Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in marketing can be a transformative step in your career. The right MBA program can provide you with the skills, knowledge, network, and opportunities needed to advance and succeed in a competitive business landscape, even if you do not possess a bachelor’s degree in marketing. 

In this article, we’ll look at what an MBA is, and how an MBA in marketing can help you gain an in-depth understanding of key marketing concepts and boost your career prospects–both within your existing organization as well as in the job market.

What is masters in business administration?

A Masters in Business Administration is a graduate-level degree that not only helps you gain knowledge in business and management but also helps you build the required skills to execute them. Typically, you will study a wide range of topics such as accounting, finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. Most MBA programs include case studies, group projects, and internships to provide practical experience.

Most professionals pursue an MBA to advance their careers as well as enhance their business acumen. This degree is highly regarded in the corporate world and potentially opens doors to leadership positions and higher salaries. While the admissions criteria for MBA programs may vary, most of them require a bachelor’s degree, relevant work experience, and some standardized test scores, such as GMAT or GRE.

Related: 7 Most Important Features of an MBA Program

An MBA in marketing is a specialized MBA program that focuses on practical skills and knowledge in the field of marketing. Marketing MBA programs are usually designed to prepare students for leadership roles in marketing, advertising, brand management, and other relevant fields.

If you choose to pursue an MBA in marketing, you would typically study topics like consumer behavior, market research, digital marketing, branding, and marketing strategy. The curriculum may include interactive case studies, real-world projects, and internships to help you gain practical experience and enhance the skills you would need in areas such as strategic planning, product development, and marketing analytics.

Related: Marketing & Advertising: Career Paths

If you wish to pursue a successful career in marketing, then getting an MBA in marketing is the natural step to kickstart the journey. Here are some reasons why getting an MBA degree in marketing is a great decision.

  1. Career Advancement: Most working professionals pursue an MBA in marketing to access career advancement opportunities. This allows them to move into higher-level and more strategic marketing roles. Additionally, having this degree offers the credibility you need to lead marketing teams.
  1. Specialized Skill Development: An MBA in marketing can help you develop specialized skills in market research, consumer behavior, branding, and digital marketing, making you a competitive candidate in the job market. This program also places emphasis on the importance of ethical marketing practices and sustainable business strategies.
  1. Widen Your Career Options: With an MBA degree in marketing, you can pursue a variety of career paths in marketing, advertising, brand management, market research, and related fields. It can also prepare you for roles in public relations, product management and digital marketing.
  1. Increased Earning Potential: Those with an MBA in marketing often command higher salaries than graduates with just a bachelor’s degree, especially in leadership and management roles. This leads to a fulfilling and financially rewarding career in the marketing field. According to CNBC, almost 40% of Fortune 500 CEOs possess an MBA degree.
  1. Better Networking Opportunities: Most MBA programs offer networking opportunities with fellow students, alumni, and industry professionals. These invaluable connections may lead to potential job opportunities and career growth in the field of marketing.
  2. Global Perspective: Many MBA programs in marketing offer a global perspective, helping you understand marketing strategies in different cultural and economic contexts. It also fosters cross-cultural communication which is an essential skill needed to navigate diverse markets.
  1. Personal Growth: MBA’s challenging coursework and real-world projects could lead to personal growth, helping you develop versatile skills like leadership, communication, teamwork and problem-solving. Through collaborative projects and leadership opportunities, you’ll build confidence and adaptability, essential for personal and professional success.

