Is a Marketing Degree Worth It?

Written by Coursera • Updated on

A marketing degree could mean job opportunities in an in-demand field.

[Featured image] A woman sits at a desk in a marketing firm working on her laptop computer.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in marketing and want to grow beyond entry-level roles, earning your bachelor’s degree in marketing may be a worthwhile choice. Not only is the subject matter practical, but the degree is versatile. It can also introduce you to subjects in business, sales, and advertising, among other key areas, all of which may help you expand your job search and stay competitive in a changing market.    

Benefits of earning a degree in marketing 

Earning your bachelor’s degree in marketing may come with certain advantages. Let’s review what those are. 

Career readiness 

Marketing is a practical subject that blends strategy and creativity. Thanks to the subjects you should study as part of your degree program (business, sales, consumer behavior, advertising, communications), you’ll not only have the specific subject knowledge to apply to a number of careers in marketing, but you’ll also gain important transferable skills that employers value in job candidates. 

Career growth 

You do not need a marketing degree to land a number of entry-level marketing jobs. But many marketing jobs at the associate, senior, or manager level do require a bachelor’s degree, so it can be useful to have if you’re interested in advancing your career. 

If you know what kind of marketing you’d like to pursue after graduation, look at associate- and senior-level job postings to get a sense of minimum educational requirements so you can plan accordingly. 

Salary growth 

Earning your bachelor’s degree tends to pay more over time. Bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $1,334 a week compared to associate degree holders ($963) or high school graduates ($809), according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [1]. 

With a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you may find yourself eligible for more advanced roles that come with a higher salary. For example, market research analysts and marketing managers both require a bachelor’s degree and both have an average salary of more than $100,000.  

In-demand work

As long as companies have products or services to sell, they will need marketers to help them reach new and existing customers. BLS reported a 10 percent rise in marketing jobs for this decade, on pace with the average [2]. Remote work possibilities also continue to grow. A LinkedIn report showed that remote marketing jobs in the US rose by 121 percent in 2022 [3].

Marketing degree: Time and costs

Students must complete a minimum of 120 college credits to earn their bachelor’s degree, which takes full-time students around four years to do. If you’ve successfully passed AP or IB exams during high school, or if you’ve previously earned college credit, you may be able to speed up that timeline and graduate faster.  

The cost of a bachelor’s degree depends on whether you attend a public or private institution. Tuition and fees, on average, cost $10,740 for in-state students attending a public college or university ($27,560 for out-of-state students), and $38,070 for students attending a private institution, according to The College Board [4]. Online bachelor’s degrees may be a more affordable option. US News and World Report estimates that the total cost for an online bachelor’s degree in marketing ranges between $26,000 and $69,000 [5]. 

Learn more about how to get a bachelor’s degree

3 ways to get the most from your marketing degree 

1. Choose the best program for you. 

All marketing programs differ to some extent, and it’s important that you find the one that best fits your current needs and future goals. Take time to research marketing departments (or business schools with a marketing concentration) before you begin applying for your bachelor’s degree. 

Look over the faculty and their experience, as well as the courses you’ll be expected to complete. Do the courses align with what you want to learn? Are there mentorship opportunities so that you can benefit from a professor’s guidance? Make a list of your top departments, ensuring that each selection will help you achieve your goals, and focus on applying to those schools. 

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2. Supplement your education with minor or elective classes.

The major requirements of your degree program will determine many of the marketing courses you take, but you have the option to minor in a complementary subject or take elective courses that supplement your learning. For a minor, meet with your academic advisor to select a minor that will deepen your marketing skill set, such as communications or economics, or search online for recommendations from current and previous marketing students. 

For electives, review your school’s course catalog and look for courses in business administration, communications, economics, and psychology to broaden your understanding of the ideas that underpin marketing.  

3. Pursue internships.

Many entry-level jobs require somewhere between one to three years of experience. You can gain some of that experience during your undergraduate career by applying to internships, and ideally completing between one and three before graduating. Students typically intern during the summer, earning college credit and (increasingly) getting paid for their work. 

Internships not only help you gain real experience to add to your resume, but they can be an excellent opportunity to expand your network. The connections you make interning at a company one summer may lead to another internship the following summer. Plus, the people you work for—and with—may be able to help connect you with opportunities or companies once you’re ready for a full-time role. 

