Completing a bachelor’s degree is a life-changing accomplishment, but many students find themselves wondering what the next step may be. Some of these students choose to apply their undergraduate education to starting a career, but others consider continuing their education at the graduate level, in this case – a digital marketing degree. While a master’s in digital marketing online is often pursued by former business administration, marketing, journalism, or communications majors, this is also a degree path that may be appealing to any student eager to learn more about how the modern marketing landscape has been shaped to fit into the reality of a virtually connected digital world. Completing a master’s in digital marketing can open up the doors to working in diverse settings such as digital marketing strategy, international marketing, business strategy, mobile marketing, consumer behavior, and more.
This guide sheds light on a master’s in digital marketing and highlights the many educational opportunities made available through this advanced degree.
University of Florida (UF) is a public, accredited university based out of Gainesville, Florida, and is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the country. UF has a 2,000-acre campus with more than 900 buildings and currently serves more than 50,000 students. UF has robust online learning programs that are flexible, taught by top industry faculty, and provide unparalleled networking and personal growth opportunities. UF graduates are proud members of the Gator Nation of more than 450,000 living alumni who reside in every state and in more than 150 countries.
UF’s College of Journalism and Communications offers an Online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a concentration in Social Media that teaches students holistic ways of using social media by incorporating writing, video production and brand marketing into strategic communication plans. Students become masters in creating highly effective advertising and public relations campaigns using new and emerging technologies within the social media space. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as Brand Managers, Digital Marketeers, Online Communications Managers, etc.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.
SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.
Several factors determine whether or not a school is good, such as affordability, graduation rates, accreditation, the quality and experience of faculty, reputation of the institution, etc. The team at OMC conducted an exhaustive school search of digital marketing offerings and trusted partner programs based on all these and other factors, to draw up a list of the top ten online master’s degrees in digital marketing available in the United States:
Data Source – Integrated Post secondary Education Data System & universities data. *Tuition rates are for in-state and per year **NA – data not available Methodology – A custom mathematical formula that is based on the following factors – Accreditation, Affordability, Graduation rates, Courses availability throughout the year, curriculum details and other factors. All baked into a formula to determine the rankings.
Methodology – A custom mathematical formula that is based on the following factors – accreditation, affordability, graduation rates, availability of courses throughout the year, curriculum details, and other factors – all baked into a formula to determine the rankings of a digital marketing master’s degree.
Understanding Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Programs
It’s not uncommon for a digital marketing online program at one institution to look slightly different than an online digital marketing program at a different institution. Courses in these programs can span diverse topics, from search engine optimization to marketing management. Online learning of digital marketing consists of several concentrations and comes in different formats as well. Students should therefore understand which version of the online master’s in digital marketing may be the best fit for their goals.
Concentrations for Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Programs
A master’s in digital marketing often offers students the opportunity to gear their coursework towards a specific digital marketing concentration, sub-specialization, or emphasis, that allows students to fine-tune their schooling to match their long-term goals. Below are a few popular specializations that fall under an online master’s in digital marketing, along with career outcomes that align with these specializations.
Area of Focus
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing platforms available to modern companies. This emphasis will train students to analyze marketing trends, utilize social media communication theories, and expand brand visibility to new audiences through social media exposure. Careers include analytics manager, social media strategist, and brand ambassador.
An information systems focus is designed to train students to understand the relationship between marketing practices and the computer technology used to facilitate these practices. Students going into the workforce with this degree emphasis will likely be tasked with overseeing the production and management of software systems that allow for marketing data gathering and analysis. Possible career titles include computer marketing specialist, database administrator, or systems developer.
Social Media Marketing
Social media provides a direct line to consumers. Social marketing professionals coordinate ad campaigns that take advantage of instant messaging and social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter. These may pay for specific placement on pages with search results.
This emphasis focuses on training students to gather, analyze, and make decisions regarding big data that is produced by large companies. Many of these programs also emphasize preparing students for executive roles within a company. Possible career titles include marketing research analyst, director of market research, or marketing consultant.
For students interested in learning about consumer and audience research methods and analytics, a concentration in Audience Analytics is an excellent choice of major. To better understand and serve a wide range of consumers, students learn to apply analytical methods and methodological frameworks to datasets pertaining to audiences around the world. Some universities like the University of Florida offer this concentration, opening the doors to diverse work settings across various industries.
The master’s concentration in digital strategy is designed to push students to create effective messaging that will increase conversions and create loyal customers. Digital strategy students learn how to generate leads through creative and strategic messaging, write compelling copy for any digital channel from websites to email marketing to social media, develop meaningful branding that resonates with consumers, and design websites with an efficient and effective user experience.
The curriculum of an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Program
Digital marketing is a vast subject that covers a diverse range of topics. Curricula usually include some business core courses, along with digital marketing-related courses. Here are some common topics found in an online digital marketing degree:
Mobile Marketing Strategy
Search Engine Optimization
Digital Marketing Strategies
Search Engine Marketing
Marketing Strategy & Operations Management
Strategic Communication Campaigns
Supply Chain Management
Social Media Marketing Communications
Strategic Marketing Management
Communication Strategies & Digital Storytelling
Digital Brand Management
Marketing Concepts in the Digital Age
Digital Channels in the Marketing Industry
Digital Customer Experience Management
Business Strategy & Digital Business Innovation
Strategic Electronic Marketing
MS or MBA in Digital Marketing Programs: Which One is Right for You?
