If you want to earn a graduate degree in marketing, the first thing you will need to do is determine what type of program is best suited for your future goals. Although you may have already narrowed your choices down to a graduate degree in marketing, there are a number of specific programs within the subject. For example, if you are interested in a senior level management position in the advertising industry, you may want to consider a master’s degree; while on the other hand, if you have your sights set on a much higher executive position, a PhD may be a better option.
Regardless of whether you select a master’s degree or PhD, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, you will need to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) before you apply for a graduate degree in marketing. Most graduate programs also require applicants to have a certain grade point average (GPA) and GMAT score prior to submitting an application.
Once you have taken the GMAT, you will need to evaluate the schools you are interested in, to decide which graduate degree in marketing is right for you. First, make sure you meet the school’s requirements. In addition to GPA and GMAT requirements, some schools may also require extracurricular activities, community service, or work experience.
If you will be working on your master’s degree, you should look for schools that offer a Master of Business Administration, or MBA degree, with a focus in marketing. Although many schools may assign a different name to the degree — often calling it a Masters in Marketing or a Master of Marketing Research degree — a marketing-focused MBA is typically the only type of master’s degree available in the marketing field.
The MBA program’s curriculum usually consists of a variety of general business subjects. These can include accounting, branding, and finance. Since you will be focusing on marketing topics, you may also be required to study additional liberal arts subjects, such as sociology, psychology, and economics.
If you are currently employed, you may want to consider a part-time MBA program. Unlike traditional programs, which require full-time attendance for two years, part-time programs are available for working students, and generally hold classes on evenings and weekends. While these often take three or more years to complete, such part-time programs are sometimes more accommodating for working students. Many distance learning programs may also be available, if you are unable to attend class on campus and want to earn your graduate degree in marketing online.
If you already have a masters degree, you may be ready for your PhD or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree. The program you select should be based on your own experience, as well as your personal desires. For example, a PhD in Business Administration focuses on business theory, while a DBA emphasizes business research. Both programs are equally intense and, prior to graduation, require a dissertation be completed. Typically, PhD and DBA programs take approximately three to four years to complete. Like MBAs, both programs can be completed on a full or part-time basis, and applicants must have related work experience before they are admitted to the program.