts for businesses like business-to-business marketing, organizational behavior, and leadership

However, there can be a considerable overlap between the two.

Students can learn to pursue research in marketing along with associated topics like business and management. You may also learn the practical applications of research.

Typical duration: Four to seven of full-time study

General prerequisites: Master’s degree

Typical coursework: Students study advanced marketing and related research topics. Some classes you may take are:

  • Marketing foundations
  • Marketing research
  • Strategic marketing management
  • Supply chain management

Dissertation: In addition to completing the core coursework, students also have to research and defend a doctoral dissertation. This paper is based on original research and analysis of an existing problem in marketing. The doctoral candidate and his/her department chair choose a panel of faculty members to review the dissertation. Once the paper is accepted for submission, the student must successfully defend it to the panel, answering any and all questions posed.

What can I do after earning a doctoral degree?

A doctoral degree can make you eligible for roles as a college educator or researcher in the marketing field. You may also be able to enter top executive positions in large companies or enter the field of consultancy. Potential occupations include:

  • Marketing consultant
  • Marketing vice president
  • Professor

Specializations in Marketing

As marketing is a broad field, online marketing degree programs may allow you to specialize in one or more aspects of marketing. Some concentrations you may be able to choose from are:

  • Digital marketing and advertising
  • Global marketing management
  • Project management
  • Public relations
  • Sports marketing and media


It is important to check that the online marketing degree program you are interested in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Accreditation demonstrates that the program meets or exceeds the educational standards required to work in the industry. Attending an accredited school or program can also be a prerequisite for receiving federal financial aid or for transferring college credits from one program to another.

Apart from the regional and national educational accrediting bodies, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the main accrediting body for marketing degree programs.


Professional certifications are usually voluntary. However, they can show your competency in the field. Many employers may also prefer to hire candidates with certifications or may require their employees to acquire them within a stipulated timeframe. Some professional certifications are:

Employment Statistics

Marketing Managers

Industries with the highest concentration of employment
  • Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets
  • Sound Recording Industries
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Other Information Services
  • Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
States with the highest level of employment
  • California
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • Battle Creek, MI
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  • Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
  • Boulder, CO

Advertising and Promotions Managers

Industries with the highest concentration of employment
  • Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
  • Sound Recording Industries
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
  • Cable and Other Subscription Programming
States with the highest level of employment
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Texas
Top-paying metropolitan areas
  • Boulder, CO
  • New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
  • El Paso, TX
  • Trenton, NJ
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division

Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

You may find a variety of different scholarships offered by educational and professional bodies for eligible marketing students. Many scholarships and grants are targeted toward students belonging to a particular area, school, ethnicity or gender. It can be a good idea to check with your school to see if you qualify for any grants through their financial aid office. Here are some of scholarships to help get you started:

Professional Organizations and Resources for Marketing Professionals


  • 10 Trends That Will Shape Marketing In 2018, CMO, 2018,
  • 2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report, InfusionSoft, 2017,
  • AAS Digital Marketing, Bryant and Stratton College,, accessed November 2018
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed November 2018
  • Associate of Science in Business Marketing (A.S.) – Online Degree Program, California Coast University,, accessed November 2018
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Penn State World Campus,, accessed November 2018
  • Career: Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations Managers, BigFuture, College Board,, accessed November 2018
  • Certificate in marketing, National University,, accessed November 2018
  • Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) in Marketing, Liberty University,, accessed November 2018
  • Global Marketing Trends 2018, Freedman International,, accessed November 2018
  • Market Research Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed November 2018
  • Marketing, National University,, accessed November 2018
  • Master of Science in Marketing, Liberty University,, accessed November 2018
  • MS in Marketing, Walden University,, accessed November 2018
  • Online Associate Degree: AS in Marketing; Southern New Hampshire University,, accessed November 2018
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Marketing, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University Online,, accessed November 2018
  • Online Master of Science in Global Marketing Management Degree, Boston University,, accessed November 2018
  • Ph.D.: Marketing Concentration, Carson College of Business, Washington State University,, accessed November 2018
  • Program Sheet, Undergraduate Certificate in Marketing, Colorado State University, Global Campus,, accessed November 2018
  • Sales Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed November 2018
  • Undergraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Marketing, California Coast Marketing,, accessed November 2018
  • Undergraduate Certificate: Marketing, Ashworth College,, accessed November 2018
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,, accessed November 2018
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