Another aspect to take into consideration when looking into an online master’s in digital marketing is the degree’s structure. The most common formats of digital marketing online programs are a Master of Science (MS) typically offered by advance collegiate schools, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) that is typically offered by a business school. A prospective digital marketing student must always understand and find a program that best suits their professional goals because each program is designed for a different purpose. Trusted partner programs in digital marketing designed to cater to specific specializations are also good to consider.
Master of Science in Digital Marketing
An MS in digital marketing will strongly emphasize a marketing-specific curriculum and focus less heavily on other areas of business practices such as leadership and management skills. Some topics emphasized in this advanced degree will be advertising, social media marketing, sales, and consumer relations.
Master of Business Administration, Digital Marketing
The MBA, usually offered by a business school, is designed to provide students with a more well-rounded approach to learning the business field. While much of the education will emphasize digital marketing, students will also be exposed to curricula involving business management, leadership skills, finance, and economics, among other subjects. Interested students should read about online MBA Marketing Degrees for more information and a quick school search.
Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Programs – Admission Requirements
Digital marketing degree programs have different admission requirements that vary by advance collegiate schools. In general, an online master requires incoming digital marketing students to have earned an undergraduate degree. Other prerequisites may also need to be fulfilled before applying for an online master’s in digital marketing. Here are a few common admissions criteria to apply for a digital marketing master’s degree:
Grade Point Average (GPA) The overall GPA necessary for application into an online master’s in digital marketing depends on the school. Two common GPA benchmarks seen as criteria for grad school admissions are either 2.75 or 3.0. However, some schools/programs do permit students to use the GPA from their most recent 60 college credits instead of their overall GPA, allowing students to be judged as the students they have become rather than the students they were when they first started college.
A Bachelor’s Degree from a Regionally Accredited School Holding a bachelor’s degree is required to apply to a graduate-level program, but there may also be stipulations on the type of school this bachelor’s degree comes from. Accreditation typically splits between regional and national. Nationally accredited schools are typically tech, art, music, or fashion institutes, so a student would need to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school; these are any of the major universities that can be found within the state. More information on accreditation is available in the Accreditation Guide.
Pre-Admissions Testing Many programs will require students to complete one or more tests before being able to apply. The two most common tests students may come across when looking into grad school will be the GRE and the GMAT, so students should be sure to get these tests scheduled on time.
Background in a Business/Marketing-Related Field As mentioned before, finishing a bachelor’s degree is required before students can apply to grad school. However, some programs may specifically require students to have a background in a business or marketing-related field. This could mean business majors, communications majors, journalism majors. Some programs may even accept minors in these subjects.
Letters of Recommendation Students may be required to submit up to three letters of recommendation with their grad school application. Letters of recommendation should typically come from professors who taught the student in a subject that is in some way related to the master’s degree they are applying to.
Additional Requirements Some schools may ask the student to also submit a professional resume, personal statement, and/or statement of purpose. International students are usually required to submit their TOEFL scores as part of their application.
Note: It is always advisable for students to check the digital marketing program overview for specific admissions requirements and exact information.
Career and Salary Outlook for Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Graduates
Students who graduate with an online master’s degree in digital marketing will likely find themselves in careers with a wide range of titles and benefits. While a degree does not guarantee job placement or a specific salary, here are a few common careers students might pursue after finishing their master’s in digital marketing, as well as some details regarding these careers.
Median Annual Salary
About this Career
Digital Advertising and Promotions Manager
$54,274 per year
Employees in this line of work will be in charge of organizing advertising campaigns and policies that govern these programs. This might include developing ads, commercials, flyers, contests, or similar promotions that expand a company’s potential client interaction.
Marketing Analytics Specialist
$63,120 per year
Marketing Analytics Specialists are typically in charge of tracking audience or customer interaction with a product or service. This data can then be analyzed and translated into the development of new marketing strategies that can bolster company growth, sales, or user base.
$65,044 per year
This career is similar to that of a Promotions Manager, but instead oversees the long-term implementation of marketing plans for a company in hopes of growing customer base and maintaining current customer satisfaction.
$87,636 per year
A Marketing Director oversees all operations within a company’s marketing department. This may include competitor research, identification of new customer populations, and building brand awareness, among other duties.
Some other common roles, responsibilities, and work settings for graduates of digital marketing programs include:
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Marketing Analytics
Social Media Marketing Content Creation
Search Engine Marketing
Consumer Behavior & Dynamics
Integrated Marketing Communications
Strategic Internet Marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Additional Resources for Online Master’s in Digital Marketing Students
Adding a digital marketing master’s degree to a resume can add a lot of value for one’s career, and graduates can likely further leverage those skills by joining a marketing management organization with other professionals. Networking with other professionals within the same industry can provide individuals with job opportunities, up-to-date information for this fast-changing field, and accelerate their learning curve in digital marketing. Here are a few resources for students and professionals of an online master’s in digital marketing to explore:
American Marketing Organization (AMA): AMA is an organization for marketing managers, not specifically for digital marketers but for all marketing professionals that include digital marketers. AMS members are 30,000 plus, intending to help marketing managers, and has many local chapters that members can use for networking opportunities.
Digital Analytics Association (DAA): DAA is an association for digital marketers that was formed to use data and analytics in the marketing field. It was founded in 2004 and offers certifications that will add value to digital marketing careers.
Internet Marketing Association (IMA): IMA is a professional organization for digital marketing professionals with the primary goal of setting up standards for internet-based marketing. It was established in 2001, and the association provides a platform for professionals to connect and share knowledge.
Social Media Marketing Association (SMANA): SMANA is an organization that is focused on the social media aspect of digital marketing. Their goal is to improve a citizen’s behavior for the overall social good. SMANA was established in 2016 and promotes positive behavior, especially in social media.
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