How to Upgrade Your Career with an Online MBA in Marketing

Many professionals who feel successful and secure in their employment have a few key qualifications in common, including a robust higher education degree that paves the way for career advancement.

This is true for almost any industry. Professionals with credentials like MBA degrees may also enjoy more robust career opportunities, as well as stronger earning power.

A Master of Business Administration can open the door to exciting careers in numerous business sectors. For example, the Online MBA from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business enables students to choose from several different specializations that map to exciting and in-demand employment industries. These include finance, information systems and business analytics, as well as supply chain management.

An increasingly popular specialization within MBA programs is marketing. Concentrating one’s studies in this area can prepare students for advanced career opportunities, including management-level marketing positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, numerous companies are looking to fill these more advanced marketing roles. The average growth rate for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is currently projected at 8%, much faster than the national average across all occupations. This means that more than 300,000 management-level marketing positions are expected to become available and require skilled candidates by 2028.

Professionals who already have experience in the field of marketing have a leg up on the competition for these attractive and in-demand roles. But one element that can differentiate one candidate from another is a robust degree like the Master of Business Administration with a specialization in marketing.

What are the advantages of earning an MBA in marketing?

MBA degrees are ideal for business and marketing professionals who have already earned a bachelor’s-level degree in business administration or another relevant area. Often, graduates will work in the field for several years, and then return to pursue their master’s to further their career opportunities and help them achieve higher salaries.

Earn competitive employment

As educational resource pointed out, an MBA is a highly prestigious degree achievement, and including this in one’s resume will help graduates stand out over other applicants with less advanced degrees.

More than 15% of graduates from the University of Maryland’s MBA program have gone on to become employed in marketing and sales; another 12% work in consulting capacities, and more than 27% have achieved employment in general management.

Potential for promotion

In addition to helping job seekers increase their chances of attracting employers’ attention and stand out among the pool of applicants, an MBA can also help professionals earn promotions with their current employers. Many students pursuing a master’s-level degree do so to benefit their current employment and seek out a higher paying job within their company.

“Earning an MBA in marketing could increase the chances of receiving a promotion,” confirmed. “The variety of business, leadership skills and knowledge developed through an MBA program helps qualify graduates for management and executive positions. With enough relevant professional experience, MBA marketing graduates may advance to positions such as marketing managers or directors, marketing and business development managers, sales managers and brand managers.”

Increased earning power

And, of course, with a higher-level position comes the possibility of a higher salary. The BLS reports that marketing managers, including advertising and promotions managers, earned a median annual wage of $117,130 as of May 2018. However, the highest earners in this category reported salaries of $208,000 annually or more. Overall, the salary range for these management-level marketing, promotions, sales and public relations positions was between $117,130 and $134,290 in median annual wages as of mid-2018.

Management roles

Alongside a more robust paycheck comes the fact that management-level marketers will have a more active voice and play an increasingly important role in their business’s marketing decision-making. Marketers who have a knack for leadership and prefer to spearhead and guide important brand marketing campaigns are well-suited for management positions. Marketing managers also work with the business’s other department heads and stakeholders to create the brand’s marketing strategy and connect with target customers.

Building out critical professional skills points out that more professionals in the marketing field are returning to earn their MBA with a specialization in marketing with the goal of pursuing advanced careers. Some popular career paths for MBA graduates with a concentration in marketing include the marketing manager, marketing director and vice president of marketing roles.

“While marketing is not an area that requires an MBA for low-level jobs, it has become very popular for workers to get MBAs in this field, especially at the higher job levels and even in careers outside of marketing,” notes. “That’s because an MBA in marketing teaches skills in mathematics, communications, analytics and management that can be applied across industries.”

Professionals with an interest in marketing management – including being able to strategize and lead marketing efforts while earning a higher paycheck – should consider improving their employment prospects with an MBA in marketing.

What do MBA marketing students learn?

The advantages of earning an MBA in marketing – including the opportunities to build key professional skills, improve the chances of career advancement and earn a higher salary – all stem from the critical skills and experiences that students can gain during the program.

