Do you have a knack for everything marketing? Perhaps you’re a marketing graduate or a seasoned marketing professional thinking of taking the next step in your marketing journey? If you are looking to upskill in your chosen field, then a masters in marketing is the answer!

Learn all about how a master’s in marketing can add value to your career prospects and help you stand out. This guide will take you through every aspect of the master’s degree program and answer any questions you may have about it.

Related: Marketing & Advertising: Career Paths

A master’s degree in marketing, commonly offered as a Master of Science (MS) in Marketing, is a graduate-level degree designed to give you specialized knowledge in the field of marketing. A masters in marketing aims to prepare you for career roles at higher levels. Those looking to change careers can also consider pursuing this degree to enter the field of marketing. In an MS in Marketing degree program, you can expect to learn specialized marketing material in core courses, along with elective options so that you can tailor your degree to your interests. 

An MS in marketing can take anywhere from eight months to one year of full-time study. You will complete a total of 30 to 36 credits in this program. The duration and number of credits earned can vary depending on the specific university program.

You can also choose to pursue your MS in Marketing online or part-time. Online and part-time degree programs are considered equally prestigious and are often more viable for working professionals. 

Here are some common admission requirements you must meet to be eligible for admission in MS in Marketing programs:

1. Bachelor’s Degree

At the very least, you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree in any field. Depending on your chosen university’s admission guidelines, there may or may not be a minimum GPA requirement. A GPA that is above 3.0 can strengthen your application.

2. Academic Transcripts

You’ll typically need to provide academic transcripts from all the colleges and universities that you have attended. These transcripts detail your course grades and overall academic performance.

In some cases, the institution may request official transcripts directly from your previous universities, while others may accept unofficial copies. Make sure to check the specific requirements of each application process to ensure you provide the necessary documentation.

3. GRE or GMAT Scores

Submitting your GRE/GMAT scores is no longer mandatory at many universities. However, if you feel that submitting your scores can enhance your application, then by all means you should do so. 

4. Essay

Some programs may require one or more application essays. You will need to submit essays that reflect your original ideas and thinking. Essays are a chance to demonstrate your writing skills, critical thinking, and how well you can communicate your ideas.

They also provide further insight into your personality, how you handle challenges, and your passion for the field of marketing.

5. Prerequisites 

Because the curriculum is STEM-based, you may need to have completed basic math and science courses in the past. But if you haven’t, then you could take relevant courses before or after you start your master’s program. Note that some universities do not have any prerequisite course requirements. 

6. Interview

You may be asked to participate in an admissions interview as part of the application process. This interview may be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conference, and it allows the admissions committee to learn more about you and your motivations for pursuing the program.

7. Letters of Recommendation

You may need to submit letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or other individuals who can speak of your academic abilities, work ethic, and potential for success in a graduate program.

8. CV and Resume

Your CV and resume will outline your educational qualifications and your work experience over the years. While work experience is not a mandatory requirement to get admission, in some cases it may be seen as a replacement for your GRE/GMAT scores. 

Keep in mind that these are general admission requirements and may vary depending on the specific university. It’s always a good idea to check your preferred university’s website to ensure your eligibility as well as a list of documentation needed.

MS in Marketing programs are designed to give you specialized knowledge and skills in every aspect of marketing, from branding, to digital and social media marketing, to the buyer’s journey, and more. The curriculum is STEM-based and can be grouped into two categories–core courses and electives.

Here’s a general overview of the courses that you can expect to take during your MS in Marketing program:

Core Courses

1. Marketing Analytics: Learn how to use data to make marketing decisions, understand customers better, and make marketing efforts more effective.

2. Marketing Research: Gather and analyze data to gain insights into customers and markets, facilitating strategic marketing decisions.

3. Digital Marketing Strategy: Learn to promote products effectively online through various digital channels like social media, websites, and emails.

4. Marketing Management: Grasp fundamental marketing principles, including product pricing, advertising, and distribution strategies.

5. Buyer Behavior: Understand the psychology behind customer purchasing decisions and how marketing influences them.

6. Business Communication: Enhance communication skills for effective product promotion and marketing campaigns.

7. Pricing Analysis: Analyze pricing strategies to ensure competitiveness and profitability in the market.

8. Marketing Ethics: Explore ethical considerations in marketing practices, emphasizing honesty and customer privacy.

Elective Courses

1. Analytics for Social Media: Utilize social media data analysis to enhance marketing strategies and customer engagement.

2. Consumer Analytics: Analyze consumer data to optimize marketing tactics and improve customer targeting.

3. Brand Management: Explore strategies for building and maintaining a strong brand identity for companies.

4. Product Management: Study the lifecycle of products from development to market launch and management.

5. Consumer Behavior and Insights: Gain insights into consumer purchasing behavior to drive effective marketing strategies.

6. Professional Sales: Develop skills for successful product sales and customer relationship management.

7. Data-Driven Marketing: Utilize data analytics to personalize marketing approaches and drive customer engagement.

8. Global Marketing: Explore marketing strategies tailored to different cultural and international markets.

9. Supply Chain Management: Understand the role of marketing in product distribution and supply chain logistics.

On average, you can expect to take between 6-8 core courses and between 4-6 electives. 

The course content can vary depending on the university’s program, but the concepts outlined above are more or less what you can expect to learn.

A masters in marketing opens up a wide range of exciting career options. Here are just some of them:

1. Marketing, Advertising, and Promotions Managers

As an advertising and promotions manager, your responsibilities include planning advertising campaigns, negotiating advertising contracts, and overseeing promotional activities to increase sales or public interest in a product or service. You’ll work closely with clients, creative teams, and media outlets to ensure campaigns are effective. The median salary for these roles is $156,580 per year.

