dcsimg

Online marketing degrees – Online advertising programs

Though new technologies and strategies emerge, marketers and advertisers will likely always be in demand since they play a critical role in assuring a company's success. They are responsible for spreading the word about a firm's products or services and tapping into new markets as old ones are saturated.

That's why getting the right education is so important for those hoping to break into this field. A good marketing or advertising degree program can not only teach the tried and true methods of promotion but also introduce students to social media marketing, content marketing and other innovative ways of getting a message to a target audience.

Fortunately, students don't have to spend years on campus to earn their marketing or advertising degree. Plenty of institutions now offer online marketing degrees and several also have online advertising degrees. Here's a look at the number and type of institutions with distance education options:

Degree

Public schools

Private nonprofit schools

Private for-profit public schools

Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing

185

293

198

Online Graduate Degree in Marketing

209

318

125

Online Bachelor's Degree in Advertising

2

1

3

Online Graduate Degree in Advertising

1

5

1

Source: National Center for Education Statistics (2015)

Entry-level marketing and advertising programs

Those who have no experience in marketing or advertising can enter the field through a number of paths. These include undergraduate degrees, certificates or even master's degrees for those who already have a degree in another field. In all cases, entry-level programs will provide a broad overview of marketing and advertising strategies and theories.

  • Associate degree: Usually completed within two years, an associate degree in marketing or advertising provides a foundation of knowledge that can help students determine if the field is right for them. In addition, credits from an associate degree typically transfer to a bachelor's degree.
  • Bachelor's degree: Most entry-level jobs in the industry require at least a bachelor's degree. For the first two years of this program, students will focus on business fundamentals. Then, in the final two years, they may have the opportunity to concentrate their studies on electives that relate to their expected specialization. Many four-year degrees offer internships or require a capstone project prior to graduation.
  • Master's degree: A graduate degree is usually pursued for more advanced positions, but some individuals may use it to gain an entry-level position if their bachelor's degree is in an unrelated field.
  • Certificates: Marketing certificates may be found at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Like a master's degree, a graduate certificate in marketing or advertising can be one way a person with an unrelated degree can qualify for an entry-level position. Meanwhile, undergraduate certificates can serve the same function as an associate degree and offer people a taste of what the field is like.

Both online degrees in marketing and online degrees in advertising are available, and many of these programs allow students to complete their education from the comfort of their home without ever setting foot in a classroom.

Advanced-degree marketing and advertising programs

Advertising and marketing professionals who want to take their career to the next level may want to consider their advanced degree options. These include all the following:

  • Master's degree: For those with an undergraduate degree in a business field, a master's degree can be a stepping stone to a managerial or executive position. An MBA in marketing or advertising is considered by some to be premier education for those working in the field.
  • Doctoral degree: Beyond a master's degree, students can pursue a doctoral degree. As the highest level of education possible in the field, these programs typically attract those who want to have a career in academia or research.
  • Certificate: Some graduate certificates are geared specifically for industry professionals who want to master a certain area of marketing, advertising or public relations.
  • Certification: Outside of earning a degree, people can advance their career by earning an industry certification. These programs are administered by trade groups to recognize the expertise of their members. Examples include the Professional Certified Marketer designation from the American Marketing Association and the Certified Advertising Specialist credential from the Promotional Products Association International.

Online degrees can be especially valuable for working professionals who want to earn an advanced degree. In particular, many schools have worked to make online MBA programs available to those who need to juggle their education with their current job.

Q&A with the experts

  • Lorrie Thomas Ross is a professor of social media marketing and search engine marketing at the University of California-Berkley Extension and teaches marketing classes online at Lynda.com
  • William Cowen is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Villanova University

What can students expect from a marketing or advertising degree program?

Cowen: Within these disciplines, students should actively seek programs that focus on a solid balance of theory and practice. Research, promotional concept development, as well as professional application including internships and career support should all be components of the students' expectation.

Thomas Ross: It's depends on the type of marketing program; it depends on the institution; and it depends on a student's area of focus. There's traditional marketing which is branding, public relations messaging and then with today's digital world, we have social media marketing, search engine marketing and website developing which can fall under marketing. Every school is going to have a different emphasis.

Who should consider getting a graduate degree in the field?

Cowen: Graduate degrees often are perceived as demonstration of a deeper and more comprehensive dedication to the industry. This credential can become particularly valuable to those competing in a corporate environment, such that they may have a distinct company structural advantage for advancement as compared to those without an advanced education.

Thomas Ross: If someone's looking to be an executive in marketing, it could be beneficial to have a graduate degree. [However], I'm a big believer that we can build a career by what we do and not just what we know. If you want to have a career in marketing, you can to walk up to an organization with a master's degree but if you have no relevant work experience, you're really behind in the career game.

Do you have tips for students to prepare prior to beginning their studies?

Cowen: Within any promotional field — such as marketing, advertising or PR — students should literally become modern day renaissance professionals. In other words, it's much to their advantage to be well versed in business, a variety of industries, how world systems work, and overall, become an endless intake of news and headlines to drive and enhance their knowledge.

Thomas Ross: I would say to someone who is interested in the subject, if you want to learn more and do it economically, there are a lot of ways to use online education to get a flavor for the field before jumping into a whole degree program.

Types of marketing and advertising careers

Degrees in marketing and advertising can lead to a variety of careers, many of which pay well and are expected to see significant growth in the years to come. The chart below looks at various marketing occupations along with average employment figures.

Position

Employment (2014)

Average salary (2014)

Expected job growth (2012-2022)

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

468,160

$68,700

31.6%

Advertising and Promotion Managers

29,340

$114,700

6.9%

Marketing Managers

184,490

$137,400

12.7%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

56,920

$115,400

12.9%

Public Relations Specialists

208,030

$64,050

12%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Common misconceptions about marketing and advertising degrees

Misconception: You can expect to spend your days in a conference room bouncing ideas off of colleagues at your first job out of college.

  • Fact: The reality of many entry-level jobs may be quite different than what some graduates anticipate. Entry-level jobs for marketing and advertising graduates may include a heavy dose of sales work. Only after a person has proven their business savvy can they move into more desirable positions.

Misconception: Students can shorten or perhaps even bypass typical entry-level duties by earning an MBA or other advanced degree.

  • Fact: Not always the case. Some of these programs are highly competitive and only top-tier candidates are accepted. To increase your likelihood of getting into the school of your choice and ultimately landing the job you want, you should be able to demonstrate a strong grasp of English, communications and content management software.

Look for a degree program that will provide ample opportunities for real-world experience, such as through internships or field work. These activities not only have the potential to connect students with existing marketing and advertising professionals but also demonstrate practical expertise beyond the classroom.

How can I enroll in an online marketing degree or an online advertising degree?

The application process is different for every school. Some institutions have a dedicated enrollment period while others accept applications throughout the year.

Start by looking through the schools listed below to find the ones that offer them marketing or advertising specialization you would like to pursue. Then fill out the form to request additional information on how their program is run and their application process.

Explore Schools Offering Marketing Programs
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
2 Program(s) Found

•        Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

•        Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.

•        More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.

•        Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

•        Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked #20 in the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked among the Top 50 Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs in 2014 by The Princeton Review.
  • Ranked among America’s Top Colleges in 2013 by Forbes.
  • Offers over 90 undergraduate majors across 10 colleges, with numerous programs ranked among the top programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Has famous alumni such as Sergey Brin the co-founder of Google, Kevin Blank the Founder of Under Armour Athletic Gear, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
UEI College , Riverside
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
  • Approved to accept international students who wish to study in the United States.
  • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Lab Technician, and Healthcare Administration.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
  • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid