By Jong Eun Jung
A graduate marketing degree can provide young professionals with the skills and knowledge for a successful marketing career and increase their prospects in the job market. However, the variety of marketing degrees that business schools offer can be confusing for potential applicants. We sat down with Amanda Fend, Senior Associate Director and Career Management Center Coach, to talk about different types of marketing graduate degrees and what you can do with a marketing degree.
What Marketing Degrees Can I Get?
If you are fresh out of college or have little to no work experience, a one-year Master of Marketing may be right for you. This program introduces you to the field of marketing and helps you develop the foundational skills for a marketing career. “The Master of Marketing degree is a great degree to do as a complement to an undergrad,” Fend said. “It helps (students) get the bigger business picture about the problems that they are trying to solve and helps them create more strategic solutions.”
On the other hand, professionals with 5-6 years of work experience usually enroll in an MBA with a concentration in marketing. MBAs can gain a broad knowledge of business in addition to their concentration in marketing. “If they have a marketing background, then it will give them additional skill sets and exposure to areas that will be important in their marketing career like finance and operations. And if they don’t have a marketing background, it will enable them to be a more effective career changer into marketing,” Fend said. (Learn more about the differences between a Master of Marketing vs. an MBA in marketing here.)
There are other specialized degrees for people who would like to focus on a particular aspect of marketing. Some schools offer a Master of Data Analytics for people who have a strong mathematical background. This program allows students to learn advanced statistics to analyze and present data effectively in the marketing field. Another more targeted degree is the Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications, which is tailored to people who are interested in communicating messages to a target market in an innovative way.
What Can I Do with a Marketing Degree?
Graduates with specialized one-year degrees such as the Master of Marketing are hired into entry-level marketing roles. According to Fend, marketing roles at agencies are a good option for these graduates, because agencies want subject matter experts who learn very quickly. “(Master of Marketing graduates) could go into anything from digital marketing to a marketing analyst role to an agency to a research marketing research role. The world of marketing opportunities is very open for them, but they’re just a much more valuable candidate (than people straight from undergrad),” Fend said.
On the other hand, MBAs with a concentration in marketing can enter more established career paths, such as brand management and product management. The general business knowledge and soft skills from an MBA prepares them for these higher-level marketing management roles. “Brand management would probably be the most traditional and common, but then, for marketing MBAs, there have been many more going into tech in the past several years into product management roles,” Fend said. “You are a marketing MBA, you can really target any industry that you want that’s aligned with where you want to be, and you’re bringing this MBA skill set that will be valued.”
In addition, a graduate marketing degree qualifies you for a broad range of roles in business, such as business administration, because the degree provides you with a versatile skill set. “I would say marketing is a function that’s in every company. And so, at the end of the day, someone who has a skill set in marketing is going to be able to bring value to any role,” Fend said.