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A Guide to the Specialized Master’s in Marketing

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Welcome to MetroMBA's Master's in Marketing Guide. A specialized Master’s in Marketing degree is designed for students who are interested in working in a management position in the field of marketing. There are many career options for graduates including working in the field of brand management, digital marketing, marketing analytics and research, marketing strategy, marketing communication, and pricing strategy.

Scroll down to find some of the world's best Master's in Marketing degrees offered by the world's leading business schools: a list that continues to grow year by year. But first, what is a Master’s in Marketing, what does it take to graduate, and what career opportunities are available after graduation?


What is a Master’s in Marketing?

A Master’s in Marketing (MS Marketing) is hyper-focused on marketing curriculum. Often, it does not offer courses in accounting, finance, or business strategy. Instead, its goal is to provide students with the tools and fundamental knowledge needed to excel in all aspects of marketing. It covers a range of in-depth topics including consumer insights, marketing analytics, new product development, internet marketing, branding strategy, and more.

The program is ideal for students interested in pursuing or enhancing their marketing career. It helps by developing, enhancing, and refining a student’s marketing techniques so that they can be more effective locally and globally. Whether graduates engage in promotional advertising, consumer research, or corporate marketing, a Master’s in Marketing provides the education required to run a marketing team.

Typical Coursework

Most Master’s in Marketing curriculums can be customized to the field or industry that best matches a students career goals and interest. It typically requires around 30 credits to graduate with courses spread across marketing analytics topics, consumer behavior, sales forecasting, marketing strategy, and more. Areas of interest include entertainment, sports, luxury and lifestyle, healthcare, technology, and start-ups.

Typical classes include:

  • Business Fundamentals for Marketers
  • Marketing Statistics
  • New Product Development
  • Consumer Insights
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing Strategy

Depending on the program, you may have the option to customize your coursework to a more specific area of marketing. For example, you could choose to elective courses, covering:

  • Data Mining
  • Big Data
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Fostering Creativity
  • Business Law and Ethics

In some cases, students may have the opportunity to pursue an internship during their MS in Marketing. These internships typically contribute to your credits required to graduate and may take place over the summer. Beyond internships, students can also work in marketing research or complete a consulting project for course credit.

Program Accessibility

Many Master’s in Marketing programs tend to be shorter with full-time students taking less than 12 months to graduate. However, part-time students can take anywhere from two to five years to graduate. Programs can be full-time or part-time, residential or online, it all depends on the exact program you choose. Whatever program you choose, you’ll gain the tools, frameworks, critical thinking skills, and practice in hands-on projects you need to succeed in a marketing career.

Admissions into a MS of Marketing program is typical of any master of business program. It can vary based on the business school, but typically requires an undergraduate degree in marketing and at least a professional internship in the field of marketing.

Applications may consist of:

  • Resume (work experience ranges from 0 to 4 years, but averages around 0 to 2 years)
  • Essay or Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Academic Transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores

Applicants are not required to have full-time work experience in marketing before applying. However, they are encouraged to have some type of background in marketing, whether that be an internship or an undergraduate degree.

Typical Cost

A Master’s in Marketing degree is often far more affordable than an MBA. At the most affordable schools, a MS of Marketing could cost as little as $10,000 in tuition for a year of study. However, at a more prestigious business school such as USC Marshall, one credit costs $1,912, and since it takes 30 credits to graduate, the total cost of tuition is $57,360.

There are also a limited number of scholarships open to qualified students. Most often these are partial scholarships awarded based on merit or need. Beyond scholarships, there are teaching and research assistantships to help pay for courses.

Career Opportunities

The marketing profession is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the world. It’s projected to grow 9 percent between now and 2024 in advertising, promotions, and marketing management. For individuals who possess skills in digital marketing, communications, market research, public relations, and product development, there are many job opportunities available. Master’s in Marketing graduates are well-positioned to accept management roles in both regional and global firms of all sizes.

Graduates go on to work in a wide range of businesses including marketing agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Potential employers include:

  • Netflix
  • Disney
  • LinkedIn
  • ESPN
  • UM
  • Proximity
  • Freeman
  • Accenture Interactive
  • IBM
  • Deloitte Digital

Master’s in Marketing graduates typically earn less than MBA graduates due to the specialized nature of their skills. They also tend to have far less work experience under their belts, often just a year or two. The 2018 median pay for an Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager is $132,620.

Here’s how the salaries break down in terms of annual median salary (USD):

Marketing Manager: $102,039

Account Executive: $72,611

B2B Channel Sales Representative II: $78,000

Brand and Content Marketing Senior Manager: $131,200

Business Analyst – RFP: $61,550

Marketing Research Analyst: $63,120

The Top Master's in Marketing Programs

Columbia Business School's top-ranked MS in Marketing Science lasts two terms, featuring a curriculum with a specialty focus in marketing analytics. Tuition for the proram is currently set at $64,320 for the 10 course program. Students graduate from the CBS MS in Marketing Science program after completing 30 credits worth of courses, with up to two optional MBA classes allowed as electives and a minimum of two Ph.D. classes required.

HEC Paris hosts one of the highest-regarded marketing programs in the world, with its MSc Marketing degree. A staggering 100 percent of graduates from the program earn employment within three months of earning their degree (nearly 70 percent earn two job offers), with an average starting salary of €46,000. The current total cost of the program is € 25,750.

In addition to a specialty Marketing MBA, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas's highly regarded marketing department (ranked fifth best in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report) also offers a Masters of Science in Marketing degree. The 10-month Texas MSM currently costs an estimated $43,000 for in-state residents, and just $48,000 for those out-of-state. No minimum work experience is required for potential applicants.

The most recent Texas MSM class featured an even split of students, with 50 percent male students and 50 percent female students. About 87 percent of the class comes from the U.S.

The USC Marshall School of Business offers a litany of highly-regarded MBA and Master's programs, including one of the top-ranked Master's in Marketing in the country. The USC Marshall Master of Science in Marketing (MSc) is a highly-personalized system, allowing students to take classes alongside full-time MBA students, part-time MBA students, and those in other specialized master's programs. The 30-unit program offers two prospective tracks: Analytics (STEM) and Consumer Behavior.

The tuition for the program is currently $1,980 per credit. Over 30 credits, this total comes to $59,400. No work experience is explicitly requried to enroll in the program, but at least 12 months of relative experience is strongly suggested.

Warwick Banner

The AACSB-accredited Warwick Business School (WBS) offers a wide array of Master's in Science (Msc) options, including the MSc Marketing & Strategy program. The fee for entry into this top-ranked European program, regardless of whether students are UK citizens, is a flat rate of £28,500. Students in the program complete six mandatory modules and three additional, optional modeules, which can vary totally dependent upon the individual student's academic preferences.

Recent graduates from the program earned an average annual salary of £32,412; not including benefits and other extra incentives. The average Warwick MSc Marketing & Strategy student is 23-years old, with around 65 percent female students in the class.

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