College graduation comes with an enormous sense of relief—rivaled only by the eventual acquirement of your career. You probably don’t have any interest in renting textbooks and sitting through more lectures.
However, as a marketing professional, you should also have a firm grasp of two concepts. ROI, and marketability. Well-chosen graduate degrees typically pay for themselves. They also vastly improve your eligibility for raises, and new jobs.
In this article, we take a look at the best graduate degrees for advancing your career as a marketing professional.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Marketing Focus
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a special focus on marketing is probably your most straightforward option when considering graduate school programs. MBAs are the most common advanced business degrees, and they are often sought after by employers who know that the knowledge graduate programs provide adds true and significant value.
While there are many paths toward getting an MBA, you can narrow the focus of your coursework to specifically target marketing skills and knowledge.
Modern MBA marketing programs will focus heavily on technology and data-driven decision-making—qualities that most businesses place a high value on.
Getting your MBA with a marketing focus should open you up to a wide range of promotions, raises, and unique employment opportunities.
Master of Science in Marketing Analytics
Marketing has always been data-driven, but that emphasis has exploded in recent years as analytic technology makes it easier than ever to process and act on massive quantities of information. Modern marketing employers want people who are well-versed in data processing tools.
Specialized knowledge in concepts like predictive modeling and other data-driven skills are highly desirable in the job market, making you a good candidate for a wide range of positions.
Master of Science in Digital Marketing
This program will emphasize many of the skills described above but with a special emphasis on digital platforms. For example, you might spend a lot of time covering Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, social media, and other digital content creation strategies that are specifically effective online.
The majority of marketing now takes place in digital spaces, making these skills highly useful.
Master of Public Relations (MPR)
Public relations is an extension of marketing, designed to shape the way brands are perceived and manage company reputations. An MPR gives you the skills and qualifications required to navigate the complex world of PR.
This program will introduce you to case studies, data insights, and other strategies PR professionals apply towards their creative and always important work.
Crisis management is an important aspect of public relations work. If you are interested in wading into this territory, be prepared for high-stress situations that could spiral into catastrophe if you don’t make the right choice.
Master of Science in Marketing Psychology
Understanding consumer behavior is an essential marketing skill. This degree program delves deep into the mental and emotional aspects of buying decisions to help you better understand the factors that motivate customer behavior.
Marketers with a Master of Science in Marketing Psychology degree are able to leverage finely-tuned insights to create compelling marketing strategies that meet consumers where they are at.
The Importance of Continuing Education in Marketing
Marketing, like so many other professions, is constantly evolving. Not only do best practices evolve and change over time, but technology does as well. A marketing tech stack from just fifteen years ago is very outdated by today’s standards.
You do learn and adjust on the jog, adapting to evolving tools as you go. This approach can produce a fruitful and effective career. However, it’s also often a flat one.
If you want to work your way up the ladder and maximize your earning potential, you need to constantly up your skills, and develop a resume that employers will take notice of.
Continuing your education is one of the most powerful ways to do that.
Getting a Degree as a Working Professional
While working as a student is challenging, it’s something professionals all over the world do every day. Look for flexible education options that suit your lifestyle. With the advent of remote learning, this is now easier than ever.
Most schools will feature a wide range of online classes that carry the exact same pedigree as their brick-and-mortar programs. These classes allow you to avoid lengthy commutes, and complete much of the work when it best suits your schedule.
This is also a great time to tap into whatever support system you have. Ask for help around the house. Lean on your partner, or parents for help with the kids when you have a tight due date on a difficult assignment. Accept the fact that some chores don’t need to be done right away.
Give school your all. The challenges of navigating educational, professional, and personal life are temporary. The benefits of getting a graduate degree in marketing are forever.
Funding Your Education
We talked earlier about the importance of maximizing ROI when it comes to selecting your degree. While all well-chosen degrees will pay for themselves with enough time, you can maximize your return by selecting the right funding plan.
If you are already working in marketing speak with your employer about the potential for company-sponsored degree programs. Your boss may front you at least some of the cash.
Short of that, look for options that require the smallest loan investment. Loans kill ROI because they require interest payments. As with most situations, the less money you borrow, the better off you will ultimately be.
While we talked a lot about maximizing opportunities in this article, it’s also important to choose a program that interests you. Making money and opening doors is great, but your happiness is just as important.
What is higher education about if not expanding your horizons? Find a marketing curriculum that interests you, and figure out what opportunities it will produce.