Why Should You Do a Master’s in Marketing? | TopMBA.com

Why Should You Do a Master’s in Marketing?

By Julia G

Updated March 17, 2021 Updated March 17, 2021

What do L’Oréal, Uber, and Amnesty International have in common? Answer: a marketing team. Marketing is one of the most diverse business fields around with seemingly endless career options. Almost every major company has an in-house marketing team, as well as multiple boutique marketing agencies worldwide.

If you want to pursue a career in marketing, a master’s in marketing can be a great knowledge booster and career accelerator. This applies to both recent graduates and current marketing professionals, who may want to develop specialized knowledge in a specific field of marketing such as e-commerce or consumer behavior.

This year, QS have extended our business masters rankings to include marketing for the first time. Featuring 70 of the best marketing programs worldwide, the rankings are a great start if you want to know more about postgraduate marketing study.

Find out what a marketing degree consists of, who it would suit, as well as career options and top schools below…

What does a master’s in marketing program involve?

Master’s in marketing degrees are typically one-year programs with part-time and online options also available so you can work alongside your studies too.

Programs usually consist of core subjects such as marketing theory and practice, market research, accounting and finance, and brand management, as well as a myriad of electives and/or a master’s thesis. Some students even produce a master’s thesis working directly with a company, which can lead to great career opportunities.

You will also get the chance to learn how to properly conduct research, both quantitative and qualitative, in market research projects or business analytics modules. Assessment generally includes individual and group coursework (such as a Markstrat marketing simulation) as well as examinations.

Who would suit a master’s in marketing?

A broad spectrum of undergraduate degrees will be accepted into master’s in marketing degrees, although as with all business masters, a strong academic record will be required for the best programs. GMAT isn’t usually required, but if you have a humanities background you may be asked for proof of your quant capability (such as SAT scores in the US or a Mathematics GCSE in the UK).

Marketing is ideal for aspiring businesspeople who want to use their creative side, as it’s a business discipline with creative elements, such as coming up with creative solutions to marketing challenges with design thinking, advertising and branding.

Marketing is more human than many business disciplines, as the customer will always be at the forefront of your mind, even if you aren’t working in a customer facing field.

Using data collected for the QS master’s in marketing rankings, one can build a class profile of the typical marketing cohort. Students have an average age of 24 years with two year’s work experience. Around 68 percent of students are international, and, in contrast to all other business masters and MBA programs ranked by QS, marketing has a dominance of female students, at 69 percent.

The marketing program at ESCP Europe, ranked fifth in the world, has an even higher average number of female students, with around 80 percent of the class. Professor Marie Taillard, L’Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing and Co-Director of the MSc in Marketing and Creativity at ESCP explains why she thinks this is the case:

“Marketing in general tends to attract more women. Our program seems to resonate with women because of its creativity approach.”

However, she doesn’t see this gender imbalance as a problem:

“We don’t have a particular concern with this. Because our students come from afar and constitute such a diverse group, they bond very quickly and function as a very tight knit and supportive group. Our program is a safe space for students to develop their own opinions, ideas, positioning and even brand as a marketing professional. Men and women alike develop huge confidence and a very strong professional attitude during the program. It’s an empowering program, which most of our graduates describe as life-changing.”

What career options are there with a marketing degree?

Marketing is a growing industry- in 2012 there were over 200,000 jobs in marketing in the US, a figure expected to grow by 12 percent in 2022, according to Monster.

There’s a very diverse range of roles and companies to choose from in the marketing industry. For example, working in-house for a company or an agency and have a diverse portfolio of clients (great if you thrive off variety). Potential graduate job titles include:

  • Content marketing manager
  • Digital brand manager
  • eCommerce marketing director
  • Senior brand manager
  • Public Relations manager
  • Market research executive
  • Account manager
  • Advertising director
  • Art director

A marketing degree has the added value of networking with other (current or future) marketing professionals. Most programs host networking events or careers evenings where students can connect with top companies in the marketing sector.

Because marketing is a creative industry with business at its core, it’s a great option if you want a creative career with a stable income and job security. According to Indeed, the average annual salary for a marketing professional in the US is US$63,372, but high-level marketing professionals can potentially earn six-figure salaries depending on experience.

Where should you study a master’s in marketing?

If you’re wondering where the best marketing programs in the world are, then you’re in luck, as the QS Business Masters Rankings: Marketing rank 70 of the best marketing master’s courses worldwide. Columbia Business School’s MS in Marketing Science program took the top spot, with Imperial College Business School, HEC Paris, ESADE and ESCP Europe rounding out the top five. You can see all 70 schools in the rankings in our interactive table here.

Dr Omar Merlo, Director of the MSc Strategic Marketing program at Imperial College Business School – ranked second in the world and first in Europe – enthuses about what sets the program at Imperial apart from their competitors:

 “Our programme blends business, technology and innovation to provide an education that is both scientifically rigorous, by utilising our faculty’s world-class research, and extremely managerially relevant by teaching practical tools that our graduates can use immediately. Our programme aims to create outstanding marketers but also effective future business leaders who are capable of blending business science, creativity, and data-driven decision making to tackle any business challenge.”

Out of 70 master’s in marketing programs ranked, a massive 44 are in Europe, with only three of the 21 US programs featured making it into the top 10. Three schools in the ranking are in Latin America, and two are in Canada.

Marketing is a growth industry with a wide range of career development opportunities. By studying for a master’s in marketing you will not only be able to expand your professional network, but gain insights into consumers, finance, and corporate social responsibility. With a worldwide average tuition fee of US$26,304, a master’s in marketing is a worthwhile investment for any ambitious business student.

This article was originally published in September 2018 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

Julia is a writer for TopMBA.com, publishing articles for business students and graduates across the world. A native Londoner, she holds an MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA in Classical Studies & English from Newcastle University.


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