With a fair understanding of why you should consider pursuing an MBA in marketing, let’s look at some typical features of this program. While each university’s MBA program may have its own set of distinct features, here are some common ones:

  1. Specialized Curriculum: MBA programs in marketing offer a specialized curriculum focusing on core marketing concepts such as consumer behavior, market research, branding, digital marketing, and marketing strategy.
  1. Industry-Relevant Projects: These degree programs often include real-world projects and case studies, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge to practical marketing challenges.
  1. Internship Opportunities: Many MBA in marketing programs offer internship opportunities with companies, offering valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities.
  1. Faculty Expertise: Most MBA faculty members are experienced professionals in the field, bringing real-world insights as well as industry connections to the classroom.
  1. Career Services: These programs typically offer career services to help you secure internships and job placements, as well as provide career guidance and professional development resources.
  1. Elective Courses: MBA programs in marketing sometimes have a range of elective courses to choose from, allowing you to tailor your education to your specific interests and career goals.

Online MBA marketing programs are a wonderful way to pursue an advanced degree in marketing if you don’t have the resources or time to attend traditional, on-campus classes. 

Covering the same topics and subjects as on-campus programs, these online programs allow you to balance your studies with work and other commitments. Most online MBA programs also offer networking opportunities through online forums, virtual events, and alumni networks.

One key aspect to keep in mind when choosing an online MBA program is to make sure the institution is reputable and accredited–this ensures the quality and recognition of your degree. Also, while online programs offer convenience, you need to be mindful of the fact that they may require a high level of self-discipline and time management skills to succeed.

An online MBA program in marketing can be a valuable option for you, if you’re a professional looking to advance your career in the field of marketing, while following through on other commitments.

While pursuing an MBA in marketing is a great choice, it may not be the right choice for every student. In such cases, you could consider alternatives to an MBA degree which could be a better fit for your educational and career needs. Let’s look at some of these alternatives.

  1. Masters in Digital Marketing: This specialized program focuses specifically on digital marketing strategies and techniques, preparing students for roles in areas such as social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing. With an advanced degree in digital marketing, you could land a well-paying job as an SEO specialist, media planner, or a social media manager. 

Related: 13 Highest Paying Digital Marketing Jobs

  1. Masters in Marketing Research: This degree program primarily focuses on advanced research methods and analytical skills, preparing you for roles where market research is the primary function. Upon graduation, you can land roles where you study market conditions and consumer behavior to inform marketing strategies.
  1. Masters in Brand Management: A masters in brand management emphasizes the development and management of the company’s brand strategies. This equips you to ease into the role of a brand manager, where you would get to oversee the branding and positioning of products or services.
  1. Masters in International Marketing: This is a degree that primarily focuses on marketing strategies in a global context, preparing you to develop and implement marketing strategies that resonate with diverse audiences worldwide. Once you graduate, you could land jobs that require an understanding of international markets, cultural differences, and global marketing trends.
  2. Certification Programs: A great alternative to an MBA in marketing, certificate  programs provide specialized training in specific fields, such as digital marketing, social media marketing, or marketing analytics. These programs also teach you practical skills that can complement your bachelor’s degree or professional experience in marketing.
Careers after an MBA in Marketing

An MBA in marketing can open doors to various industries, as marketing is generally a primary function for all kinds of organizations–business, government and even not-for-profit organizations. Going beyond the popular professions, like marketing or product manager, here are a few unconventional career paths that you can pick from. 

