Digital Marketing Degrees: Bachelor's, MBA & Online Course Info

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What kind of job can you get with an MBA or PhD in digital marketing? Find out program requirements, online options and information on courses and degrees in digital marketing.
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Study Digital Marketing: Degrees at a Glance

Digital marketing concerns how services and products are advertised, promoted and sold to customers through use of the Internet. If you're interested in becoming a marketing manager or analyst who works primarily with software, search engine optimization, Web design, e-mail strategy, social media and other Internet-related marketing tools, then a bachelor's or master's degree in this discipline may be what you're looking for.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for advertising, promotions and marketing managers were projected to increase by 14% between 2010-2010, which was about as fast as the average of all occupations. Meanwhile, market research analysis positions were estimated to grow by 41% from 2010-2020. Individuals with a background in statistics and a master's degree were expected to have the best opportunities for market research positions.

Bachelor's Master's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in entry-level careers in digital marketing management or digital market analysis People who want to work in digital marketing research or management
Common Career Paths (with approximate median salary) - Market research analyst and marketing specialist ($67,000)* All of the positions available to bachelor's degree holders, plus:
- Marketing manager ($126,000)*
- Junior college professor ($78,000)*
Time to Completion About 3-5 years, full-time Roughly 2 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Roughly 60 credit hours devoted to general education
- About 60 credit hours devoted to core business and digital media
- Capstone (not a universal requirement)
Roughly 7-10 core business courses
- About 4-8 courses in digital marketing
- Capstone (not a universal requirement)
Prerequisites - High school diploma or a GED Bachelor's degree in digital marketing or a related field
- Letter(s) of recommendation
Online Availability Yes Yes

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).


Bachelor's in Digital Marketing

A bachelor's degree program in digital marketing typically covers commerce and advertising and how it works in the technological revolution of the modern world. A core business curriculum is usually combines with specific digital media classes. The goal of many programs is to help you blend creativity, business acumen and technological skill. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree in digital marketing, you might also consider a digital media management program or a business or marketing major with a digital marketing minor.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Many entry-level positions in this field don't require more than a bachelor's degree
  • Could lead to jobs that allow you to travel extensively for media, technology and advertising seminars and conferences
  • Some programs require that you complete an internship to gain real-world experience

Cons

  • If you're interested in management and even certain mid-level positions, an MBA may be required or preferred by potential employers
  • Earning your bachelor's degree can be expensive and time-consuming
  • Some positions require that you have years of experience that a bachelor's degree program can't provide you with

Courses and Requirements

The coursework that you'll be required to complete in a bachelor's program depends largely on what program you attend, although there are similarities. In addition to general education classes, much of the general coursework covers business and advertising principles that can be applied to digital marketing. A few courses you might take are:

  • Marketing research
  • Behavior of consumers
  • Management strategies
  • Innovation in social media
  • Accounting
  • Digital analytics
  • Creating a digital media enterprise
  • Interactive and direct marketing

Online Degree Options

Since most bachelor's degree programs only consist of coursework, the digital marketing specialization is available completely online. You don't have to worry about traveling to campus to take exams or meet with professors. If you do want to come to campus to take some courses, you may have the option to enroll in a hybrid program. You shouldn't miss out on any concepts by taking a distance learning bachelor's program, so it may be a solid option if you don't want to travel to a campus.

Stand Out With This Degree

There are a variety of steps you can take in order to stand out from other bachelor's degree holders. The following are simply a few suggestions to consider:

  • Being a jack-of-all-trades can be enormously helpful. If you're skilled at software programming, data management, Web design and search engine optimization, you'll be more likely to find employment.
  • Since employment searches can be nationwide, being flexible about where you live can give you a leg up. If you're willing to relocate, the net you can throw for your job search will be much wider.
  • Staying abreast of the latest technological developments in digital marketing, as well as maintaining a high level of computer literacy, can be helpful when job searching. For example, proficiency in SQL and SAS advertising reporting and analysis could help you get a leg up. Google Analytics, Excel with Google Adwords, Marin Software, Omniture, Microsoft Adcenter and PPC bid management tools are just a few examples of software programs you may want to learn.

Master of Business Administration in Digital Marketing

The MBA program with a specialization in digital marketing usually covers topics like Internet marketing, digital advertising, banner advertising, business budgets and consumer behavior patterns. If you don't have a bachelor's degree in a business-related field, you may also have to take a number of prerequisite courses before you can begin taking the MBA core courses. MBA programs are usually designed for working professionals and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Employers may prefer to hire master's degree holders to those who have an undergraduate degree
  • MBA programs are usually flexible, so you don't necessarily have to quit your job to complete the program
  • You can gain specialized knowledge of digital marketing concepts that isn't available at the undergraduate level

Cons

  • You're qualified for numerous digital marketing positions with only a bachelor's degree
  • MBA programs typically don't include work experience opportunities
  • You'll end up spending nearly 6 total years in school

Courses and Requirements

You'll generally be required to complete a core set of business courses, including accounting, economics, marketing strategies and leadership. You might take anywhere from 4-8 courses covering digital marketing concepts, but this number may vary between programs. Some of your course options may include:

  • Brand management
  • Managing media projects
  • Marketing strategy and social media
  • Internet marketing
  • Managerial accounting
  • Online advertising
  • Digital law

Some programs have a capstone course, but you'll typically just be finished with the program once you've completed your core and concentration courses. A few schools may allow you to complete a summer internship, but this is not a common requirement for digital marketing MBA programs.

Online Degree Options

As is the case with bachelor's degree programs in digital marketing, the coursework for an MBA program can be completed online. This can be useful if you're employed while earning your MBA or can't attend a campus for any other reasons.

Getting Ahead With This Degree

While earning your master's degree in digital marketing, there are steps that you can take to get ahead of your competition. For example, although few programs require it up front, you could choose to earn the Certified Internet Marketer designation from the Internet Marketing Association (IMA). This can help give your resume a boost and prove to employers that you're willing to go the extra mile. You'll need to be a member of IMA before you can take the certification exam, but you'll also receive additional benefits for becoming a member, including access to industry data and being able to connect with other professionals in the industry.

Also, keep in mind that many companies value creativity, ingenuity and adaptability. Demonstrating these traits can be very useful in a fast-moving industry dictated by technological advances. You can do this by keeping up with the latest developments and continuing your education throughout your career. Joining an organization like the Digital Marketing Association can give you online learning opportunities and monthly information that keeps you up-to-date with Internet marketing trends.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Marketing
      • Master : Business Admin
      • MBA: Finance
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Ashford University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Marketing
      • MBA - Business Economics
      • MBA
      • MBA - Media Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.S. - Internet Marketing
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin: Marketing
      • Master of Business Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Trident University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master's - Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Marketing
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • MBA - Management
      • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Marketing
      • MBA
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Management
      • MS - Organizational Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration - Executive Management (Virtual Format)
      • Master of Business Administration - No Specialization

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • MBA: Marketing
  • Master : Business Admin
  • MBA: Finance

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Ashford University

  • MBA - Marketing
  • MBA - Business Economics
  • MBA

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Full Sail University

  • M.S. - Internet Marketing
  • M.S. - Entertainment Business

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Colorado Technical University

  • Master of Business Admin: Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin

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Herzing University

  • MBA
  • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
  • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.

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Trident University

  • Master's - Business Administration

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Northcentral University

  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Admin - General Business
  • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA

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Grand Canyon University

  • MBA: Marketing
  • MBA

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