A bachelor's degree in marketing equips students with the knowledge and training needed to pursue marketing careers in various roles and industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most employers in the field require a bachelor's degree, which helps ensure that candidates possess advertising, management, and general business skills.
A degree in marketing can also qualify graduates for business and financial careers. According to the BLS, these fields feature projected growth rates and median salaries that are above-average. The following guide explores marketing degrees in more detail, explaining what students can expect from these programs as well as potential career opportunities.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing refers to the many activities involved with promoting the buying and selling of goods and services. Marketing professionals analyze the needs and wants of markets and consumer groups and develop campaigns to meet those consumer requests on behalf of their organization.
What Are the Best Bachelor's in Marketing Programs of 2020?
|1||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|2||Colorado State University - Global Campus||Greenwood Village, CO|
|3||University of Wisconsin - Whitewater||Whitewater, WI|
|4||Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton, FL|
|5||University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN|
|6||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, OK|
|7||Texas State University||San Marcos, TX|
|8||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|9||Minot State University||Minot, ND|
|10||Arizona State University - Skysong||Scottsdale, AZ|
Should I Get a Bachelor's in Marketing?
Earning an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in marketing prepares graduates to enter an in-demand field. The BLS projects 7% job growth for marketing managers between 2019 and 2029. During the same period, the BLS projects 18% job growth for market research analysts. Both of these growth rates are well above the projected growth rate for all occupations in the U.S.
A degree in marketing can also lead to strong earnings — market research analysts typically take home more than $63,000 a year, while marketing managers earn median salaries that exceed $135,000 annually. Additionally, the business and financial careers that marketing graduates can pursue also provide strong salaries.
Graduates with a degree in marketing can qualify for these careers because of their diverse skill sets and widely applicable training. Marketing students develop flexible analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills that they can apply in many different professions. They also acquire specific business skills and knowledge, such as an understanding of management and market processes.
What Will I Learn in a Marketing Program?
Each marketing program features a unique curriculum, but many take a similar approach to core training. For example, most programs require courses in business foundations and marketing fundamentals. Many programs also offer concentrations that allow learners to specialize in certain subfields.
The following section describes a few common courses that students might encounter while pursuing a degree in marketing.
- Marketing Statistics
Marketing and business statistics courses teach students how to analyze and use data to improve decision-making processes. Coursework covers the major theoretical concepts in the field, along with many tools and methods used by professionals.
- Market Research
Market research courses examine how to gather and analyze information from various markets to inform decisions and manage risks. Students learn to create samples and interpret data to glean useful information. They also learn how to better understand consumer groups.
- Marketing Strategy
Marketing strategy courses explore how professionals develop promotional strategies to address specific problems or opportunities in a market. Students learn to develop plans, implement strategies, and monitor and analyze campaign successes. They also look at current practices and problems in the field.
- Strategic Management
Strategic management courses teach learners how business and management professionals develop and formulate strategies at various levels. Students explore what goes into the decision-making process, how strategies get analyzed and evaluated, and how they evolve into actual movements.
- Organizational Behavior
Organizational behavior courses highlight how the behaviors and interactions between individuals and departments within organizations impact management processes. Students explore the use of motivational theories and leadership practices to improve behavior and outcomes.
- Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior concentrations focus on what motivates consumers to make decisions. Degree-seekers investigate various psychological theories, analytical evaluation methods, and market research strategies used to assess individuals and consumer groups.
- Business Analytics
Business analytics concentrations emphasize the use of data to improve business decisions and processes. Learners study concepts and techniques used in the field, including various collection, management, and application methods.
- Global Marketing
Global marketing concentrations emphasize an international perspective to marketing and explore how professionals can identify and leverage international opportunities. Students evaluate different social, cultural, and legal factors and how they impact pricing, promotions, and sales strategies.
- Sustainable Commerce
Sustainable commerce concentrations explore how the shift toward sustainability impacts organizational strategies worldwide. Students learn how professionals can integrate environmental and social considerations into their marketing and operational plans to create advantages and generate public interest.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing concentrations teach learners how to use social media platforms to run promotional campaigns, connect with target markets, and coordinate organizational messaging. Students look at the different tools available and how social media has changed the marketing landscape.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers oversee marketing campaigns and the many steps required to develop them. They work with various departments to analyze markets, establish contracts, evaluate promotions, and create pricing plans. They also identify new markets and form sales strategies.
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts assess market conditions and determine opportunities for various products and services. They try and determine variables such as what goods and services will be in demand and what prices and promotional strategies will inspire interest.
- Public Relations Manager
Public relations managers oversee the public image of a person or an organization. They assess target markets and consumer groups, develop communication strategies, and create promotional and advertising campaigns to deliver a targeted and consistent message.
Fundraisers raise money for people and organizations. They may develop campaigns to increase awareness and generate interest in specific efforts by identifying market opportunities, connecting with potential donors, and creating various channels to encourage and accept donations.
- Sales Manager
Sales managers oversee an organization's sales team and operations. They assess market opportunities, evaluate available data, set goals, and train sales professionals. They also alleviate customer concerns and collaborate with other departments to coordinate efforts.
How to Choose a Marketing Bachelor's Program
Choosing the right on-campus or online bachelor's degree in marketing depends on each student's unique goals, interests, and circumstances. Explore the top online bachelor's in marketing programs to see what's available and figure out what to look for.
For example, you should only consider schools that hold regional accreditation. Additionally, look for programs that hold programmatic accreditation from organizations like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — this may matter to some employers. Learners should also research faculty, available concentrations, internship opportunities, and graduation and employment rates.
How to Get Into a Marketing Bachelor's Program
Every program features its own admission requirements, but most require applicants to hold a high school or GED diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. Competitive programs may require a minimum GPA — usually around 3.0.
Additional requirements may include recommendation letters, personal essays, and professional experience. In some cases, applicants may need to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's in Marketing?
Completing a bachelor's degree in marketing typically takes four years of full-time study. After graduation, marketing professionals can extend their training by pursuing an advanced degree, industry certifications, and/or continuing education courses, although these are not typically mandatory for entry-level employment.
Some programs allow learners to accelerate their training. Many online degrees in marketing, for example, offer more condensed schedules and allow students to take heavier course loads. Conversely, degree-seekers can complete their training at a slower rate by enrolling in a part-time program.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor's in Marketing?
The cost of a marketing degree depends on many factors, including the school, location, and delivery method.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, average tuition prices at four-year schools in 2017-18 ranged from $4,400-$44,000, depending on the school type and state. Students who pursue an online degree in marketing can reduce their overall costs by eliminating travel expenses and on-campus room and board. Additionally, some public schools allow out-of-state distance learners to pay in-state tuition rates.