Study Business Marketing: Associate, Bachelor's & Online Degree Info

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What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's and bachelor's degree in business marketing? Find out associate's and bachelor's degree requirements, online options and info on courses in business marketing.
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Business Marketing Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

While a business marketing degree at the associate's level will provide you with a basic knowledge of marketing, those interested in pursuing entry-level marketing positions need to graduate with a bachelor's degree. However, with an associate's degree, you can pursue careers as a retail sales worker or administrative assistant. Students in both programs will learn about product demand, planning and implementing marketing campaigns, identifying target markets and setting prices. Those with an associate's degree who want to work in marketing will have the option to transfer their credits into a marketing bachelor's degree program.

From 2010-2020, the BLS projects that employment opportunities for marketing managers will increase 14%, while jobs for market research analysts will grow 41%. During the same decade, employment for retail sales workers is projected grow 17%, and administrative assistant positions will increase 6%.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to work in sales or as an assistant Those who want to obtain management positions or work as analysts
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) -Retail sales managers ($41,000) *
-Administrative assistant ($48,000) *
-Marketing manager ($126,000) *
-Market research analyst ($67,000) *
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements -About 20-24 courses
-About 40-48 courses
Prerequisites -High school diploma
-High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

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

Associate's in Marketing

An associate's degree in marketing will provide you with a foundational knowledge of business marketing principles and help you understand customer behavior. Students will begin to develop basic business skills and learn how marketing is used to advertise products and determine prices. Graduates with an associate's degree may have a difficult time finding entry-level marketing jobs, because competition is high and employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree. Even with an associate's degree, individuals may still compete with high school graduates for employment opportunities.

Pros and Cons


  • Opportunity to work in a variety of industries
  • Work in a comfortable setting
  • Those who are already working may receive a promotion with an associate's degree


  • Online shopping may decrease the need for sales workers*
  • Will need to stand/sit for long periods of time depending on position
  • Retail workers will need to work nights and weekends

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

The 2-year associate's degree program in marketing is going to combine general education requirements with business marketing courses. General education requirements include English, mathematics, psychology, social science and humanities. Marketing courses are going to cover a wide variety of areas that will teach students about sales, management, communications and accounting. Specific courses include:

  • Business principles
  • Selling
  • Marketing communications
  • Global economy
  • Marketing management
  • Financial accounting

Online Course Options

An associate's degree in marketing can be completed 100% online for students who are already working or who can't attend courses on-campus. Students who want to enroll in an online program must have basic computer skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office. The program will require that students know how to navigate the Internet and use e-mail. An opportunity will be available to complete courses on a part-time or full-time basis. While students can turn-in assignments on their own time, they will have general deadlines that need to be met.

How to Stand Out

Whether graduates are working in retail or administration, they must have strong customer service skills and need to be able to communicate with many different individuals on a daily basis. These jobs require continuous interaction with people, and it's important to have a friendly demeanor and the ability to maintain a positive attitude and work environment. Strong organizational skills are also important when completing paperwork or setting up displays.

Bachelor's in Marketing

A bachelor's degree in marketing will teach students how to plan and organize advertising campaigns. Students will learn how to develop pricing strategies for specific products and negotiate contracts. In addition to courses, some programs may require that students complete an internship. While not required in all programs, gaining experience in the field will help individuals obtain jobs after graduation. While graduates will be qualified for entry-level marketing jobs, they also have the option to enroll in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. With experience or continuing education, you may be able to earn a management position.

Pros and Cons


  • The need to understand customer behavior will increase job opportunities*
  • Careers are available in a variety of fields
  • Digital media may spur growth*


  • Job may be stressful at times
  • 19% of managers in the field worked over 50 hours per week*
  • Will compete with MBA grads for jobs

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Students in a bachelor's degree program will take both required and elective courses in marketing. In addition to marketing principles, students will learn about other areas related to business, including accounting, business law, finance, management and economics. Core marketing courses include market research, principles of marketing, marketing strategies and customer behavior. Students will also have the option of taking a variety of electives in cost analysis, investments, managerial decisions, operations management and website development.

Online Course Options

Online bachelor's degree programs in marketing are available. Students will take the same courses online as they would on-campus and learn similar concepts, principles and strategies. The program will educate students through online streaming and videos, and communication will take place through chat rooms and e-mail.

How to Get Ahead With This Degree

In order to be successful in the marketing field, it's important that you have strong analytical skills to develop advertising strategies, promote different types of products and understand customer behavior. Learning how to market in different digital mediums is also important, and marketing professionals will want to stay up-to-date in the latest technological advancements involving advertising on the Web.

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