Trying to decide which marketing degree is right for you? Learn more about the different types of degrees you can earn and whether marketing is the best major for you.

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What can you do with a marketing degree? 

If you’re interested in a career in marketing, there are a number of areas you can explore, such as research, strategy, design, and social. Thanks to the subjects you’ll likely study as part of your marketing degree program, you should also have a firm understanding of business, sales, and advertising, meaning you could explore careers in those industries as well. 

*All salaries based on data from Glassdoor (May 2022)

Entry-level job titleAverage US salary*
Social media coordinator$43,074
Marketing assistant$45,149
Assistant media planner$60,768
SEO specialist$57,062
Sales representative$51,621
Junior copywriter$52,546
Business analyst$77,667

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

Marketing degree alternatives 

A bachelor’s degree in marketing can be a strong addition to your resume, especially as you continue moving forward in your career. But there are other options if you’re interested in pursuing a marketing career and don’t want to commit to a four-year degree program. 

Courses

If you’re unsure about whether a bachelor’s degree in marketing is the best choice for you, consider taking an introductory course to see if you connect with the subject matter. You can audit the University of Pennsylvania’s Introduction to Marketing course on Coursera for free. You’ll learn about branding, market strategy, and understanding customers’ needs—all of which are foundational marketing concepts.   

Associate degree

If you’re interested in earning an academic degree but aren’t sure about committing four years (at minimum) to earning a bachelor’s, then a two-year or associate degree in marketing may be a better option. After you complete your general education course requirements, you can take marketing courses that are geared to introduce you to business, sales, economics or finance, and consumer behavior. With your associate degree, you can either pursue entry-level jobs in marketing, or apply to bachelor’s programs and continue your education. 

Professional certificates 

If you’re interested in changing careers to marketing, or developing a more specialized knowledge of a marketing area, earning your professional certificate can be a more timely and cost-effective way to gain subject-specific knowledge—and add to your credentials. Meta offers two professional certificates on Coursera: in marketing analytics and social media marketing. Each takes about six to seven months to complete and is geared toward beginners with no prior experience. 

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professional certificate

Meta Marketing Analytics

Launch Your Career in Marketing Analytics. Build in-demand skills and gain credentials to go from beginner to job-ready in 5 months or less. No degree or prior experience required.

4.7

(740 ratings)

18,199 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Marketing Mix Optimization, Statistics for Marketing, Advertising Effectiveness Evaluation, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Python Programming, Tableau Software, Data Visualization (DataViz), Statistical Analysis, Linear Regression, Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Marketing Mix Modeling, Marketing Plan, A/B Testing, Meta advertising, Social Media Marketing, Ads Manager, Marketing Science, Facebook Advertising

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professional certificate

Meta Social Media Marketing

Launch your career in social media marketing. Build job-ready skills and credentials to go from beginner to job ready in about 5 months. No degree or prior experience required.

4.9

(9,134 ratings)

113,731 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 7 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Performance Advertising, Digital Marketing, Brand Management, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing, Social Media Marketing Strategy, Content Development, content management, Marketing Content Development, Campaign Management, Ad Management, Meta Ads Manager, Meta advertising, Marketing Optimization, Digital Analytics, Marketing Strategy, Communication, Ads Manager

Next steps

Interested in earning your bachelor’s degree in marketing online? The University of London’s BSc in Marketing program is designed to be completed in as little as three years if you dedicate 10 to 12 hours a week to study. The progressive structure begins with basic concepts and moves into more specialized areas of marketing.   

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Bachelor of Science in Marketing

University of London

Related articles 

Article sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Education pays, 2021,  https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2021/data-on-display/education-pays.htm." Accessed May 16, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm." Accessed May 16, 2022.

3. Linkedin Marketing Blog. “Reshuffling Worldwide: A Regional Breakdown of the Marketing Jobs Outlook, https://www.linkedin.com/business/marketing/blog/skills/regional-breakdown-of-the-marketing-jobs-outlook." Accessed May 16, 2022.

4. College Board. “Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021, https://research.collegeboard.org/pdf/trends-college-pricing-student-aid-2021.pdf.” Accessed May 16, 2022. 

5. US News and World Report. “Online Marketing Bachelor's Degree, https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/marketing-bachelors-degree." Accessed May 16, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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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