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Students in marketing degree programs typically learn the skills used to generate and monitor consumer interest in a company's products and services. Depending on their specialization, they may also focus on market data analysis, psychology, digital media, visual arts, mass communication or other elements of the discipline.

Numerous professionals in this field hold marketing degrees at the bachelor's level, from designers and public relations specialists to art directors and marketing managers. According to findings from the National Center for Education Statistics, 31,853 bachelor's-level marketing degrees were awarded in 2010-2011. Individuals in upper management positions may have master's degrees in marketing, management or business administration. The same NCES report listed 1,598 marketing/marketing management master's degrees awarded in the 2010-2011 period.

Path to an Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing

degree in marketingAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, students on this track typically work toward a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in business or business administration and concentrate their studies in marketing. Full-time students generally complete the degree program in four years. In addition to marketing electives, students take required general education classes and courses in other areas of business, such as accounting and finance.

Within the marketing degree curriculum students can choose from an array of elective courses that can help them refine the knowledge areas to potentially use in the workforce. The BLS provides a general overview of a few of these courses:

Marketing Degree Electives

Marketing Research Students in this field typically learn how to collect, analyze and interpret market research to help them construct better-informed marketing plans. Examples of topics covered in these courses include, problem formulation, research design and sampling.
International/Global Marketing Courses explore methods of adapting and targeting marketing strategies for international markets. For example, students may examine how cultural differences affect marketing initiatives in other countries.
Sports Marketing Students apply marketing concepts and strategies to situations specific,to the sports industry. Standard concepts studied for sports marketing include sponsorship, public relations and media.
Marketing Strategy Students learn how to develop and implement strategic components of a marketing plan like pricing and promotion.
Sales Management Courses aim to provide students with skills important to sales managers, particularly in regards to recruiting, training, motivating, compensating and supervising a sales force.

Marketing Specialization and Careers

Although a bachelor's degree cannot guarantee employment in a marketing career, data from the BLS indicates employers often prefer one or view it as a prerequisite. Here are some examples of careers toward which one may apply a marketing degree:

  • Market research analysts track and forecast marketing and sales trends and assess the impact of marketing strategies. They also collect and analyze data on market conditions, consumers and competitors. Students interested in this career can study effective methods of interpreting market data by choosing market research electives on the path to their bachelor's degree. Courses in statistics, marketing and research methods can also be important for this career.
  • Survey researchers plan, design and conduct surveys to gather data for statistical analysis. They also take into account and resolve sampling issues. Psychology or business administration courses that cover consumer behavior can help prepare students for this career, as well as courses in survey methodology, statistics and English composition.
  • Advertising sales agents interface with potential advertising clients. Also known as account executives or advertising sales representatives, typical duties include delivering sales presentations and preparing promotional plans and sales literature. A bachelor's degree in marketing isn't typically required for these positions, but candidates with a marketing degree at any level may have an advantage in the hiring process.
  • Marketing managers discover potential markets for a company's products and forecast demand for products and services. They may also create pricing strategies to maximize profit and market share without compromising customer satisfaction. Students looking to get on a path to this career can benefit from courses in management, economics, accounting, finance and statistics. This role generally calls for a bachelor's degree and previous experience in the marketing field.
  • Sales managers direct teams of salespeople and design training programs for sales representatives. They also set sales goals, analyze sales statistics, prepare budgets and approve expenditures. Many postsecondary institutions offer classes in general sales management, and aspiring sales managers can also benefit from statistics, economics, accounting, enterprise management and finance coursework. Employers often require at least one to five years of professional sales experience before a candidate can be considered for management.

Pursuing a career is not the only option students have after earning their bachelor's degree. They can also consider a specialized master's degree or Master of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing. Some employers may even require candidates to have a graduate degree to qualify for a marketing-related position. Market research analysts, for example, typically need to hold at least a master's degree-level qualification.

Students interested in working toward an MBA or master's degree in marketing should talk to an admissions counselor about the best ways to prepare for graduate education.


"Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm

"Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing (BSDM)," New England College of Business, http://www.necb.edu/bachelors-degree-digital-marketing-online.cfm

"Advertising Sales Agents" U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm

"Marketing Research Analysts," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm

"Sales Managers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/sales-managers.htm

"Survey Researchers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/survey-researchers.htm

"Bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions, by sex of student and discipline division: 2010-11," National Center for Education Statistics, October 2, 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d12/tables/dt12_317.asp

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