Study Marketing Management: MBA, Doctorate & Online Degree Info

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What will you learn in a marketing management degree program? Read about marketing management degree requirements, the pros and cons of MBA and PhD degrees and potential careers.
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Marketing Management MBA and PhD: Degrees at a Glance

Between 2010 and 2020, the employment outlook for marketing managers and market research analysts is expected to grow by 14% and 41%, respectively, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is due to an increased need across all industries to understand consumer behavior and the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Competition for marketing management positions can be competitive. Most marketing managers hold a bachelor's degree and have several years of relevant work experience, while leadership positions in market research typically require a master's degree and proficiency in statistics and/or economics. Careers in research and academia often require a doctorate degree. However, it should be noted that PhD programs in marketing or business administration with a concentration in marketing are more common than marketing management.

MBA PhD
Who Is This Degree For? - Experienced professionals who are seeking development and advancement opportunities
- Bachelor's degree holders who want to enhance or specialize their skill set
- Individuals interested in postsecondary teaching or research pursuits
Common Career Paths (with approximate annual salary) - Marketing manager ($126,000 - may require several years of experience)*
- Marketing specialist ($67,000)
- Post-secondary business teacher ($87,000)
- Assistant professor - business administration ($80,000)**
Time to Completion 1-4 years4-5 years
Common Graduation Requirements - Complete coursework
- Maintain GPA standards
- Complete internship (if applicable)
- Complete research project (if applicable)
- Complete coursework
- Research, write and present dissertation
- Pass qualifying exams
- Complete student teaching/research requirements (if applicable)
Prerequisites - Bachelor's degree (typically in journalism, communications or marketing)
- Typically several years of work experience
- Meet GPA requirements
- Recent GMAT or GRE scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- All of the master's requirements plus
-Master's degree (preferred)
-Prerequisite courses in marketing and business (if applicable)
Online Availability YesLimited

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 mean figures), **Salary.com (October 2012 median figures)

Marketing Management MBA Degrees

Students in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program can typically select a concentration in marketing or marketing management. As a student in a marketing management MBA program, you will likely learn to develop communications and promotions plans for products, ideas and services. You acquire practical skills to achieve success in the business world. Your curriculum may be structured around lectures, independent coursework, group projects and internships. To be admitted into a marketing management MBA program, you will likely need an undergraduate degree and several years of work experience, preferably in a related field.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Faculty with real-world experience may help build connections in the marketing world
  • You can gain hands-on experience through internships and real-world experiences
  • Marketing managers will continue to be in demand as organizations seek to market their products to specific customers and localities*

Cons

  • Careers in this field, including entry-level positions, can be competitive
  • On-the-job experience is typically required before entrance into a MBA program
  • Marketing specialists may need to work in high-stress environments*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Courses and Requirements

In a marketing management MBA program, students obtain critical business management skills and learn how to employ strategic marketing channels. Typical courses may include research for marketing management, buyer behavior, marketing and society, international marketing, sales management and marketing strategy. In addition to academic coursework, you may need to complete an internship and submit a research project. In addition to completing a project, students typically complete a written report that analyzes their research findings.

Online Degree Options

Online MBA degrees in marketing management are available. Some schools may offer a fully online option or a hybrid option (a combination of online and on-campus classes). Online programs generally feature curriculum and coursework requirements that are similar to traditional on-campus programs. Students should be advised that distance-learning programs might also require internships and group work. Some online programs target mid-career professionals, and expect students to have several years of prior work experience.

Getting Ahead With This Degree

Students can stand out from their peers by taking additional courses in related topics. For example, brushing up on web technologies and social media can make you a more marketable candidate and shows future employers that you stay current in business trends. Some schools also offer dual concentration programs, which allow students to target multiple areas of specialization, such as operations management and marketing.

Marketing PhD Degrees

PhD candidates study and evaluate a range of topics in the field of marketing management. Typically, students work independently, produce original contributions to research and participate in a research/teaching assistantship. A PhD can provide a significant edge if you want to become a subject matter expert in your field; however, consider that you may be over-educated for some positions, particularly those outside academia. Graduates of a PhD program will have the skills to work in academia, research or public policy.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Small class sizes emphasize student-professor interactions
  • The PhD is widely recognized as the best option for pursuing a post-secondary teaching career
  • Entrance into the program may only require a bachelor's degree

Cons

  • PhD admissions selection processes are highly competitive; only a handful of students are admitted each year
  • You may be over-educated for careers outside of academia
  • Tenure track positions within the field are declining

Common Courses and Requirements

Students in a PhD program typically spend several years completing academic coursework, along with researching and writing an original dissertation on a topic of their choosing. Students may also be required to complete a teaching assignment.

As a student in a marketing PhD program, you can expect courses on the following topics:

  • Marketing principles
  • Marketing theory
  • Psychological aspects of consumer behavior
  • Marketing management and strategy
  • Aspects of consumer behavior

Online Degree Options

Online PhD programs in marketing are not widely available and may be aimed at experienced professionals who already have an understanding of the field. For example, online PhD programs may require evidence of a prior master's degree. Students who are interested in online and distance-learning doctoral degrees should thoroughly research academic programs to ensure the degrees they offer are accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or one of its accrediting agencies.

Stand Out With This Degree

If you plan to work in academia, you can begin to pursue teaching assistant opportunities while you are enrolled in your PhD program. These competitive opportunities may or may not provide a salary, but they typically provide a unique opportunity to obtain teaching experience. Since tenured positions require you to demonstrate your research, you may want to consider completing scholarly research that will be published in academic journals. Additionally, you may be able to take part in research projects with faculty members.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
      • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing)
      • DBA - Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Marketing
      • PhD in Business Admin - Marketing
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
      • PhD in Business Admin - Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. University of the Rockies

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Development & Leadership - Social Media & Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management (DM) - General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • Chicago, IL

    University of Illinois at Chicago

  • San Antonio, TX

    The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • Austin, TX

    The University of Texas at Austin

  • Arlington, TX

    The University of Texas at Arlington

Featured Schools

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
  • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing)
  • DBA - Management

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

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

What is your highest level of education?

University of the Rockies

  • Ph.D. in Organizational Development & Leadership - Social Media & Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

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

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University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Arlington