As a child, you likely spent hours trying to decide what you wanted to be when you grew up and switched careers in your mind many times.
Now, as it comes closer to the time when you need to make a decision about your degree program or look into additional schooling, the question becomes even more important.
If you think you want to become a digital marketer, then you’ll likely be interested in getting a marketing degree.
While not everyone needs a degree in marketing to be a great digital marketer, it can certainly help you learn important information and open doors down the road.
In this post, we’ll discuss why you should consider getting a marketing degree, what types of courses you can expect to take in marketing school, and what types of specializations you can get.
Why Should You Get a Marketing Degree?
There are many great reasons to get a marketing degree.
Marketing as a field is an exciting and evolving industry that offers incredible advances and plenty of job opportunities.
Digital marketing in particular is taking off, and now is the time to join in, especially if you are hoping for a career in management or leadership down the road.
Let’s look at a few of the major benefits behind getting a marketing degree from either a school or an online program.
Marketing Degrees are for Everyone
Whether you are a technical thinker driven by analytics and numbers or a creative type who likes storytelling, writing, and designing, there is a role in marketing for you.
Marketing covers a wide range of jobs, from marketing analytics to graphic design and everything in between.
The wide range of what marketing covers also makes it interesting and enjoyable for many.
Marketing Degrees Help You Advance
While you can get into a marketing career without a marketing degree, you’ll often need quite a few years of experience.
A marketing degree can help you break into the marketing industry without needing all the experience of someone who doesn’t have a degree.
It will also help you when it comes time for promotion considerations and raises. You’ll also be able to apply for more jobs than you would without one.
Marketing Degrees Provide Real-World Skills
The skills you pick up in a marketing degree will have many more applications than just a marketing career.
While that certainly is the focus of your degree program, you’ll also learn skills related to technology adaptation, critical thinking, analysis, research, and communication.
Marketing is also a great background degree to have if you ever want to own a business of your own, as marketing will play a key role in your success.
Marketing Degrees Help You Move from School to a Career
The job search after you finish schooling at any level can be challenging.
A degree can help you quickly find a career without having to wait months or even years to find a career that interests you.
A bachelor’s or master’s in marketing lets employers know you are serious about the job and that you have the knowledge to get started right away.
Courses in Marketing School
Every marketing course will have different courses that you can take, but there are a few standard types of classes you can expect in any marketing school.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:
Introduction to Marketing
This is often the first class you’ll take at a marketing school, which will give you an overview of what marketing is and provide a summary of what the field looks like.
If you aren’t sold yet on being a marketing major, then you should take this class to find out if a marketing career is for you.
An advertising class will provide some history of advertising, trends in advertising, and modern-day examples of what works and what doesn’t in advertisements.
Branding classes will help you learn what makes a brand and how one grows over time to become a household name. It will teach you how to create a brand and how powerful brands are when it comes to marketing.
While it is possible to get a public relations degree itself, marketing programs will often have students take a few PR classes to learn how marketing and PR are connected and how PR influences the ways in which consumers interact with brands.
Marketing relies on data to help inform decision-making and how initiatives are created and run.
Therefore, understanding data sets is an important component of marketing. These types of classes will teach you how to read, collect, and translate data into meaningful insights.
The economy is a huge part of marketing. An economic principles or basics economics class will help you learn about supply and demand, financial markets, and consumer impacts on economic trends.
Consumers are the driving force behind marketing. If you don’t understand their behavior, you’ll never be able to successfully market to the masses and key audiences.
This will teach you why consumers do what they do and how you can use their behavior to drive decisions.
Internal and external communication is a key component of successful marketing, and communications classes can help you learn about the history and science behind communication, the platforms to communicate on, and how to apply communication skills to marketing.
Marketing Degree Specializations
Within the field of marketing, there are different marketing degree specializations that you can choose to focus on.
These specializations are great if you already know what parts of a marketing career are most interesting to you and where you want to spend your time once you get out in the working world.
Here are the common specializations that you will find under the umbrella of a “marketing degree” at most schools and universities.
- General Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Public Relations
- Market Research and Analysis
- Marketing Management
- International Business Marketing
Best Marketing Schools and Degree Programs
Now that you understand why getting a marketing degree is a good idea for a career in marketing and the different courses and specializations that you’ll find at marketing school, let’s take a look at some of the best schools and degree programs you can choose, in no particular order.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania’s marketing track is well-known for having forward-thinking tactics and having more published and cited professors on staff than any other school of marketing.
If you want to join a marketing program that pushes the boundaries and focuses on innovation, then this might be the program for you, as they were one of the first schools to bring marketing into fruition.
University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame has a marketing framework called 5Cs/STP/4Ps that guides their educational process.
That refers to the 5 Cs of “company, collaborators, customers, competitors, and climate”, the STP of “segment, target, and position”, and the 4 Ps of “product, placement, price, and promotion”.
This framework has led to one of the best marketing programs in the country, with many internship and research position opportunities and a strong alumni network to help graduates find the right jobs.
St. Joseph’s University
St. Joseph’s University is one of the only colleges that offer a dedicated marketing department with a wide variety of majors and minors to select from.
There are also specialized associations and organizations dedicated to marketing students who have graduated in careers from sports teams to charities.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M has highly respected marketing programs that offer hands-on experience and many different areas of specialization to choose from, including advertising strategy, professional selling and sales management, and analytics and consulting, among others.
Missouri State University
Missouri State University offers a wide range of different marketing programs: Advertising & Promotion, Marketing Research, Professional Sales, and Marketing Management.
They also offer in-person, online, and hybrid class options for their marketing tracks.
Of course, there are many other great schools to get a marketing degree in, as well as other factors like cost of living, tuition, and location that will impact your decision.
If you can’t attend one of these schools, don’t let that stop you from going out to get your marketing degree and starting a career in the marketing industry.
If financing your education is an issue, you can apply for student loans or even maintenance funds paid into your student bank account to help facilitate getting a degree
A marketing degree is a big step to take that can help launch your career in digital marketing.
A degree can help you break into the industry and learn essential skills that will help you in your career. You’ll also have a better chance at getting a job you love and being paid a salary you are happy with.
If you are still on the fence about a career in marketing, then check out our article on the best marketing TED talks.
You’ll learn from industry experts and gather important information on the trajectory of digital marketing as a field and how it’s adapting and changing.