An MBA program that includes a specialization in marketing delves into crucial topics that aren’t only important in the marketing field, but touch nearly every aspect of professional business today. Students can learn key concepts, like strategizing the ways in which a company’s products and services are offered to consumers, as well as which consumer sectors are the best to target with promotions.

Robust marketing programs may also cover topics like:

  • Marketing analytics and data-driven marketing, including the use of industry trending data, customer demographics, consumer behavior details, social media activity, purchase history and other information. Professionals then analyze this information to pinpoint certain patterns and insights and apply them to brand marketing. Data-driven marketing can be used to support specific marketing campaigns or to discern the best brand messaging that resonates with customers’ needs and preferences.
  • Permission marketing, or the popular strategy of encouraging customers to subscribe to receive offers, announcements and other marketing messages from a brand through email, text or other channels.
  • The consumer experience, including how to make a lasting and memorable impression on customers to support repeat business and brand loyalty. Students can learn how to craft this type of experience, implement it within their company’s overarching marketing strategy and continually improve it.
  • Customer equity management, which encompasses the strategies used to understand the value of a particular customer to the business, including individual consumers or other business customers (B2C or B2B). Students learn how to measure customer equity, how to leverage it for marketing strategy and how to retain customers and improve their lifetime value for the brand.

This marketing-concentration-specific coursework comes in addition to the foundational classes of the Online MBA program at the Smith School of Business. Before delving into marketing specialization courses, students can take part in business administration courses and explore important concepts including:

  • Marketing management
  • Corporate finance
  • Decision modeling
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial accounting
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Strategic information systems
  • Supply chain management
  • And more.

Is this degree difficult to pursue?

Because the MBA is such a well-known and prestigious degree program, many students and professionals may assume that the concepts and subject matter are difficult to approach and understand. However, this is certainly not the experience of many students involved in an MBA program like the Maryland Smith Online MBA.

It’s important to note that students entering a master’s-level degree program have already gained entry-level knowledge through the completion of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, many MBA students previously or currently work in professional business settings, either before returning to higher learning or concurrently as they achieve their degree.

In this way, many of the concepts and topics explored during the MBA are not brand-new to students, and instead draw upon their existing knowledge and experience. Students are then able to expand their understanding of these topics and apply their skills, not only in the classroom, but through the MBA program’s internship or experiential learning component as well.

Overall, an MBA in marketing is more approachable than many might assume and can help students build their skills and expand their knowledge of the most critical areas of business and marketing.

Choosing an MBA in marketing program

Once professionals have decided to earn their MBA in marketing, it’s important to weigh their available options and find the institution that will offer the ideal program.

There are a few important things to consider, including:

  • Ensure the program is specific: Marketing can be an incredibly broad field. For this reason, it’s important to select a program that includes specific focuses, including the concepts and topics that align with students’ career goals.
  • Check the curriculum for important concepts: One of the best ways to check the specificity of an MBA program in marketing is to review the curriculum. Featured programs and schools should have available information published about the topics covered during coursework. Seeking out programs that encompass important marketing topics like marketing management, the customer experience, marketing analytics and customer equity management can help ensure that graduates have the most relevant skills for the current industry.
  • Prioritize top-ranked programs: As professionals consider their options, it’s also important to investigate school rankings resource guides to see how the program stacks up against other featured programs and schools. The University of Maryland’s Online MBA, for example, is ranked among the top 10 online MBA programs in the country in 2020.
  • Research employment placement statistics: While prospective students are looking over information published about school rankings and schools search results, it’s beneficial to seek out data about employment placement for recent graduates. The Robert H. Smith School of Business keeps track of our graduates’ employment, including by function and by industry.
  • Obtain guides or other information and connect with enrollment advisors: A final consideration step for students is to reach out to their top choice schools for MBA degrees and get more details about their specific program.

Check out more here and reach out to one of our expert enrollment advisors today.


Recommended Readings:

Pursuing an MBA: When you need it and why you should get it

Jobs you can get with an MBA


Sources:, Why earn an MBA in marketing? 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, promotions and marketing managers, Best-paying MBA majors

NGData, What Is Data-Driven Marketing?

HubSpot, What Is Permission Marketing & How Does It Work?

U.S. News & World Report, How to choose a marketing MBA program