In recent years, business schools have seen increased interest in specialized master’s degree programs, even as applications and enrollments in full-time MBA programs have declined somewhat. One of the four most popular business master’s degrees offered today by business schools attempting to meet this shifting demand is a master’s in marketing.1
Below, we’ve outlined five key reasons why a master’s degree in marketing can be a valuable asset for all kinds of professionals, regardless of their level of experience in the field.
1. Boost Your Salary
The data is clear: Master’s degree holders take home, on average, nearly 20% more in weekly earnings than professionals whose highest degree is a bachelor’s.2 If you work in the field of marketing but would like to increase your earning potential, a master’s degree could help you on that path.
A master’s in marketing offers multiple avenues for salary growth. The array of technological skills you will develop in a forward-thinking marketing master’s degree program can prepare you to take on more responsibility at your current company and seek increased compensation based on your new skills, and a master’s in marketing will also make you more valuable if you plan to reenter the job market. Many marketing master’s programs, like the Online Master of Science in Marketing from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, include core coursework in key business leadership competencies that can position you to move into a management role.
2. Formalize Your Marketing Skill Set
Business master’s degrees, in marketing or in any other subfield, are ideal for people whose professional journeys have taken them in directions that they did not originally foresee. Not everyone who goes onto a successful career in marketing planned on doing so in their undergraduate years. It's quite common for marketing departments to contain employees with a diverse array of academic backgrounds, including a healthy number of English, history or other humanities majors.
If you’ve found yourself working in marketing without formal academic training in the field, a master’s in marketing could be your ticket to improving your practical skill set and knowledge of the reasoning and theory underlying current best practices. The curriculum for the Online MS in Marketing from SCU, for instance, features a three-course required marketing core to build your understanding of the basics, as well as a host of electives in specialized marketing strategies and technologies, and multiple areas of marketing management. It’s a perfect way for professionals just finding their way in the field to formalize their training and build their expertise.
3. Forge a New Career Path or Advance on Your Current One
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals in the workforce will hold an average of 12 jobs over the course of their careers.3 This means, statistically speaking, virtually everyone will be looking for a new opportunity from time to time, including you. Marketing may resonate as an exciting challenge for professionals who have spent time in other roles within business organizations but who are searching for a more creative outlet for their talents.
A master’s in marketing is a perfect point of entry into the field for professionals looking to make a pivot of this nature. A program designed to be completed in as little as one year such as the Online Master’s in Marketing from SCU can provide you with a new framework of skills and knowledge in a relatively short amount of time, and enable you to confidently seek a marketing position, even if marketing is not a part of your professional background.
4. Stay Ahead of the Curve
Marketing as a field is defined by constant change, as strategies and messaging must evolve to keep pace with shifting cultural sensibilities and improving technology. To accommodate this demand, the most valuable marketing master’s degree programs emphasize the tools and skills that are at the cutting edge of the field. In the current market, that means an authoritative focus on digital marketing courses.
Expertise in contemporary marketing technology, or “MarTech,” is essential for those who wish to thrive in any role in the current digital marketing ecosystem. This includes not only mastering the use of key marketing software such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Marketo, but developing a keen sense of best practices for digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, internet advertising, social media marketing, and more. If you’re considering pursuing a master’s degree in marketing, seek out a program that truly understands the importance of digital marketing courses and tech-savvy marketing leadership.
5. Finish Your Degree Faster
One of the key differences between a master’s in marketing and an MBA is the expected time to complete the degree. Specialized business master’s degree programs can typically be completed in as little as one year, compared to two years or more for conventional MBA programs.4 You can complete the Online Master of Science in Marketing program from the Leavey School of Business in as little as a year. Given this timeline, a marketing master’s degree can be an extremely efficient path to career growth for any professional, whether you’re experienced in the field or just entering it.
Traits of the Best Online Marketing Master’s Programs
The variety of online courses in marketing available today includes everything from webinars and certificate programs to highly regarded graduate programs. The best of them:
- Are led by professional instructors who are experts in their field
- Cover a diverse range of marketing skills including analytics, communication, creativity, decision-making and strategy
- Incorporate more than technical marketing skills; they also teach soft skills such as ethics and leadership
- Expose you to a diverse group of peers and faculty who can expand your personal and professional network and horizons
- Challenge you to become a better critical thinker and problem-solver
- Are designed for working professionals who need flexibility while pursuing an outstanding educational experience
Is a Master’s Degree in Marketing Worth It?
To determine if a master’s degree in marketing is worth it to you, you must answer some important questions with complete honesty. Do you have a particular career in mind and need specific expertise? Are you looking to launch a career in a new field or advance in your current one? How will the marketing master’s programs you’re considering help you attain the professional advancement, salary level, and degree of personal fulfillment that you hope for?
Is a master’s degree in marketing worth it? The answers are as varied as the people who ask, and the path to certainty lies in determining how well the advantages of study and achievement align with your goals. To determine whether a marketing master’s program is the right choice for you, consider its costs and benefits, and then examine how well those assets fit with what you do—and don’t—hope to accomplish.
Earn Your Master’s in Marketing Online from the Leavey School of Business
The Online Master of Science in Marketing program form Santa Clara University has been built in collaboration with some of the leading marketing minds in Silicon Valley to produce forward-thinking marketing visionaries. Explore the tech-forward curriculum for this innovative program, and reach out to our Admissions Advisors to start your marketing career advancement today.
- Retrieved on May 3, 2019, from poetsandquants.com/2019/01/21/most-popular-specialized-masters-degrees-in-business/
- Retrieved on May 3, 2019, from bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
- Retrieved on May 3, 2019, from bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf
- Retrieved on May 3, 2019, from fortune.com/2015/12/08/specialized-business-masters/