Online Master’s Degree in Marketing Communications

Marketing communications is a field of study focused on how messages and media are created and used to communicate with consumers, clients, or the general public. This incorporates areas such as public relations, digital marketing, advertising, graphic design, and sales promotion, to name a few. Individuals who graduate with an online masters degree in marketing communications are prepared to work in a variety of positions for private companies, nonprofit organizations, or even government agencies. This could include positions in publicity management, product branding, promotions, or sales management. In the public sector, job opportunities may include public information or tourism management.

The typical time to completion for an online masters degree program in marketing communications is one to three years, depending on the school’s specific degree requirements. However, if the student elects to enroll only part time or takes any breaks during the program, this could extend the estimated time frame. Some schools may allow students to apply life experience gained in their careers towards their degree. This can help accelerate their path to graduation. However, not all schools offer this option, so it is important to do the proper research before relying on these type of credits.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Marketing Communications

Most online masters degrees in marketing communications will include a combination of survey, seminar, and advanced research classes. Core curriculum often draws upon areas such as statistics, economics, finance, management, and law. Students should also expect courses in leadership, consumer behavior, branding, public relations, and advertising. Some examples of specific course offerings are listed below:

  • Marketing Management
  • Consumer Insight
  • Writing for Marketing Communications
  • Direct and Interactive Marketing
  • Strategic Brand Management

Those earning their masters degree in marketing communications should anticipate a capstone research project requirement. This requirement is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct graduate-level research and find practical applications for it in the business world. Students will complete the majority of this work on their own as independent study, but will also have periodic meetings with faculty advisors and their peers to discuss their progress.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Marketing Communications

Individuals who earn their marketing communications masters degree online will have the communications skills and business acumen needed to succeed in careers as promotions managers, sales managers, public relations specialists, or digital marketing specialists. These opportunities may be found with a variety of private companies throughout different industries. In addition, nonprofit organizations and certain government agencies may also look to hire marketing communications graduates to handle tourism, commerce, publicity, or fundraising efforts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected 21% increase in the demand for public relations managers and specialists from 2010 to 2020. This is faster than the average of 14% expected for all jobs over this projection period. The median annual salary for public relations managers and specialists for 2010 was $57,550. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earned a median annual wage of $108,260 that same year. Note that these statistics are only averages, reflecting wide-ranging salaries across multiple industries. Actual starting salaries will vary based on location, level of professional experience, education, and the specific position and employer.

Many positions in marketing and public relations only require a bachelor’s degree for entry into the field. However, a masters degree may help accelerate an individual’s career path to higher-level positions. Adults looking to transition into the field of marketing or public relations from another unrelated industry might also benefit from this type of degree program.

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