Database Marketing Degrees: Master's, PhD & Online Training Info

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Master's and doctoral degree programs with classes in database marketing can lead to a career as a market research analyst or specialist. Get the truth about the requirements, courses and career options, and find out what you can do with your database marketing education.
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Study Database Marketing: Master's Degree and PhD Programs at a Glance

Using a computerized system, database marketers collect and analyze data about a target audience to construct more personalized messages and ads. To perform this work, you could become a market research analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected that these professionals would see 41% job growth from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). A bachelor's degree is usually needed to enter the field, but top-level positions may require a master's degree. You don't need a PhD to become a marketing analyst, but it may be useful if you're interested in conducting independent research in database marketing or teaching at postsecondary schools.

Master's Degree PhD
Who Is This Degree For? Those who would like to attain high-level roles in marketing, including analyst positions Those who want to become professors or conduct independent research
Common Career Paths (with approximate median salary) - Market research analyst ($67,000)*
- Marketing manager ($126,000)*
- Survey researcher ($48,000)*
Same as master's degree holders
- Academic professor of business/marketing ($87,000)*
Time to Completion 1-2 years, full-time 4-5 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Courses in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis, statistics and management strategies
- Master's thesis/research paper
- Seminars and/or research projects
About two years' of courses and two years' of:
-Independent research
- Dissertation proposal, drafts, submission and defense
- Teaching requirement
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree Bachelor's or master's degree
Online Availability Yes None found as of 2012

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

Master's Degree in Marketing

Master's degree programs for database marketing aren't available, but most marketing programs at this level have courses on the subject. Graduates may earn a Master of Science in Marketing or a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Dedicated Master of Marketing Research programs are rare, but also available.

Marketing master's degree programs commonly discuss the theories of database marketing, though these lessons may refer to customer relationship or target marketing since the terminology is inexact throughout the industry. Classes in statistics and quantitative analysis also reference the topic. As a student, you would gain a comprehensive overview of business, finance, communication and management. In addition to classroom learning, you complete research projects and may also attend seminars, but these programs don't often have a thesis requirement.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can be completed in just one year
  • May be necessary for leadership positions*
  • Can be completed partially or entirely online

Cons

  • May face competition from those with only a bachelor's degree
  • May face competition from those with a degree in statistics or analysis
  • Programs specific to database marketing are very rare

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Throughout approximately three semesters, students complete about a dozen classes and seminars relating to a wide array of marketing topics. In lieu of a thesis, you might conduct research and organize their findings into projects that commonly involve real-world scenarios. You may also attend seminars to concentrate their studies on specific areas that have to do with current technologies and world affairs. Courses commonly include:

  • Brand management
  • Ethics and leadership
  • Financial accounting
  • Statistical analysis
  • Marketing research

Online Training Options

Online master's degree programs for marketing that include courses related to database marketing are available. The curriculum either exactly or closely matches that of on-campus programs. Hybrid programs are much less common, but do exist. These allow students to take some classes on campus and others through the Internet. Both options allow for flexible scheduling, which is optimal if you're already working in marketing but seeking advancement or specialization in statistical analysis.

Stand Out with this Degree

If you want to gain an advantage in marketing analysis, consider pursuing internships during your studies. The BLS notes that candidates should seek opportunities where they can learn about sales, report writing and collecting data. Learning to expedite these skills by use of computer applications can help you gain extra attention from potential employers, especially if you're up to date on the latest structured query language software releases for database management.

Another way to get ahead is to voluntarily attain Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) through the Marketing Research Association (MRA). To apply for the PRC exam, individuals need three years of experience, but do not need to be members of the MRA.

Degree Alternatives

The BLS noted that individuals who wish to become market research analysts can also pursue degrees in related fields, such as statistics and business (not necessarily focusing on marketing). The same source reported that those with a master's degree in statistics can go on to become statisticians, who commanded a median annual salary of as of as of May 2011. The middle 80% of those with a Master of Business Administration in any field earned about $41,000-$216,000 annually in fields related to human resources, finance and information technology, according to Payscale.com as of 2012.

PhD in Marketing

Doctoral-level marketing programs typically cover database marketing concepts. Although a doctorate is not necessary to work in database marketing, individuals interested in advancing their advertising and analytical abilities may want to commit to this advanced program. Students typically complete some classroom learning, but primarily focus on research and completing a dissertation. In addition to conducting marketing research, those with a PhD in Marketing can pursue roles as professors or consultants.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Opportunity to consult/conduct independent research
  • Opportunity to become a college professor in business or marketing
  • Work/experience while in school could count toward certification

Cons

  • Up to five additional years of schooling
  • Degree is not necessary to work in the field
  • No online learning opportunities

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

These programs combine coursework with independent research culminating in a dissertation paper and presentation. They may allow you to specialize in areas such as market research and consumer behavior. Other potential emphasis areas are math, technology, psychology and economics as they pertain to marketing. Examples of specific topics, which may expound upon similar topics in marketing programs at the master's degree level, are:

  • Equations modeling
  • Brand development
  • Research methodology
  • Marketing strategy

Online Training Options

At the doctoral level, online degree programs and stand-alone courses are not widely available. Those that you find may not be accredited, so it's important to be careful when choosing online training in database marketing that claims to lead to or supplement a PhD. By studying on campus, students may benefit from close faculty mentoring as well as performing hands-on assistance with a campus's ongoing research projects. They may also benefit from working in campus facilities and taking advantage of ties in the local community.

Stand Out with this Degree

While pursuing your PhD, you might want to simultaneously pursue Professional Researcher Certification, which your work may count toward. Another option to stand out is to conduct independent research for a dissertation on a technological-oriented subject matter. Computerized systems are used to collect, store and organize the information used in database marketing, so demonstrating an interest and aptitude in cutting-edge information technology pertaining to marketing strategy could be appealing to employers.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Marketing
      • PhD in Business Admin - Marketing
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
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    University of Illinois at Chicago

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    The University of Texas at Arlington

Featured Schools

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Marketing
  • PhD in Business Admin - Marketing
  • PhD in Business Admin - Management

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Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)

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