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What Do You Learn with a Master of Marketing Degree?

Mar 28, 2022
Professors Steven Posavac and Jennifer Escalas break down how a marketing degree prepares students for the industry

By Mackenzie Burckbuchler

Marketing encompasses a variety of business functions, including sales, advertising, communications, market research, and pricing. As the field continues to evolve, the best marketers think strategically and evaluate business problems holistically. To learn more about how Master of Marketing programs prepare students for the field, we spoke with Steven S. Posavac, E. Bronson Ingram Professor in Marketing and Master of Marketing Faculty Director, as well as Jennifer Edson Escalas, Professor of Marketing. 

What do you learn with a Master of Marketing Degree?

Steven Posavac

To prepare students for a successful business career, marketing curriculums often focus on a wide array of topics. Escalas notes that Vanderbilt’s marketing program focuses on the 3 main areas of marketing: consumer psychology, marketing research, and marketing strategy. These areas include quantitative and creative skill-building. 

By exposing students to all 3 areas, this program prepares students to think about the customer and the business perspective.

The key focus of Vanderbilt’s program is learning how to solve marketing management problems, and develop sound strategy that will benefit one’s firm,” adds Posavac. “Marketing is always evolving, but the ability to frame problems and devise strategy is something students carry with them throughout their careers.” 

Business school marketing curriculums often incorporate case studies, group projects, and hands-on learning experiences to mimic the workplace and help students develop these skills. By focusing the curriculum on problem-solving and having students apply concepts and frameworks to multiple industry case studies, students can explore areas of interest to them.

How will a master of marketing degree prepare me for success in the business world? 

Jennifer Edson Escalas

Marketing graduates should feel confident and ready to be a value-add in the workplace. The business world is often unpredictable, but by learning how to manage that uncertainty and plan for success, marketing students will be well-prepared to address these issues and implement a creative solution. Marketing students learn how to understand consumers and pivot strategy to meet changing preferences. 

“At the 35,000-foot level, the most important skill to learn in graduate school is how to approach complex marketing management problems, break them down into tractable pieces, gather information needed to address each piece, then put it all together to drive marketing strategy. All of the specific learnings in our program facilitate this process,” says Posavac.  

While you will learn best practices and frameworks that can help you solve those problems and formulate strategy, application of those principles is what will prepare you for a marketing career. 

“Knowledge alone isn’t enough. You need to be able to apply what you know to solve marketing problems, ranging from whom to target, how to reach them, what products they need or want, all the way to what price to charge,” adds Escalas. 

What will my career path look like with a master of marketing degree? 

A marketing degree opens doors to a variety of industries – including consumer packaged goods, healthcare, technology, and beauty – as well as functions, such as digital marketing, consumer insights, and brand management. Whatever industry or job function interests you most, a marketing degree can help set you out for a rewarding career trajectory. At Vanderbilt Business, Master of Marketing students take different paths, yet all experience success because of their education. 

“Our graduates have found tremendous success after finishing their degrees. Our program is structured based on what employers want their marketing leaders to be able to do, and our goal is turning out grads who can hit the ground running and add enormous value for their firms on day one,” says Posavac. 

To learn more about Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing career outcomes click here.

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