You Guide to the Bachelor's Degree in Marketing

Written by Coursera • Updated on

You have several options when you're interested in earning your undergraduate degree in marketing. Learn more about each degree type and what you can do after graduation.

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Marketers promote a company’s products or services by researching and developing effective messaging. They’re an integral part of any company’s business plan, and the need for their talents only continues to rise. According to a report from LinkedIn, there’s more demand for marketers than ever before [1]. While a bachelor’s degree in marketing isn’t always required to qualify for entry-level roles, you may find that earning one helps you qualify for more jobs—and more senior-level jobs. You can also position yourself for roles outside of marketing with the versatile skills you’ll develop throughout your marketing degree program. 

In this article, we’ll go over key facts about the bachelor’s degree in marketing, including the different majors available in this area, the coursework you can expect to take, and what you can do with the degree after graduation. 

Bachelor’s degree in marketing: The basics 

A bachelor’s degree in marketing is an undergraduate degree. Marketing is often taught as a subset of business, which is among the most popular majors in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) [2].   

When you choose to study marketing, you may have the option of earning your Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in the subject or earning your Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in marketing. Let’s go over the differences between each degree. 

Marketing majors 

Many colleges and universities offer a marketing major through their business school. In that case, you’ll earn your BBA and concentrate in marketing instead of another area, such as sales or management. 

However, you may find that some institutions offer a BS or BA in marketing. In that case, you’ll focus more exclusively on marketing, alongside some required business-related courses to augment your overall education. 

  • BBA with marketing concentration: You’ll learn broadly about business, including sales, customer management, and finance, with several courses focused on marketing. 

  • BS or BA in marketing: You’ll learn about marketing with several courses focused on business, sales, customer management, and related topics. Learn more about the central difference between the BS and BA degrees.

Earn your bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of London. The program covers operations and strategic management, international business and accounting, market research, consumer behavior, global marketing, and other key modules. 

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Coursework 

Marketing degree requirements differ by institution, but after completing your general education courses, you will typically have to complete at least 30 credits toward your marketing or business major. 

With both majors, you can expect to take classes in business, sales, accounting, human resources, communication, and advertising, as well as specialized marketing courses in areas like global marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Classes may include: 

  • Principles of marketing

  • Strategic management

  • Corporate finance 

  • Economics of global business

  • Consumer behavior

  • Law, business, and society

  • Social media strategy

  • Digital analytics 

Tuition and degree length 

You’ll need to earn around 120 credits to graduate with your bachelor’s degree in marketing. That takes between four and five years to complete when you’re able to attend full-time. 

The cost of your bachelor’s degree will depend on whether you attend a public or a private non-profit school. During the 2019-2020 academic year, tuition and fees averaged $9,400 at public institutions and $36,700 at private non-profit institutions [3]. Those figures don’t include the cost of housing, books, and other expenses often associated with attending an undergraduate program. 

What can you do with a marketing degree? 

Marketers perform various functions depending on their area of focus, but by and large they are responsible for creating and distributing effective messaging intended to reach customers. There are a number of marketing areas worth exploring, including research, strategy, design, writing, events, and social media. Some marketers run a company’s social media channels, others research customer needs, while others still may work on a company’s search engine optimization (SEO) so customers learn about relevant products organically. 

Learn more: What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree? 11 Career Paths

Even if you choose not to go into marketing, you’ll often develop an array of transferable skills thanks to your marketing degree that will help you explore careers related to business, sales, research, communications, and more. A bachelor’s in marketing can help you hone your research, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills, among many others.  

Learn more: Is a Marketing Degree Worth It? 

Marketing careers: Job growth and salary 

Marketing is among the top 10 in-demand majors in the US, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) [4]. That popularity parallels the demands of the workplace. Between 2020 and 2021, companies posted 381,000 marketing jobs to LinkedIn [5].  

In general, a bachelor’s degree can often lead to higher salaries. Bachelor’s degree holders earned a median weekly income of $1,334 in 2021 compared to high school graduates, who earned a median weekly income of $809, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [6]. For bachelor’s degree graduates in business, the average starting salary in 2022 is $60,695—an increase of 3.1 percent from 2021 [4]. 

Thanks to both specific marketing careers and the range of other opportunities you can explore with your bachelor’s in marketing, graduates qualify for a number of roles.  

Job titleAverage salary (US)
Social media marketing assistant$35,860
Marketing assistant$43,817
Communications specialist$55,975
Market research analyst$60,280
Communications manager$80,558
Event marketing manager$113,117

*All salary data from Glassdoor

Is a bachelor’s in marketing right for you? 

Whether or not you should earn a marketing degree depends on your interests, career goals, and resources. Marketing can be an excellent major thanks to its versatility. Many students pursue an undergraduate degree because of the career pathways it opens up. While that is certainly an important factor, it’s not the only one. It can help to choose a major based on your interests, values, or long-term personal goals. 

Think about what you’ll learn over the course of your major and how that will help you achieve your larger goals, be they about personal development, subject knowledge, or career preparation. A bachelor’s degree in marketing is not always necessary for entry-level roles, but earning it may help you qualify for more senior-level opportunities, which in turn can increase your earning power. 

Alternatives to a bachelor’s degree in marketing 

Investing your time and other resources into earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing may be the best option for you, but there are educational alternatives worth considering. 

  • Associate degree: Earn your two-year associate degree in marketing, which can introduce you to important concepts. You can also enter the workforce and gain professional experience before returning to complete your bachelor’s.

  • Professional certificate: Often a shorter educational track, a certificate program doesn’t require an academic degree and is geared toward helping you gain important career-ready skills. 

  • Individual courses: It may not be necessary to earn a full degree in order to learn what you want or need to know. You may find that taking a course or two on specific marketing subjects better prepares you for a marketing career. Explore Introduction to Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera. 

Explore further 

Earn your Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of London, and enjoy the flexibility of taking classes remotely and on your own schedule. Or if you’re looking for another means to learn about marketing, explore Meta Professional Certificates in high-demand marketing areas such as social media marketing or marketing analytics. You can gain valuable industry knowledge and apply it toward your career. 

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Article sources

1. LinkedIn. "The Changing Marketing Jobs Landscape, https://www.linkedin.com/business/marketing/blog/linkedin-ads/the-changing-marketing-jobs-landscape-key-hiring-trends-and-insights.” Accessed May 12, 2022. 

2. National Center for Education Statistics. "Fast Facts: Most Popular Majors,  https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37.” Accessed May 12, 2022.

3. National Center for Education Statistics. “Tuition Costs of Colleges and Universities, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76.” Accessed May 12, 2022. 

4. National Association of Colleges and Employers. “NACE 2022 Salary Survey, https://www.naceweb.org/uploadedfiles/files/2022/publication/executive-summary/nace-2022-winter-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf.” Accessed May 12, 2022.

5. The Drum. "Exclusive LinkedIn data shows marketers are in demand, https://www.thedrum.com/news/2021/06/02/exclusive-linkedin-data-shows-marketers-are-demand-especially-the-digital-realm.”  Accessed May 12, 2022.

6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment Projections, https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm.” Accessed May 12, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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