What is a Marketing Associate Degree?
What is marketing? Marketing professionals promote an organization's products and services, relying on market research to understand consumer demand. The marketing profession requires strong research, communication, and analytical skills. During a marketing degree, students can gain valuable training in advertising, public relations, and marketing. These skills can lead to opportunities in several growing fields.
Graduates with associate degrees in marketing can also transfer into four-year colleges or universities to complete their bachelor's degrees in two years. A bachelor's degree meets the entry-level educational requirement to obtain roles as marketing specialists, advertising specialists, or public relations specialists. A bachelor's in marketing can also lead to advancement opportunities. For example, most marketing managers have bachelor's degrees and several years of experience.
A student earning an online marketing associate degree can benefit from the flexibility of an online learning format. These learners can complete foundational courses in business, advertising strategy, and digital marketing. By choosing an online degree, each enrollee can arrange coursework around their professional responsibilities. Most online marketing programs set no in-person requirements, allowing degree-seekers to choose out-of-state programs that offer concentrations in their desired fields.
Why Earn an Online Marketing Degree?
An online marketing degree can prepare graduates for careers in advertising, sales, and marketing. The degree brings many professional and personal benefits.
- Career Advancement
Many employers prefer candidates with postsecondary degrees. A professional with an associate degree can advance their career by transferring into a four-year program to earn a bachelor's degree.
The online learning format offers a convenient route to a degree, especially for working professionals. Students can often arrange their marketing courses around work or family obligations.
Online marketing programs give learners more flexibility, with multiple enrollment options such as accelerated or part-time programs. The flexible schedule helps students earn degrees without disrupting their lives.
- Increased Earning Potential
Professionals with a higher degree generally see an increase in salary. By earning an associate degree, each graduate can increase their earning potential.
The online learning format allows degree-seekers to attend top programs across the country without having to relocate or quit their jobs.
Career and Salary Potential with an Associate Degree in Marketing
Professionals with marketing degrees can pursue opportunities in advertising, marketing, and public relations. The degree also leads to opportunities as sales agents, specialists, or administrative assistants. While no degree guarantees a certain career or salary, this section covers some typical career opportunities and salary averages for marketing professionals. Some marketing jobs require a candidate to obtain additional education, such as a bachelor's in marketing.
The marketing associate degree salary information below demonstrates the strong earning potential and job growth in the field.
|Advertising Sales Agent||
Median Annual Salary: $51,740
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): -2%
|Advertising sales agents, also known as sales representatives, sell advertising space. They contact potential clients, make sales presentations, and keep client records. During calls with clients, advertising sales agents explain different types of advertising, estimate costs, and inform clients of options for advertising features. Some employers prefer candidates with college degrees and backgrounds in marketing.|
|Market Research Analyst||
Median Annual Salary: $63,120
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): 20%
|Market research analysts study market conditions to estimate potential sales of products or services. They assess customer need and demand, help companies determine prices, and forecast sales trends. Market research analysts also gather data on consumers, competitors, and market conditions. Most positions require a bachelor's degree in marketing.|
|Public Relations Specialist||
Median Annual Salary: $60,000
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): 6%
|Public relations specialists help organizations maintain a positive public image. They create media releases, develop social media programs, and shape public perception of their organization. Public relations specialists also respond to information requests from the media and draft speeches. Most employers require a bachelor's degree for the position.|
Median Annual Salary: $38,880
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): -7%
|Administrative assistants perform clerical and administrative duties. They prepare documents, schedule appointments, and arrange staff meetings. Administrative assistants also prepare memos and reports, handle incoming mail, and maintain databases. Some roles require basic bookkeeping skills. An associate degree meets the qualification for administrative assistant positions.|
|Customer Service Representative||
Median Annual Salary: $33,750
Projected Growth Rate (2018-2028): -2%
|Customer service representatives help customers resolve complaints, process orders, and provide information about products and services. They answer customer questions, review customer accounts to make necessary changes, and handle returns or complaints. Customer service representatives also record details of customer contacts.|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Earning an Associate in Marketing Online
Earning an online marketing associate degree trains each student in the fundamentals of marketing, advertising, and business. This section covers the application process, common courses, the length of a marketing associate degree, and core skills gained during the degree. Specific course descriptions and admission requirements vary depending on the program.
Each prospective marketing student must complete the application process to gain admission to a program. During this process, schools evaluate candidates based on their applications, transcripts, and personal statements. Most associate programs do not require SAT or ACT scores.
A prospective student must submit an application that provides their educational, professional, and personal background. Many colleges charge an admission fee, with the option to waive the fee for learners who qualify.
Most colleges require a high school diploma or the equivalent. Applicants must provide copies of their high school transcripts to demonstrate meeting the entrance requirements. Those with college experience can also submit college transcripts, which schools evaluate to determine transfer credits.
Some programs require a personal statement, which allows each candidate to explain their background and their professional goals after completing a marketing degree.
Letters of Recommendation
Candidates may need to submit letters of recommendation from former teachers or supervisors. These letters should speak to the student's academic and professional qualifications.
Some colleges require a minimum GPA for full admission. Students who do not meet the minimum may receive provisional admission. Prospective degree-seekers can contact advisors for more information about the process.
Introduction to Marketing
Many marketing programs begin with an introduction to marketing class. This course explores the fundamental principles of marketing, including communicating value to prospective customers and determining customer needs through market research. Students can also examine target markets, promotion strategies, and pricing.
Integrated Marketing Communication
In integrated marketing communication courses, students can study the relationships among advertising, public relations, corporate communications, and sales promotion. Degree-seekers can explore the role of media in integrated marketing communications strategies. The course also covers planning, research, and creative skills required for marketing professionals.
