Marketing degrees are all the rage, and they are only going to become more in-demand as the world of digital marketing expands. Our consumer-driven culture is always evolving, often at a pace too fast for businesses and individual creators to keep up with. Highly driven, flexible, and trailblazing marketers will be needed to steer the next generation of businesses into the future, but that can only be done with the right education and experience.
A trend is emerging in the United States, and that’s earning a secondary degree to further your career. Whereas a masters was previously viewed with an air of exclusivity and limited application, it is now something that is available in virtually every field. With increased access to programs and greater financing options, more adults are returning to the classroom to further their knowledge and become better marketers. Wondering if this is the right choice for you? Read on and discover everything you need to know about earning your master’s degree in marketing.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Marketing?
Master’s programs are designed to add a level of specialization to your knowledge and skills that bachelors may only touch upon. In some fields, certain topics are omitted entirely, and it isn’t until you’re earning the secondary degree that you get to the heart of your interests. One of the best parts about a master’s program is that they are short but have a lifelong impact on your career.
Generally, an MA or MS in marketing only takes a year or two to complete, and it comes with plenty of flexible options to make balancing work and school easier. If you’re interested in qualifying for managerial positions, then you’ll likely need a master’s to get there. With so much competition in one of America’s fastest-growing industries, you’ll have to bring your A-game and as many qualifications as possible to stand out among the crowd.
Directing and Management
Directors sit at the helm of a marketing department, offering guidance and helping to shape the creative vision of the company. Rather than solely produce content and generate ideas, you will be responsible for evaluating campaigns, taking pitches, and offering feedback. Directors and marketers are also responsible for conducting research and relaying important analytics, performing project management, and meeting with shareholders. They also develop and manage marketing budgets to ensure that their company and/or clients get the maximum ROI.
Research and Development
An MS in marketing will prepare you for a career that is research-based. If you enjoy conducting surveys, polls, audience research, and getting submerged in statistics, then an MS grounded in marketing science could be perfect for you. The primary difference between an MA and MS is the type of material that you study; arts programs are more business-oriented, and they include a lot of case studies and problem-solving skills that prepare students to become managers and leaders in their fields.
A science-based program, on the other hand, delves into concepts and theories. If you want to pursue a doctoral degree later and become an educator, then you’ll benefit more greatly from an MS. Academics and scholars prefer MS degrees because they are more theoretically grounded and offer greater opportunities to publish research and make breakthroughs in the field.
Graduate degrees vary in price, but they are generally less expensive than bachelor’s programs simply because they are shorter in duration. However, if you apply to a prestigious business school, then you’ll likely be charging tuition rates that are equal to or more than an undergraduate program. Paying for your degree might make you feel like advancing your career is a massive trade-off rather than an investment.
If you don’t choose the right school, it certainly can be more of a hit than a gain. In addition to researching schools and comparing costs with credentials, you should also explore financing options. Scholarships and grants are available for students with GPAs of 2.5 and above, but there are also more loan choices for graduate students. You can click here to learn more about how to take out a student loan from a private lender.
What Should You Specialize In?
There are many different niches you can pursue in marketing, and if you want to grow in the field, it’s a good idea to find one that is highly focused. Rather than attempting to find a job in advertising, think about what type of advertising you enjoy and what industries you’re passionate about. This allows you to concentrate more fully on developing the appropriate experience and portfolio for your dream clients or employers.
If you are interested in upper management or starting your own agency, then you may benefit more from an MBA in marketing. This program is geared toward established professionals with at least four years of industry experience who want to specialize in management. You can develop skills that are appropriate for high-ranking positions in branding and advertising.
Earning a master’s in marketing can help you qualify for better entry-level jobs, and with a few years’ experience, you could go from entry-level to mid-level positions right away. Candidates with graduate-level degrees may meet the qualifications for more positions, but they’ll still need some real-world experience on their resume to qualify. Keep in mind that regardless of your academic credentials, hiring managers focus heavy on results-driven performance and demonstrable evidence of your skills.
Interning and Networking
During your MBA or master’s program, you will likely need to complete an internship between your first and second semester or between your first and second year. This internship is designed to help you apply what you’ve been studying into real case studies, build a strong portfolio and get valuable feedback on your abilities. MBA internships are much more demanding than master’s internships, but both are valuable and critical components of a successful program. The primary focus of a graduate degree isn’t to just give you more information and higher qualifications. It’s designed to help you redefine your professional identity by giving you greater focus, confidence and knowledge.