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Master's in Marketing Salary: What Pay Can You Expect?

Technology has transformed the marketing landscape. It creates opportunities for more personalized, tailored marketing for consumers and more interconnected and targeted capabilities for marketers. In this highly competitive space, marketers need to be at the top of their game to stand out from the competition and drive revenue for their organizations.

The demand for highly-skilled marketers is one of the primary reasons master’s degrees in marketing continue to grow in popularity. According to labor marketing analytics firm EMSI, from August 2019 to August 2020, there were 262,103 unique job postings for advertising, marketing, promotions and sales managers with master’s degrees. 

With high demand, comes higher salaries. Many marketing professionals are turning to master’s degrees to increase their salary expectations and long-term earning potential. However, these professionals don’t want to put their careers on pause to earn their degree. Online master’s degrees in marketing are driving growth, with an astounding 127.3% increase in completions between 2012 and 2019. 

When it comes down to hard numbers, how much can a master’s degree in marketing impact your salary? Let’s take a look at the return on investment of a marketing master’s degree.

How A Master’s Degree in Marketing Impacts Salary

In the field of marketing, there’s a direct correlation between education and salary. The salary for a master’s degree in marketing is 53% higher than an associate's degree and 17% higher than a bachelor’s degree.

There are a number of ways a master’s degree in marketing can result in increased earnings:

  • A promotion within your current organization that results in a salary increase.
  • An incentive, like a bonus, from a current employer for earning your master’s degree.
  • A new job at a different company that comes with a higher salary.
  • Higher bonus percentages or additional incentives for moving into management or executive positions.

However, education isn’t the only factor that increases your salary. In addition to higher levels of education, these 4 factors play a major role in the salary you can expect to earn:

  • The years of experience you have in the field will impact if you qualify for higher level positions with greater earning potential.
  • Your position and job title determine your “salary band,” or set pay range for certain positions. To move up a salary band, you need a higher title and to take on more responsibilities.
  • The company you work for will play an important role in salary. Larger companies, high-tech employers and multinational advertising agencies are examples of companies where you can expect to earn more.
  • The sector in which you work will result in different earnings. Nonprofit and government work historically pays less than for-profit companies.

The ROI of a Master’s Degree in Marketing

Determining ROI isn’t about short-term gains. While immediate salary increases are enticing, you have to think about the long-term benefits of getting your master’s degree to make an informed decision. 

In strict monetary terms, your master’s degree will help elevate you into higher earnings brackets. When looking at the total picture of experience, skills and credentials, a master’s in marketing will put you into the 75th or 95th percentile for expected earnings. This specialized credential is also in higher demand, making it easier to find positions that fit your desired salary.

However, when weighing ROI, you have to go beyond monetary measures and think about the other impacts a marketing master’s degree will have on your career (and how important these considerations are to you).

  • A master’s degree will not only result in short-term salary increases, but will increase your lifetime earnings potential. Especially when weighing the cost of a degree, it’s better to take a long-term view to determine cost vs. value.
  • You will sharpen your skills while setting yourself up to be a strong lifelong learner who has the necessary characteristics to adapt as the field continues to change.
  • Consider if a master’s degree will qualify you for roles that will increase your job satisfaction and prepare you for a long career that you love.
  • A master’s degree will elevate your professional brand and help you get recognized as an expert in your field.
  • Completing a master’s degree gives many people a strong sense of personal achievement—the satisfaction of completing something difficult that not many others achieve.

Determine how much value these additional variables bring to the ROI equation. For some, these additional benefits even outweigh the salary increases.


What matters most when choosing a master’s program? Compare features, benefits and cost to find the right school for you.


6 Career Paths for Masters in Marketing Graduates

Marketing has become increasingly specialized, giving marketers the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of career paths. Whether you’re interested in working in corporate marketing or an agency, creative or tech, there are infinite opportunities to put your master’s degree in marketing to work.

Let’s take a look at some of the industry’s most popular roles and the salaries they command. The salaries stated are based on The Creative Group’s Creative and Marketing Salary Guide for 2021. This is an annual publication from one of the world’s largest staffing firms that reports hiring trends and salary forecasts specifically for creative and marketing professionals.

For the Brand Builder: Marketing Manager

A marketing manager is responsible for promoting and positioning a company’s brand or the products and services it sells. They usually work in a corporate setting and are hired to attract more customers and increase brand awareness through marketing campaigns.

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For the Business-Minded Leader: Marketing Director

Marketing directors are responsible for the overarching marketing and communications strategy, as well as the branding and image of a company. They’re big picture thinkers—preparing annual marketing plans, creating campaign calendars, setting marketing budgets and analyzing their market and competitors.

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For the Relationship Builder: Demand Generation Manager

Demand generation managers oversee the strategies used to develop and build long-term customer relationships. They help businesses and agency clients enter and succeed in new markets, advertise and sell new products, and fine-tune their customer experience programs.

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For the Data Wizard: Marketing Analytics Manager

Marketing analytics managers lead teams responsible for figuring out the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. This role can be found in both agencies and corporate environments, as it involves determining key performance metrics, collecting and analyzing data and reporting on campaign success.

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For the Creative Thinker: Digital Marketing Manager

A digital marketing manager is responsible for developing, implementing and managing online marketing campaigns that cut through the noise. They’re hired to differentiate companies and enhance brand awareness within the digital space, as well as drive traffic to the website and acquire leads or customers.

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For the Expert Communicator: Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers create and maintain a company’s favorable public image. They achieve these goals by interfacing with the media and communicating the company’s important programs, accomplishments and points of view. They may work in corporate settings or at a PR agency.

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Find The Right Master’s In Marketing Program

If you want to increase your salary and get the best return on investment, you need to find the best marketing master’s degree for your goals. For working professionals who want to level up their skills without pausing their career, a high-quality online program is a great fit.

Franklin University’s master’s in marketing is designed to provide the flexibility working professionals need. Our courses are taught by industry experts who turn theory into practice, giving you in-demand skills you can apply from day one. Our curriculum is also regularly evaluated and updated for industry best practices to keep you ahead of the curve.

Learn more about our Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communications and how it can help you advance your career.

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