Top Five Things to Consider when Choosing a Master’s in Marketing

If you’re pursuing a Master’s in Marketing, it is more likely that you’ve been working in the marketing field for some time or have enough relevant experience to know the latest trends and its applications. Even though a Master’s in Marketing can be for anyone who has a bachelor’s degree in any study or career background, it is encouraged that you at least have some exposure in the Marketing field, and ideally through work experience.

Before beginning your search for a Master’s in Marketing, reflect on why you want to pursue this path. Ask yourself the following questions:

– What do you expect to get out of it?
– What criteria is more important to you? (Tuition Cost, Program Length, School Ranking, etc.)
– What would be your next career move following the completion of the program?

These questions are important as they will help evaluate each program, guiding you in your decision to choosing what program will be the best fit for you, based on your overall career goals.

1. Program Ranking and School Reputation

One aspect to consider when deciding which school and Master’s in Marketing is right for you is their reputation within their academic disciplines. It is essential to check that the grad program and the school are regionally accredited. According to Best, “the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education oversee this accreditation process” to make sure the schools meet the requirements.

A good way to measure the prestige and reputation of grad programs is to look into program rankings. Most people would assume that Ivy Leagues like Harvard, Princeton and Yale Universities are the most competitive choices for Marketing programs. However, many accredited universities in the United States have shown high scores in selected indicators of academic excellence, employment outcomes of graduates and statistical data collected from student surveys.

Let’s take the example of Florida International University (FIU), where FIU’s Graduate School of Business is considered one of the best business schools in Florida and in the United States. Their Master’s program in Marketing ranked #6 in the U.S. and #20 in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings: Masters in Marketing. World University Rankings considered criteria factors like quality of instruction, student diversity, degree satisfaction, and earning potential, to name a few.

2. Program Curriculum

Aside from the school reputation, one of the most relevant things and probably the most crucial is the program curriculum. Knowing from the beginning of the curriculum gives you an insight into what to expect from the program and see if it meets your standards or if they have the relevant courses that interest you. Marketing is an ever-changing field as new technology comes to rising, new marketing concepts are developed to fill customers’ evolving wants and needs.

For example, this is true with digital marketing and analytics, because just a little over a decade ago neither had much of an impact in creating marketing campaigns as they do now. So you want to make sure that the program curriculum includes courses that are valuable and provides you with current industry insights and applications.

One of the benefits of pursuing a Master’s in Marketing instead of an MBA program is its specialization. Programs can get very specific so it will all depend on you, where and what do you see yourself doing.

For example, the University of Southern California offers two academic tracks: Analytics and Consumer Behavior. Students who are interested in marketing analytics, quantitative and data-driven job opportunities are encouraged to choose the Analytics track. On the contrary, students who are interested in the behavioural aspect of Marketing may select the Consumer Behavior track. The overall program curriculum depends on what track the student chooses.

On the other hand, if you think that you’ll benefit from having an integrated approach to Marketing, then you may opt for the Master of Science in Marketing from Florida International University. The program tackles the three key strategic areas that are essential in today’s business environment: Digital Marketing, Brand Development, and Marketing Analytics. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to emerge with the technical knowledge, deep analytical skills, and versatility required to be a marketing leader.

3. Program Tuition

When getting your Master’s degree in Marketing, the amount of money, time and effort you will put into getting it are things you should definitely consider. It is important to do your research and understand which program fits your personal needs and desires and how you will benefit from it.

Choosing the right institution can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for. If your concern is cost, you may want to look for a Master’s in Marketing that is not too expensive. For example, in the table below we compare the master’s programs between Florida International University and the University of Texas and we can see that both programs have the same length, however, Florida International University’s tuition cost is 36% less than the University of Texas.

For your reference, we have included the table below, which highlights some Master’s in Marketing programs with the top ranking in the United States according to the QS World University Rankings (2019). 

4. Program Length and Flexibility

If you are looking to graduate in a short period of time, your research must focus on the length of the program and the number of credits. It could also happen, that you find two programs with similar length. This is the case of Florida International University and the University of Texas, where you can complete your program in only 10 months. However, FIU offers more flexibility, by incorporating online sessions and gears towards working professionals by providing classes on weekends and weekday evenings. This way, depending on how demanding your work schedule is, you are still able to complete the program in a 10 months time period.

5. Expert Lecturers

Choosing the right university for your Master’s in Marketing highly depends on the level of expertise of its faculty members. The experience of lecturers in a particular field in which you would like to specialize (Consumer Behavior, Social Media, Branding and Digital Marketing) will help you reach your career goals as their knowledge will effectively prepare you for a job in your field of interest.

A starting point in your decision of a Master’s in Marketing should always be establishing your professional objectives and then researching those programs where the professors keep links to the industry you want to work in.

It is important to consider those departments where faculty members not only have university-level teaching awards and good student reviews but also offer advanced scientific knowledge and contributions to their particular industry with their consulting experience. Expert professors even boast specialized publications like journal articles, books and case studies about real-life applications of the theory. The fact that a program has recognized industry experience and expertise in Marketing will give you better opportunities to build your knowledge and develop the appropriate skills to succeed as a marketer, providing you with an edge in the job market.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are various aspects to consider when choosing a Master’s in Marketing. The right decision will depend on your goals and the weight you give to each factor. Remember that the more research you do with a clear objective, the easier your decision will be.
Are you looking for a Master’s in Marketing? What’s the most important aspect for you? Let us know in the comment section.


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