2. Digital Marketing

Digital marketers utilize online channels such as websites, social media, email, and search engines to promote products or services. Your tasks involve creating and managing digital advertising campaigns, analyzing data to optimize marketing strategies, and staying updated on digital marketing trends. The average salary for digital marketing professionals is $124,046 per year.

Related: How to Become a Digital Marketer?

3. Content Specialist

Content specialists focus on creating engaging and informative content for marketing purposes. This could include writing blog posts, articles, social media posts, website copy, and more. You’ll also be responsible for content strategy, ensuring that it aligns with the brand’s goals and resonates with the target audience. Professionals in this field make $128,869 per year.

4. Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts collect and analyze data about consumers and market trends to help companies understand their target audience and make informed business decisions. Your tasks may include designing surveys, conducting interviews, analyzing data using statistical software, and preparing reports with actionable insights. The average annual salary for a market research analyst is $98,590.

5. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketers develop and implement strategies to promote brands and engage with customers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You’ll create content, manage social media accounts, run advertising campaigns, and monitor social media metrics to measure performance. The average annual salary for professionals in this field is $115,157.

6. Marketing Consultant

Marketing consultants work independently or for consulting firms, providing strategic advice and expertise to businesses looking to improve their marketing efforts. Your tasks may include conducting market research, developing marketing plans, and advising on branding, advertising, and promotional strategies. The salary for professionals in this field is $79,472 per year.

7. SEO Specialist

SEO specialists optimize websites to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Your duties may include keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and monitoring website performance using tools like Google Analytics. The average salary for an SEO specialist role is $75,335 per year.

8. Brand Management

Brand managers are responsible for developing and maintaining a brand’s identity, image, and reputation. Your duties may include conducting market research, developing brand strategies, overseeing product launches, and ensuring brand consistency across all marketing channels. The average annual salary for this role is $132,732.

9. Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists manage the public image of companies or individuals by creating and maintaining positive relationships with the media, stakeholders, and the public. Responsibilities include writing press releases, organizing events, handling crisis communications, and managing social media accounts. Public relations specialists make $66,750 per year.

10. Product Marketing Manager

Product marketing managers are responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies to promote specific products or services. This includes conducting market research, identifying target audiences, positioning products in the market, and collaborating with cross-functional teams on product launches and campaigns. The average annual salary for this role is $140,473.

11. Marketing Analytics Manager

Marketing analytics managers use data analysis techniques to evaluate marketing campaigns, measure performance, and identify areas for improvement. Responsibilities may include data collection, analysis, and reporting using tools such as Google Analytics, SQL, and data visualization software. Marketing analytics manager roles receive an average annual salary of $120,779.

Related: Marketing and Advertising Career Paths

Here’s a clear overview of the key differences between an MS in Marketing and an MBA with a marketing specialization:

AspectMS in Marketing MBA, with a marketing specialization
Specialized KnowledgeIn-depth focus on marketing concepts and strategiesBroad understanding of various business functions, including marketing
Focused Career PathSuited for roles specifically within marketing or related fieldsProvides versatility for roles beyond marketing
Typical Career LevelEntry-level to mid-level marketing positionsMid-level to senior management roles, leadership positions
DurationShorter duration (1-2 years)Longer duration (2 years or more)
FlexibilityLimited flexibility outside of marketing-related rolesOffers versatility for various career paths beyond marketing
Skills AcquiredSpecialized marketing skills such as consumer behavior, market research, and digital marketingBroad business skills, including finance, operations, strategy, and leadership
Admission PrerequisitesTypically requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field, sometimes work experienceIt often requires several years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree in any field.
Program CostIt varies by institution and locationGenerally higher cost due to longer duration and broader curriculum

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Getting an MBA in Marketing

A master’s degree in marketing can fast-track you to your career goals. Here are some compelling reasons to get your masters in marketing:

1. Increased Earning Potential

A masters in marketing can lead to higher earning potential compared to a bachelor’s degree. Graduates with advanced degrees often command higher salaries, particularly in managerial or specialized roles within the marketing industry.

2. Shorter Time to Degree Completion

Many masters in marketing programs are designed to be completed in a shorter time-frame compared to other graduate degrees, such as MBAs. This allows you to enter the workforce sooner and start earning a higher salary, accelerating your return on investment.

3. Career Advancement

Earning a masters in marketing can open up opportunities for career advancement and progression within the field. Whether you’re aiming for promotions, leadership roles, or transitioning to a new area of marketing specialization, advanced education can provide the credentials and skills needed to take your career to the next level.

4. Staying on Top of Your Game

The marketing landscape is constantly evolving with new technologies, trends, and consumer behaviors. By pursuing a masters in marketing, you’ll stay abreast of the latest industry developments, best practices, and emerging strategies, ensuring that you remain competitive and relevant in today’s dynamic market.

A master’s degree in marketing can be your ticket to greater opportunities and a deeper understanding of how marketing works. With this degree, you’re not just learning theories; you’re diving into real-world strategies that can help boost your career.

Whether you’re aiming for a higher salary, a promotion, or just want to stay ahead in the marketing game, a master’s in marketing can help you get there faster. So, if you’re ready to take your marketing skills to the next level, this degree is your best bet.

Is a master's in marketing worth it?

Yes, it definitely is. If you’re interested in marketing and want to give your career a boost, a master’s in marketing can be a great investment. It equips you with advanced skills and knowledge that can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries in the marketing industry.

Who should pursue a master's in marketing?

The ideal student would be an individual who is passionate about marketing and eager to advance their career in marketing. Whether you’re just starting in your career, looking to switch to a marketing role, or aiming for higher positions in the field, this degree can help you achieve your goals.