Students in advertising strategies courses examine different approaches to bring attention to a product or service. The course also examines the relationships among public relations, advertising, and promotional marketing, with an emphasis on their similarities and differences. Each learner can explore how to craft an advertising strategy and work with stakeholders to carry out the strategy.
Social Media and Marketing
A growing sector in marketing focuses on social media. In this course, students can explore the role that social media plays in advertising and corporate communication strategies. Enrollees can also examine social media for public relations and branding. The class emphasizes research and creative abilities to succeed in the social media space.
Marketing professionals often rely on public speaking skills. This class explores the fundamental principles of public speaking, including developing communication skills required for effective public speaking. Students can learn how to prepare speeches, criticize public speaking, and listen actively to improve their delivery techniques.
Average Online Degree Length
Completing an online marketing associate degree typically takes two years for each full-time student. Most associate programs require at least 60 credits, including general education and marketing major requirements.
Several factors can impact the length of an online associate degree. Some programs incorporate a capstone course or internship requirement, which can add time to the degree. Many online programs offer different enrollment timelines that can change the program length, as well. With an accelerated timeline, students can complete classes more quickly or enroll in a heavier course load to finish their degrees sooner. A part-time enrollment option adds time to the degree.
Online criminology courses benefit students by offering classes on a flexible schedule, allowing enrollees to arrange lectures around other work and family obligations. Online programs may also offer generous transfer credit policies, which can help learners complete their degrees in less time.
Skills, Traits, and Knowledge Gained
Marketing students study advertising strategies, social media marketing, and brand strategies. With this foundational marketing knowledge, graduates can pursue careers in marketing or enter bachelor's programs. Marketing students can also build skills and abilities that translate into many fields. These skills help marketing graduates stand out in the job market and advance their careers.
These abilities can help business professionals in diverse fields. Marketing students can also hone their skills for a specific career path. Some programs offer concentrations in digital marketing, advertising, or strategic communication to provide career-ready abilities. Degree-seekers can also pursue elective courses in global marketing or retail marketing to prepare for a specific field. Similarly, each learner can complete an internship to gain professional experience.
Accreditation for Marketing Associate Programs
Prospective marketing students should always check an institution's accreditation status before applying. Accredited colleges must meet high academic standards, which demonstrate their commitment to education. To earn accreditation, a college must voluntarily submit to review from an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the accrediting agency evaluates student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and graduation requirements. Accredited institutions must periodically undergo review to maintain their status.
Accreditation can benefit applicants in important ways. Credits and degrees earned from an accredited college are more likely to transfer to other institutions. Associate degree students who plan to transfer into bachelor's programs can save significant time and money by earning an accredited degree. Some employers also prefer candidates with accredited degrees, and accredited institutions meet the qualifications to offer federal financial aid.
Marketing students should generally choose regionally accredited institutions. Regional accreditation is the highest standard for liberal arts and research degrees. Some programs may also hold programmatic accreditation for specific fields of study.
Professional Organizations and Resources
Professional organizations can benefit marketing students and professionals by providing career guidance, networking opportunities, and up-to-date information about the profession. These organizations often host national conferences and regional events that allow marketing professionals to connect and network. Many also provide career centers with job postings and career counseling. Learners may qualify for membership discounts, scholarship opportunities, and specialized career services.
By joining professional organizations, marketing students can gain professional skills and build their networks to ease the transition from school into the workforce.
AMA hosts an annual conference and events with networking opportunities, provides professional development resources, and publishes articles about marketing in academic journals. The association offers a career center with listings for job seekers. AMA also provides live webcasts, marketing research, and e-newsletters for members.
As an association for digital marketing professionals, DMA offers updates on the profession, news, and digital marketing campaign information. The association provides a digital library, professional tools, and training resources for marketing professionals. DMA also offers the certified digital marketer credential to recognize experienced professionals in the field.
ANA offers a library of professional resources, hosts a marketing knowledge center, and provides an "ask the expert" feature to answer questions. The association hosts an annual conference, publishes articles on marketing and advertising, and runs the Business Marketing Association.
Next Steps: Continuing Your Education
Earning an associate degree in marketing prepares each graduate for bachelor's programs in several fields. By completing a bachelor's degree, professionals can expand their job opportunities and increase their earning potential. This section covers how to transfer to a four-year program that helps marketing professionals advance their careers.
Transferring to a Four-Year Degree Program
An associate in marketing provides foundational knowledge for the learner who wishes to earn a bachelor's degree. After entering a bachelor's program, transfer students can build their skills in marketing, advertising, business, and public relations. An incoming student with an associate degree can typically earn a bachelor's degree in two years.
Prospective transfer students should research transfer agreements to ensure that their credits will transfer. Contacting an academic advisor for a transcript review can help candidates save time and money on their bachelor's degrees.
Additional Degree Paths to Consider
After completing an online marketing associate degree, graduates can transfer into four-year colleges or universities to earn their bachelor's degrees. Professionals with bachelor's degrees typically earn more than those with associate degrees and qualify for marketing jobs and opportunities in business, advertising, and public relations.
- Bachelor's in Marketing: A bachelor's in marketing trains each student in marketing strategy, advertising, and communications. Graduates can qualify for entry-level positions such as marketing specialist.
- Bachelor's in Business Administration: A business administration degree can lead to many opportunities in business, while also meeting the qualifications to enter an MBA program and strengthen management training.
- Bachelor's in Communication: Many communications programs offer concentrations in public relations or strategic communications -- two fields that benefit students with a marketing background. Graduates can find work as public relations specialists or advertising specialists.