Online Marketing Degrees

Marketing is a vibrant field that engages you in the important task of communicating the message of a business to its audience. All businesses depend upon the important work of marketers, and earning your online marketing degree will break the job market wide open for you.

A variety of focuses are available to those pursuing an online marketing degree. Some marketing degrees involve advertising, sales, or public relations, while others revolve around market research and product management. Digital marketing is a burgeoning field that challenges marketers to keep up with trends in online advertising and search engine optimization. Most companies have a marketing manager and marketing teams, so teamwork and leadership skills are key.

Needless to say, college students who graduate with marketing degrees can find a number of job opportunities in a variety of niches. The number of marketing management positions is expected to increase at a faster than average rate of around 9% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The most successful and satisfied marketing professionals are often creative, highly motivated, and driven by a solid understanding of what motivates consumers. They have highly developed written and oral communication skills, and are excited to help businesses succeed. If this sounds like you, an online marketing degree or online marketing master’s degree could increase your career options and bolster your salary. Our guide to the education and career options related to marketing will start you off on your path toward entering and advancing in this exciting field.

Online Marketing Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $14,229 14.3% 2 years $36,200 $46,496 5.6%
Bachelor's $16,897 9.96% 4 years $36,381 $64,768 4.3%
Master's $19,127 9.73% 2 years $56,750 $77,466 4.5%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Many entry-level marketing positions require at least an associate degree, but job candidates with bachelor’s degrees are often given preference from hiring committees. Management positions typically require a bachelor’s degree and some prior experience in marketing. Both bachelor’s and associate degree-holders can work their way up in companies to higher-level positions once they have proven their marketing acumen. Those with graduate marketing degrees are most likely to work in higher-level positions.

Choosing Your Marketing Career

Average Marketing Salaries

$113,860
$56,770
$62,150
$124,850

Sales Manager

Salary: $113,860
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
5% 376,300 Bachelor's N/A

Sales managers oversee inside sales teams, outside sales teams, or both, depending on the size and scope of their companies. They analyze sales trends, identify leads, and create sales and marketing quotas and metrics based on business forecasting research. Sales Managers also analyze industry trends and competitors’ prices to provide recommendations about pricing of goods and services. Sales managers should have leadership skills, problem-solving capabilities, attention to detail, and an interest in analyzing data.

Public Relations Specialist

Salary: $56,770
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 240,700 Bachelor's Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) (not required)

Public relations specialists work as brand ambassadors for individual companies and agencies. They plan and oversee public relations campaigns to enhance client reputation and improve the brand messaging of clients. They write press releases, email campaigns, white papers, and other promotional materials. Public relations specialists also participate in interviews with the media and identify press opportunities for the companies they serve. Excellent written communication skills, attention to detail, and an interest in sharing the stories and missions of businesses is a must if you want to excel as a public relations specialist.

Market Research Analyst

Salary: $62,150
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
19% 495,500 Bachelor's MRA Certificate (not required)

Market research analysts collect and interpret data about consumer habits and provide clients with marketing recommendations and reports based on data and trends. They meet with clients to understand their goals, identify opportunities for collecting consumer data, and present opportunities to clients based on their research. Market research analysts need both people skills and data-driven minds. If you are interested in consumer behavior and statistics, you may enjoy this position.

Advertising Manager

Salary: $124,850
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
9% 225,200 Bachelor's N/A

Advertising managers typically work for agencies that serve business clients. They meet with clients to discuss possible ways to increase leads and sales. They are experts in print, online, and in-person advertising strategies. They plan out comprehensive advertising strategies for clients, create advertising budgets, and procure media placements, all for the purpose of compelling consumers to action. If you have a creative and strategic mind and are an exceptional communicator, you might excel as an advertising manager.

Online Marketing Degrees

Associate

Associate marketing degrees qualify graduates for many entry-level marketing positions in the realm of advertising, sales, digital marketing, and public relations. Although a two-year, online marketing degree does not immediately qualify you for a role as a marketing manager, there is always opportunity to move up the ladder. If you have an associate degree in this field, you can expect to compete with bachelor's degree-holders for positions, and the competition for entry-level positions can be fierce. Marketing internship experience and other work experience can help distinguish you from other candidates.

