For mid-career professionals who wish to pursue a career in marketing, earning an MBA in Marketing is a practical career choice. MBAs tend to be fairly general management degrees, but adding a marketing specialization can make your degree even more, well, marketable.
So what is an MBA in Marketing? Many business schools offer students the opportunity to choose among several specialties, or majors, when earning their degree. One such specialty is marketing.
Students who pursue their Marketing MBA will undertake a two-year, multidisciplinary course of study. The program will likely require a number of core MBA courses, an experiential learning element, core specialization courses, and electives focused on various aspects of marketing strategy, analytics, and other topics.
One of many MBA specializations, an MBA in Marketing degree is perfect for professionals who desire to work in marketing leadership and those who wish to pivot into marketing from other career paths.
Best MBA Programs For Marketing
The best MBA for marketing in the United States is offered at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Ranked number one in US News & World Report’s 2022 Best MBA Marketing Programs list, the program offers a marketing major that provides students with the customer behavior and marketing analytics tools needed to create lasting customer advantage, the school says.
Kellogg’s MBA in Marketing is known for its Career Management Center, which helps place graduates in relevant marketing jobs upon graduation.
The second best US Marketing MBA is found at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Wharton offers 18 different MBA concentrations, including Marketing and Marketing and Operations (a joint major). According to Wharton’s admissions department, the Marketing major, ‘investigates fundamental approaches to understanding markets, competitors, and portfolios of product offerings and operating technologies’.
Top 10 Best MBA Programs For Marketing (US News)
1. Northwestern University (Kellogg)
2. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
3. Stanford University
4. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross)
5. Duke University (Fuqua)
6. Harvard University
7. Columbia University
8. University of Chicago (Booth)
9. UT Austin (McCombs)
10. New York University (Stern)
In addition to marketing MBA programs in the US, Nanyang Business School in Singapore, CEIBS in China, Esade in Spain, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Italy, and HEC Paris in France also offer some of the best marketing MBAs in the world.
Christina Poole moved from the US to attend HEC Paris and landed a top marketing role with Nike after graduation.
“I wanted to go into industry rather than consulting after my MBA and HEC Paris had really good industry connections with big Fortune 500 companies,” she says.
Top MBA In Marketing Jobs
What can you do with an MBA in Marketing? Before diving into specifics, there here is a brief list of the most common roles earned by Marketing MBAs after graduation, according to mba.com:
- Marketing manager
- Advertising manager
- Promotions manager
- Market research analyst
- Brand manager
- Chief marketing officer
In general, marketing is an incredibly diverse field, full of both generalists and specialists, so the options for MBA in Marketing jobs are diverse. Marketers are needed in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors–though salaries may vary widely from sector to sector.
Typically, marketers are incredibly strategic thinkers who have equally excellent communication and analysis skills. This applies to marketers at the entry level, as well as at the leadership level.
Your MBA in Marketing will prepare you for high-level and leadership positions, where you will be responsible for determining strategy and earning results.
Your MBA program may cover industry-specific topics like strategic planning, forecasting, and modeling, market research, digital marketing, communication, branding, social media management, advertising, data analysis, copywriting, cross-channel marketing strategy, sales force management…the list is varied and depends on your specific program.
The skills learned in a marketing MBA program will prepare you to enter roles such as Marketing Manager, Communications Manager, Market Research Analyst/Manager, Public Relations Specialist, and Advertising/Promotions Manager. You will also be qualified for related roles, such as Sales Manager.
If you’re coming to your MBA program with significant experience, you may be prepared to apply for Senior Manager or Director-level roles upon graduation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that demand in the US for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers will grow 10% by 2030.
Of these marketing roles, the BLS predicts that demand for Market Research Analysts will increase 23% between 2016 and 2026.
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MBA In Marketing Salary | How Much Can You Earn?
Payscale reports that the average base salary in the US for a professional with an MBA in Marketing (also referred to as a Marketing and Management Degree) is $103,000 per year.
The compensation range for a Marketing Director is $74k-$174k/year, the range for a Senior Marketing Manager is $84k-$145k/year, and the range for a Marketing Manager is $54k-$119k/year.
According to the BLS, the median Marketing Manager salary was $141,490 in 2020, or $68.03 per hour–this figure feels a bit inflated, but it is in line with the concept that Marketing MBAs are qualified to earn very competitive salaries upon graduation.
Given these ranges, what determines your MBA in Marketing salary? Ultimately, your salary will be decided based on several criteria, including your personal experience, the specific role, the location and size of your company, and the industry.
Types Of MBA In Marketing
There are many options for students who wish to pursue an MBA degree in marketing: full-time, part-time, accelerated, in-person, online MBA in Marketing, hybrid. Determining the type of program you wish to attend will depend on your personal situation.
Whatever the format, Marketing MBA programs typically require a bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE score, several years of relevant professional experience, recommendation letters, résumé, and personal statement(s).
Full-Time vs Part-Time MBA in Marketing
A full-time MBA program will take about two years to complete and part-time programs may take up to three or four years. The curricula are approximately the same, and many programs offer both options. In either case, you will attend b-school with a cohort of students and will maintain a regular course schedule.
Accelerated MBA in Marketing
Some business schools offer accelerated MBA programs, which can take as little as 18 months to complete. Other universities offer BA-to-MBA programs, which allow you to earn both degrees in a compressed, five-year timeline.
Online Marketing MBA
For ‘nontraditional’ students, online marketing MBAs are increasingly popular, as they allow you to continue to work, travel, and raise a family while keeping up with your coursework on your schedule. Due to covid, many formerly in-person programs are now offering hybrid options: part online and part in-person.
Marketing MBA Specialties
In addition to various program timelines, there are also multiple marketing MBA sub-specialties to pursue. For example, if you’d like to follow a specific career path, you may opt to earn your MBA in Digital Marketing, which would focus on online channels such as search and display advertising, search engine optimization, email, and social media.
An MBA in Sales and Marketing would prepare you to work hand-in-hand with a sales team, often in a data-heavy, analytics-focused role.
MBA vs Masters In Marketing
Why choose an MBA in Marketing over a master’s degree in marketing?
An MBA Marketing concentration is oriented towards mid-career professionals who already have business experience. A Master of Marketing is better for recent graduates with fewer than two years of work experience.
MBAs have the opportunity to apply for management-level jobs upon graduation. Master of Marketing graduates typically enter the workforce at the entry-level, with titles such as Marketing Analyst or Marketing Coordinator.
Some programs offer the same core and elective courses to MBA and Masters candidates, however MBA candidates will be required to take general management courses in topics such as finance, business strategy, accounting, and operations. Marketing masters students are more likely to study a specific area very deeply.
Most Marketing masters programs last one year, and most Marketing MBAs run two years.
Marketing is an exciting and diverse field, with something for everyone. The growing demand for marketers with leadership and general business skills is growing, as are salaries.
If this is interesting to you, then pursuing an MBA in Marketing may be an exciting challenge. Or maybe you’re interested in another MBA specialization.
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