The Top Online Marketing Degrees

There is no question that technology has completely altered the way we do business — and it doesn’t stop there. The way we interact with customers, deliver services, and make purchases has all been transformed by online platforms like social media and e-commerce.

In the same way that we can’t understand life before the invention of the smartphone, we can’t comprehend marketing and commerce before the internet.

This article will focus on explaining the top online marketing degrees so that you can choose the right program for your own career advancement.

Marketing: The Basics

Marketing, advertising, and communications, if you will, are the bread and butter of any business. Whether you are a brand manager, marketer, or even just someone who wants to help make businesses more accessible to customers, you will be doing a lot of marketing and communications-related work in your career.

Marketing is defined as “the organized activity that creates value for others while creating or improving the desire for a product or service among consumers.”

According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Dictionary, marketing is “the planned, systematic, and objective approach to engaging customers in a way that promotes sales and builds loyalty.”

To be more specific, marketing is focused on the “consumer-based activity of an enterprise, including the planning and execution of advertising and public relations campaigns designed to attract customers and inspire loyalty in those customers.”

That definition alone gives you a sense of the huge impact that marketing has on a business. If you can understand and implement marketing strategies, you can be sure that your job will be secured for the foreseeable future.

Online Marketing Degrees: A Quick Rundown Of The Choices

If you are interested in pursuing an online marketing degree, there are several schools, programs, and brands that you can choose from. Keep in mind that not all degrees in online marketing will make you a perfect fit for your chosen career path. You will need to do some research and make sure that the educational pathways and the actually content that you are learning match up with your long-term professional goals.

To help you narrow your search, let’s take a quick look at the different degree choices that you have available. First, you can decide to go the traditional route and get a degree in marketing. This is likely the most popular option among online marketing students because it is one of the most popular careers in the country.

Next, you can opt for a degree in public relations. Like marketing, public relations is all about communicating with the media to promote a brand or product and gain more traction in the marketplace.

If you are looking for a more specialized option, you can get a degree in digital marketing or social media marketing. These degrees will equip you with the skills necessary to succeed in a data-driven marketing department at a corporation.

Traditional Route Vs. Online Marketing Degrees

Even though it has changed the way we do business, marketing itself hasn’t really changed all that much. For the most part, you will still be doing a lot of the same things that you were doing before the rise of digital marketing. You will be conducting marketing research, analyzing sales data, and so on. The main difference is that you will be doing these things online.

This brings us to the next point…

Is Offline Still Relevant?

Depending on your chosen specialization, you may not need an offline marketing degree to get started in your career. For example, if you are interested in a marketing or PR career, you can get a digital marketing certificate or minor that will qualify you for an entry-level job in the field. Your degree won’t be entirely offline (most schools offer an online component as well) but you will spend more time engaging with your audience online than you will in the classroom.

The Dangers Of Choosing An Offline Marketing Degree

While getting an online marketing degree may not require you to give up your laptop, it does mean that you have to be extremely disciplined about the classes that you are taking. If you are unable to complete your education without constantly checking your email, spending your nights glued to your computer, and making up missed classes, you should probably consider another route.

An unfortunate fact of life for students who follow this path is that many of the marketing and advertising jobs that are available are not in a digital sphere but rather in an offline one. Even though the marketing and advertising landscape has shifted to online platforms, the reality is that your marketing and advertising skills will be largely useless if you are not proficient in other areas. For example, if you are unable to conduct a print campaign, you won’t be able to pitch any magazine publishers — not even the ones that have an e-commerce component.

Choosing A Specialization

If none of the above degrees seem to fit your long-term professional goals, you can always get a degree in business administration. This will get you access to a job pool that may not otherwise be available to you. Plus, you will be learning a lot about the business world along with providing you with useful marketing and communication skills.

When it comes to choosing your specialization, you should consider what you want to do after you graduate. Some possible specializations include:

  • Marketing.
  • Advertising.
  • Public Relations.
  • Digital Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing.
  • Marketing Communications.
  • Management.

How To Make The Right Decision

Deciding which route to take when it comes to your education is not an easy task. You have to consider what you want out of your degree, what schools offer, what classes you will be able to take, and so on. You also have to be realistic about your career prospects (if you decide to go the traditional route) and the amount of time that you are likely to be spending in school (if you decide to go the online route).

As much as we would like to tell you that any old degree will get you into a job, that simply is not the case. You need to make sure that you are getting the right education for your chosen field. To be able to do that, you need to do some research and make sure that the school is reputable and the classes are actually useful. You should also be mindful about what you are committing to because, ultimately, you will be responsible for your own actions — especially if you decide to go the DIY route and self-educate.