MBA in Marketing
An MBA in Marketing has become one of the most desired degrees by both students and employers in recent years. With the shift to digital and online marketing, most businesses now have their own, in-house marketing teams that specialize in bringing traffic and customers to the company.
While there are a number of specific areas of marketing (which are explored in the ‘career options’ tab) an MBA in marketing doesn’t limit the degree holder to pursuing marketing careers alone. The skillset can be put towards dozens of other career options, from consulting to entrepreneurial management.
However, if you like the sound of taking on a diversified role in an ever-changing landscape, the role of the marketing manager might just be your calling.
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The MBA in marketing: Entry requirements
The broad nature of marketing, in that its remit can encompass everything and anything from art and design to human behavior and quantitative skills, means that almost any background can lend itself to the degree.
The basic entry requirements for an MBA in marketing are a solid GMAT score and GPA, typically above 600 and 3.0 respectively; a bachelor’s degree – whether this is in a subject from the humanities or in pre-professional studies or anything in between; and most programs. As with any other MBA degree or specialization, admissions officers will, for the most part, be looking to see at least two years of experience before accepting a student into a program.
Prospective students hoping to show they have the potential to become an excellent marketing manager require a broad skillset. Well rounded individuals with skills in both mathematics and the softer skills, such as communications, tend to fare well in MBA in marketing specializations. Other desired skills for marketing typically include analytical and leadership skills.
A marketing MBA is designed to teach students a wide variety of skills that can then be applied to a wide variety of positions across any number of companies and industries - no two companies are going to need, or demand, the exact same requirements from their marketing manager.
Common courses found within MBA in marketing specializations include:
- Marketing management
- Operations management
- Marketing channels strategies
- Consumer and brand insight strategy
- Internet, technology, retail, digital, sports, and other specialized marketing fields
- Forecasting, modelling, and marketing strategy
- New product strategy, branding, and marketing
- International and multi-national marketing
- Sales force management
Marketing MBAs can channel their energies into preparing for particular marketing career roles, from IT to retail and anything in between. This will, of course, be reflected in the number of courses available that delve into more specialized areas of marketing.
As every - and we do mean every - sector of the business world has a product it wants to reach the appropriate channels, every sector of the business world, therefore, requires marketing and marketing managers. Popular specializations in marketing careers over the past few years include (but are no means limited to):
- Internet and digital marketing trends, channels, management, and strategies
Top schools for an MBA in Marketing
According to the specialization rankings within the Global 200 Business Schools Report 2013/14, the top 10 schools for an MBA in marketing are:
As would be the case with any MBA internship, marketing internships can give you a great taste for life at an individual company and in the multi-faceted position of a marketing manager.
Top companies for MBA in marketing internship
Again, because all organizations - from startups to Fortune 500 companies - rely on marketing to make the outside world aware of their name, brand and product (where applicable) some of the top companies to intern for will have a dedicated marketing internship.
This is true, for example, of the retail and consumer products sector, where a number of opportunities in the realms of marketing careers can be found – and Vault.com lists the top five retail and consumer products companies in the US for marketing internships as follows:
- Burlington Coat Factory
- The Home Depot
- Mattress Firm
Meanwhile, for those studying in the US, the top ten companies, in any industry, for the overall value of their internship programs, according to Vault’s 2015 list of are as follows:
- Bates White (consulting)
- Elliott Davis (accountancy)
- Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP (accountancy)
- Bain & Company (consulting)
- Northwestern Mutual (financial services)
- Plante Moran (professional services)
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, KPCB (venture capital)
- Evercore (investment banking)
- CapTech (IT consulting/services)
- Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (oil & gas)
Marketing career options
Common job roles
As a marketing manager, you will be overseeing a marketing team for a number of different activities, such as: releasing new products at specific times; tracking how well products are selling; advertising for new and existing products; networking among supply chain channels; liaising between a company’s research & development, design, advertising, and brand strategy teams (as appropriate).
Boutique vs. corporate jobs
A boutique (i.e. smaller) advertising agency or marketing firm is going to require much more flexibility and adaptability from a marketing manager than a large corporation will. A large corporation, after all, will have other branches to deal with aspects of finance, artistic design, sales, product development and design, and other duties that could fall under the remit of a marketing manager attached to a smaller firm. The same is likely to be at least equally true for a startup’s marketing manager. Indeed, those aspects a marketing manager is not directly responsible for may still entail close involvement through communication with just a handful of others at a smaller firm or startup.
A large corporation will instead be looking for a marketing manager to manage one or two aspects of a marketing campaign, whether that is new product research, marketing strategy, consumer strategy, or brand strategy.
As a marketing manager you often receive the chance to oversee the life of a product from inception, design and implementation to sales and delivery.
If you’re looking for a role that offers something different on a day to day basis and will draw on almost every facet of the skills acquired during your MBA in marketing, then a startup or boutique firm is worth considering. But, consider also the difference in resources at your disposal if you opt to join a larger firm and the opportunity it might offer to become a specialist in a particular area.
Top companies for graduates of an MBA in marketing?
Back in 2013, Forbes reported on careers site, Glassdoor.com’s analysis of the top companies for salaries earned by marketing professionals. The top 10 came out as follows:
For a further look at the kind of marketing careers available to MBA students and graduates, check out TopMBA.com’s interview with VMWare.
MBA in Marketing salaries
To get a very basic impression of the terrain when it comes to marketing salaries, we can look at the experience of just one leading business school in this area of specialization.
Marketing salaries - by job function - taken by MBA graduates of Columbia Business School, in its most recent employment report, ranged from a median of US$90,000 (in sales) to a median of US$115,000 (business development). Among sectors renowned for their marketing roles, median salaries of US$97,500, US$102,000 and US$115,000 were achieved by the school’s graduates in retail, consumer products and internet services/e-commerce respectively.