  1. Marketing Analytics Specialist: As a marketing analytics specialist, you will be required to use data analysis tools to interpret marketing data, identify trends, and develop insights that drive marketing strategies. This requires you to have a strong analytical background and knowledge of marketing principles, which an MBA in marketing can help you build. As of 2023, the mean annual wage for marketing research analysts and marketing specialists was around $83,000.
  1. Digital Marketing Strategist: Yet another interesting field of work is digital marketing. With the increasing importance of digital and social channels, a digital marketer’s main focus is on developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns across various platforms such as social media, email, and search engines. On average, a senior digital marketing strategist earns about $75,301 per year. 
  1. Influencer Marketing Manager: A relatively new and popular profession, brands are investing in influencer marketing to look for authentic ways to reach their target audiences. As an influencer marketing manager, you would be responsible for identifying and partnering with influencers who can promote your brand or product to their audience. This would help businesses drive brand awareness and engagement. Recent data shows that the average base pay of an influencer marketing manager could be around $116,172.
  1. Market Research Analyst: As a market research analyst, you get to study market conditions so that you can determine the potential sales of a product or service. You would also be required to collect and analyze data on consumer preferences, buying habits, and market trends to help companies make key business decisions. As of 2022, the annual average salary of a market research analyst is around $68,230.
  1. Marketing Technology (Martech) Specialist: Martech is a rapidly growing field that focuses on leveraging technology to enhance marketing efforts. As a Martech specialist, you would be responsible for implementing and managing marketing automation tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other technology solutions to streamline marketing processes and improve campaign performance. On average, as a Martech specialist, you may expect to earn an average base pay of $77,750 per year.
  2. Customer Experience Manager: If you choose to be a customer experience manager, you would be required to make sure that customers have positive interactions with a company’s products or services throughout their journey. Moreover, you would analyze customer feedback and behavior to improve the overall customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. The yearly average base pay of a customer experience manager is anywhere around $113,000
  1. Content Marketing Manager: Another interesting field of choice for graduates with an MBA in marketing is content marketing. Typically, a content marketing manager is responsible for developing and implementing a content strategy that attracts and engages a target audience. This role involves creating content such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts that align with the brand’s voice and resonate with its audience. The salary for this profession varies as per business and industry requirements.

Apart from these atypical options, an MBA in marketing may also prepare you to start your own business or venture. With a strong foundation in marketing principles, you can develop and market your products or services effectively in a competitive business landscape.

With comprehensive education in strategic marketing principles, consumer behavior, and market analysis, an MBA degree in marketing can prepare you for diverse career paths in the field. If you wish to gain advanced marketing knowledge, but are unable to attend traditional classes, then an online MBA program in marketing could be a great fit for you. Offering flexibility and accessibility, it allows working professionals to advance their skills and careers without disturbing their busy schedules. 

An MBA in marketing comes with a host of benefits including career advancement, specialized skill development, networking opportunities, and a global perspective, making you a competitive candidate in the job market. If you build a career in marketing, you get the opportunity to put your marketing acumen to use across verticals and industries. In a nutshell, an MBA in marketing allows you to leverage the strategic, analytical, and creative skills gained to pursue a versatile, rewarding, and successful career.

Is getting an MBA in marketing worth it?

Yes, getting an MBA in marketing can be worth the time and effort for many professionals. It can provide a competitive edge in the job market, leading to higher earning potential and career advancement opportunities. The specialized skills and knowledge gained in areas like market research, consumer behavior, and digital marketing are highly valued by employers. Additionally, an MBA in marketing can expand your professional network and open doors to a wide range of career paths in marketing and related fields. However, the decision to pursue an MBA should be based on individual career goals, as it requires a significant investment of time and money.

How is a Masters in Marketing different from an MBA?

A Masters in Marketing (MS/MSc) typically focuses on marketing-related topics, such as market research, consumer behavior, branding, and digital marketing. It provides a deep dive into these areas, often with a strong emphasis on practical skills and techniques. On the other hand, an MBA with a concentration in marketing offers a broader business education, covering not only marketing but also other aspects of business such as finance, operations, and strategy. It provides a more holistic view of business, which can be beneficial for roles that require a broader understanding of business functions.
Ultimately, the choice between a masters in marketing and an MBA depends on your career goals and whether you prefer a specialized or more general business education.

Should I pursue an online MBA in marketing?

Absolutely! Pursuing an online MBA in marketing can be a fantastic opportunity to advance your career in the field. The flexibility of online programs allows you to balance your studies with your professional and personal commitments, making it easier to enhance your skills and knowledge without having to take a break from your career. Additionally, online MBA programs often offer networking opportunities and access to industry experts that can help you grow your professional network and open doors to new career opportunities. Overall, an online MBA in marketing can be a rewarding experience that helps you achieve your career goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.