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Why Choosing a Masters in Marketing Could Boost Your Career

Why Choosing a Masters in Marketing Could Boost Your Career main image

Marketing is critical in modern firms as it helps drive customer acquisition, satisfaction, sales and thus corporate strategy. Many students now choose to do a Masters in Marketing course to significantly boost their job opportunities, and move into marketing-specific jobs.

As a sign of the growing significance and popularity of the programs, included in the QS World University Rankings 2019 was the first ever Masters in Marketing Ranking, of which Columbia Business School sits atop.

Masters in Marketing makeup

A Masters in Marketing (MiM) will cover the core marketing skillset, including consumers, communication and strategy, as well as management themes.

The one-year, full-time program at Durham University Business School in the UK is split into three terms and includes several electives in new venture creation, consulting, and innovation and technology management. Students also complete a dissertation or business project based on a real commercial challenge faced by an organization.

Xinming He, associate professor of marketing, and director of the program, says brand-savvy students are encouraged to apply if they want to craft creative, actionable marketing plans that have a direct impact on organizations’ goals and profitability.

He says, “Marketing is of strategic importance for organizations, both for-profit and non-for-profit, as it helps achieve the satisfaction of customers and short- and long-term case flow. It forms a crucial function of modern organizations that helps shape and direct corporate strategy.”

At Melbourne Business School in Australia, marketing students study some core business subjects that are delivered in an MBA, such as leadership, managerial economics, financial accounting and people management.

Ujwal Kayande, associate dean, says, “The majority of our marketing students decide to complete both an MBA and a Master of Marketing double degree to ensure they have a broad set of general management skills as well as a specialization.”

Who’s choosing the program?

The cohorts are usually highly-international, with 95 percent of Durham students coming from outside of the UK, boasting 23 nationalities. The Durham course is also largely female-dominated, which is common for MiM programs, with 80 of the Durham students, or 74 percent, being women.

He explains, “Women typically contribute to the majority of purchasing decisions in businesses, which is why a Masters in Marketing seems appealing to many.”

Advances to MiM programs

One of the most exciting developments of MiM courses has been the growing focus on digital technology, which is largely reshaping the function. At HEC Paris, all students now follow a business analytics course and there are also optional modules on customer intelligence and big data analytics, the latter open to all students.

Technology has made marketing more relevant, with micro-targeting consumers possible on more platforms and in more locations than ever before.

As a result, many of the jobs now offered to marketing students at HEC Paris are related to digital brand strategy, according to Sophie Drouard, career and corporate development manager at the school, which runs an MSc Marketing degree taught in English.

She says, “[The] jobs [are] related to digital marketing, ecommerce, customer service and experience analytics, CRM and media. There’s a clear increase in demand for omni-channel marketers. Data science is also becoming the new Eldorado, with high competition between companies to attract that talent.”

Developing curriculum

Another key curriculum development has been the growing focus on ethics and sustainability, with marketing recently coming under fire for its role in political disinformation campaigns. For example, Facebook said in July that it had uncovered co-ordinated campaigns aimed at influencing the US midterm elections, potentially viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Facebook and many other social media companies have faced intense criticism on that front.  

Marc Vanhuele, marketing professor at HEC Paris, says there are two “key topics” at hand: the usage of personal data and the power of social media, from an economic and sociological perspective.

He explains, “The latter is covered in a course on geopolitical shifts and economic intelligence. The former is covered in the marketing core course in two major ways.

“First, trust and perceptions of fairness are the basis for solid long-term relationships with customers. Second, we also take a critical stance towards the temptations of abusing the different tools marketing has at its disposal in a session on the future of marketing.”

Those who combine an understanding of the creative and technical aspects of marketing, along with management and an increased awareness of the ethical implications, are in high demand among employers.

Melbourne doesn’t track students’ employment outcomes, but Kayande says its marketing graduates “are valued in industry because they understand the importance of customer experience, they can quickly identify the root causes of business problems and implement holistic solutions, and for their ability to handle extreme ambiguity and rapid change through the use of data analysis and rigorous problem-solving skills”.

So a MiM will give you a thorough education in a variety of subjects and make you more employable. To see which courses are best, check out the QS rankings.

Seb Murray
Written by Seb Murray

Seb is a journalist and consulting editor who has developed a successful track record writing about business, education and technology for the international press.

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