Sample Courses
Statistics, Organizational Marketing, Sales Promotions, and Business Communications
Common Majors
Retail Management, Sales Promotion, and Marketing
Potential Jobs
Advertising Sales Agent, Sales Representative, and Public Relations
Average Income
$48,490 for advertising sales agents, $48,490 per year $59,080 for sales representatives, and $56,770 for public relations
Employment Prospects
From 2014-2024, a 3% decrease for advertising sales agents, 7% increase for sales representatives, and 6% increase for public relations

Bachelor’s

A four-year marketing degree online qualifies you for a number of entry-level marketing positions and mid-level positions if you have relevant experience. Many marketing managers, public relations managers, and business leaders in general start out in entry-level positions and work their way up in companies. Some companies will only consider you for management positions if you have a bachelor's degree and proven success in the marketing field. A bachelor's degree in marketing will familiarize you with the essentials of marketing as they relate to the field of business as a whole.

Sample Courses
Market Research, Product Management, B2B Marketing, Global Marketing, and Statistics
Common Majors
Marketing and Public Relations, Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, and Business Marketing
Potential Jobs
Copywriter, Marketing Managers, Public Relations Specialist, Advertising Sales Agents, Market Research Analyst
Average Income
$60,250 for copywriters, $124,850 for marketing managers, $56,770 for public relations specialists, $48,490 for advertising sales agents, and $62,150 for market research analysts
Employment Prospects
For 2014-2024, a 2% increase for copywriters, 9% for marketing managers, 6% for public relations specialists, 3% decrease for advertising sales agents, and 19% increase for market research analysts

Master’s

An online marketing master's degree program prepares students to take on management roles in marketing, public relations, advertising, and sales once they graduate. Many hiring managers looking for mid-level and senior-level marketing professionals and prefer job candidates with graduate-level marketing degrees. An online marketing master's degree is a sign of specialization and advanced knowledge in the field of business. Graduates of marketing master's programs typically have a significant amount of insight into consumer behavior, finance, and marketing strategies.

Sample Courses
Advanced Business Statistics, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Ethics, Marketing with Media Technology, and Marketing Analytics
Common Majors
Social Media Marketing, Marketing Research, Marketing, and Communication
Potential Jobs
Marketing Manager and Public Relations Manager
Average Income
$124,850 for marketing managers and $104,140 for public relations managers
Employment Prospects
For 2014-2024, a 19% increase for marketing managers and 7% increase for public relations managers

Doctorate

An online doctorate degree program in marketing differs from an online marketing master's degree program in that it exposes students to both the business and the academic side of marketing. It prepares students to conduct advanced marketing and consumer behavior research and to ultimately find careers as top researchers in the field or full-time professors of marketing in university business departments.

Sample Courses
Marketing Management and Strategy, Consumer Choice Modeling, Marketing Research Methods, Marketing Models, and Econometrics
Common Majors
Marketing, Marketing Research, and Consumer Research
Potential Jobs
Marketing Professor and Business Professor
Average Income
$72,470 for marketing professors and $72,470 for business professors
Employment Prospects
For 2014-2024, 13% increase for marketing professors and 13% increase for business professors

Professional Requirements

MRA Certificate

The Marketing Research Association (MRA) offers a few different certificate options for marketing professionals. In particular, the MRA Certificate in Qualitative Research Principles and the MRA Certificate in Quantitative Research Principles are popular options that help marketing professionals build their credentials and experience in the realm of research. Both of these MRA certificates require the completion of courses offered by MRA. These courses expose you to advanced methods of consumer and marketing research. You should take this exam if you are interested in advancing your career as a marketing researcher or analyst. MRA-certified professionals often already have their marketing degrees and are working as marketing professionals while they complete the certification programs.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

16 weeks

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) offers Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) through an exam that tests your professional knowledge and knowledge of public relations practices and ethics. This exam is right for you if you are a seasoned public relations professional who wishes to bolster your credentials with the industry’s most-respected and well-known certification. If you are a college student or recent graduate, you may want to complete PRSA’s Certificate in Principles of Public Relations before you sit for the APR exam. The Certificate in Public Relations is specifically designed for students earning their marketing degrees or recent graduates of undergraduate marketing degree online and offline programs.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Varies

AMA's Professional Certified Marketer

The American Marketing Association (AMA) offers the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) credential to professionals who successfully pass the necessary exam. The PCM exam tests your competency and knowledge of core marketing principles and marketing trends. If you have an online marketing degree and two years of professional experience, you are qualified to take this exam. Current marketing students and those with marketing degrees and less than two years of relevant experience are not eligible to sit for the PCM exam. A PCM credential provides further proof of your knowledge and competency as a marketing professional.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

90 days