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Is a Marketing Master's Program Worth it? Is it Right For Me?
“Begin with the end in mind.”
That’s Habit #2 of Stephen Covey’s renowned book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
It’s also highly sound advice for those who are deciding whether or not to pursue a master’s degree in marketing and communications.
Think about it. You have to know where you are going in order to get there.
So, where do you want to be after investing time and money into your master’s degree?
Unless you have that answer (“the end”) how can you possibly know whether marketing communications as a major is right for you?
Here is a thought-starter to help you begin: Do any of these sound like you? If so, then perhaps a master’s in marketing and communication (MMC) is right for you.
- “I’m a long-time marketer who wants to keep up with changes in the field.”
- “I plan to extend my career past traditional retirement age and I’m ready for something new.”
- “I’m a lifelong learner who values knowledge and insight in my field.”
- “Even though I’m not in marketing, I need or want to understand how marketing impacts what I do.”
- “I’m looking for a complete and total career change.”
- “I know that branding is crucial to success and I want to learn how to leverage marketing principles in my work.”
Whether you’re a career marketer, an entrepreneur, a human resources specialist, or even a lawyer, a master’s in marketing and communications can teach you how to think innovatively and strategically about the many marketing situations you encounter every day.
Changing With an Evolving Industry
If there’s one thing to know about marketing as a whole, it’s that the industry has evolved dramatically---and it will continue to do so.
“We live in a society now where there are three distinct things going on with regard to marketing,” says JoAnna Williamson, PhD, JD, Program Chair for Franklin University’s M.S. in Marketing & Communication Program.
“First,” she says, “career professionals are working longer and if they’re in marketing, they’re in a career that changes. That means they must keep their marketing skills up. Second, nowadays pretty much everyone needs to understand marketing to some degree. For example, if I have a law degree I still need to get clients, or if I’m a CPA with tax work I still have to understand how to get my message out. Marketing does that. Third, there are so many new jobs involving specialty marketing areas that it becomes imperative for some to undergo a total career change.”
Planning and Positioning
Contemporary marketing requires an understanding of such things as consumer behavior and new technologies; but it also requires knowing how to integrate new tools and techniques in such a way as to establish a unique and ownable brand position---something both professional marketers and even non-marketers must do.
For these reasons, a master’s in marketing and communications should equip you to:
- Synthesize complex information
- Identify marketing opportunities
- Develop cohesive, audience-centric marketing plans
- Align marketing strategies with organizational goals
What matters most when choosing a master’s program? Compare features, benefits and cost to find the right school for you.
Beyond strategy, marketing and communications also involves understanding new concepts. Sure, time-tested theories have their place, but that doesn’t negate the need to understand and embrace emerging trends---regardless of whether or not marketing is your full-time vocation.
The right degree program will introduce you important new marketing concepts, such as:
- Driving social marketing initiatives to activate user participation, engagement and retention
- Learning how people shop, socialize and absorb information
- Leveraging web and social insights to optimize marketing activities
Acquiring New Skills
Of course we’ve said that not everyone who enrolls in a master’s in marketing and communications program is a career marketer.
Another, equally compelling group of people can benefit from earning a marketing masters, including career professionals like sales managers and HR managers.
While you may be a professional who doesn’t “do” marketing as a career, there’s no question that the marketing function significantly impacts how you find and secure your clients or candidates.
A masters in communications program can help give you the in-depth understanding you need of both the business paradigm and the marketing mix.
From leadership and management, to marketing strategy, to brand management, to market research and analytics, to new media, to creative production, a master’s degree can help you increase marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
Knowing how to reach a target audience and wield influence is everything in this marketing-charged era. Which is why when it comes to tomorrow’s innovations, today’s marketing and communication leaders must help lead the charge.
Demand for qualified, well-prepared marketers is growing:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 13% in marketing jobs by 2022
- There will be an estimated 1.2 million marketing jobs within the next few years
- Job growth for Marketing Managers is projected to be 17% between 2012-2022
Career opportunities and job titles are continuing to evolve, too, with M.S. grads landing these and other high-level marketing positions:
- Advertising Manager
- Agency Account Executive
- Brand Manager
- Chief Marketing Officer
- Communications Specialist
- Digital Media Manager
- Director of Marketing
- Director of Membership
- Marketing Communications Manager
- Marketing Program Manager
- Program Director
- Project Manager
- Sales Director
- Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
- Senior Strategist
- Social Marketing Supervisor
As you can tell, this is an exciting and changing time for an exciting and changing field. It requires leaders who can keep up and lead the way.
So, should you get your masters in marketing and communications? Only you can decide for sure. But we can tell you that a program like Franklin’s dual-disciplined master’s degree is just one of a few in the nation that integrates both disciplines to help you step into a leadership role or step up your marketing game.
Ready to stand out with a master’s degree in Marketing & Communication?
Take the next step and get more information now!