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. While an Master’s in Digital Marketing Online is often pursued by former business 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 world. We’ve put in the work to gather some of the country’s best online master’s degrees in digital marketing. Check below to learn more about the educational opportunities that are available to you.
Best Master’s in Digital Marketing Online : 2020
The following table highlights the top ten online master’s degrees in digital marketing available in the United States based on affordability, graduation rates, and accreditation, among other factors.
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.
Understanding Master’s in Digital Marketing Programs
It’s not uncommon for an online digital marketing major at one institution to look slightly different than an online digital marketing major at a different institution. This section will discuss the differences in emphases or concentrations that fall under the digital marketing umbrella, differences in degree structure, and how to understand which version of an online master’s degree in digital marketing may be the best fit for your goals.
Concentrations for a Master’s in Digital Marketing Online
Degrees often offer students the opportunity to gear their coursework towards a specific sub-specialization or emphasis that allow students to fine-tune their schooling to match their long-term goals. Below you will find a few popular specializations that fall under master’s degrees in digital marketing and 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.
Digital strategy is often interchangeable with digital marketing and covers a broad area of learning pertinent to this field. This degree concentration focuses on providing students with a strong background in advertising, mass digital communication, communication ethics, and copy writing for virtual platforms. Possible career titles include director of marketing, marketing and promotions manager, SEO specialist, or marketing consultant.
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. They 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 place an emphasis on preparing students for executive roles within a company. Possible career titles include marketing research analyst, director of market research, or marketing consultant.
MS or MBA in Digital Marketing: Which One Is Right for You?
Another aspect to take into consideration when looking into an online master’s degree in digital marketing is the degree’s structure. The most common formats to a digital marketing master’s degree are a master of science (MS) or a master of business administration (MBA). The following table will outline some of the key differences between these two programs to help guide you into selecting the route that is best for you.
Master of Science in Digital Marketing
An MS in digital marketing will strongly emphasize marketing-specific curriculum and focus less heavily on other areas of business practices such as leadership and management skills. Some topics emphasized in these degrees will be advertising, social media marketing, sales, and consumer relations.
Master of Business Administration, Digital Marketing
The MBA is designed to provide students with a more well-rounded approach to learning the business field. While much of your education will emphasize digital marketing, you will also be exposed to curricula involving business management, leadership skills, finance, and economics, among other subjects.
Master’s in Digital Marketing Program Admissions
Now that you’ve researched which version of an online digital marketing master’s degree might be the best fit for your goals, the next step is to look into what is required to apply to these programs. Most graduate-level degrees require certain prerequisites that must be accomplished before a student is allowed to submit an application. Check below to find potential prerequisites students must meet before being eligible to apply for an online master’s in digital marketing.
GPA: The overall GPA necessary for application into a grad program depends on the school. Two common GPA benchmarks seen as criteria for grad school admissions is 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.
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 in a timely manner.
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, or 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 a student in a subject that is in some way related to the master’s degree they are applying into.
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.
Adding a digital marketing master’s degree to your resume can add a lot of value for your career and you can likely further leverage those skills by joining an organization with other professionals. Networking with other professionals within the same industry can provide you with job opportunities, up-to-date information for this fast-changing field, and accelerate your learning curve in digital marketing.
American Marketing Organization (AMA): AMA is an organization for marketing professionals, not specifically for digital marketers but for all marketing professionals that include digital marketers. AMS members are 30,000 plus, intending to help marketing professionals. AMA 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 citizen’s behavior for overall social good. SMANA was established in 2016 and promotes positive behavior, especially in social media
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