Mastering Marketing: Is It Really Possible to Get a Master’s Degree Online?

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the 9-to-5 grind, you could opt for an online graduate degree in marketing. These programs allow you to gain in-demand skills whilst working remotely, so you can continue to build your career even when you’ve graduated. If you’re new to the idea of an online degree, here’s a closer look at what you should know before you begin your studies.

Why Marketing?

With fewer traditional job opportunities available, today’s employers are looking for candidates who are digitally native. That is, they want employees who know how to use social media, attract customers through online marketing, and analyze data. In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a career change, moving into marketing is a logical step. You’ll be able to apply your unique set of skills to a range of in-demand roles that can lead you to a senior level position.

Marketing Vs. Advertising

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, marketing and advertising are actually two separate and distinct fields. Marketing focuses on promoting a product or service to consumers. Advertising, on the other hand, usually relates to the promotion of a commercial product or service (like a car or a hotel) to the general public.

The main difference between the two is that marketing usually involves a lot of research. You’ll need to identify the target audience and decide what approach will be the best for reaching this audience. Moreover, once you’ve developed this approach, you’ll need to test it to see if it truly resonates with your intended audience. Finally, you’ll need to measure the results of your marketing plan to see if it was effective or not.

Marketing Specialties

Depending on your preferred specialty, you may be able to choose an online marketing degree that is tailored to your needs. For example, if you’re looking to break into sports marketing, you may want to look at the University of Sydney’s Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing (ACSM610).

Alternatively, if you’re looking to work in retail, you may want to consider the University of Newcastle’s Master of Retail Management (MRTG120). With this degree, you’ll be able to gain the in-demand skills you need to succeed in a retail role. You’ll also gain valuable experience by completing a range of projects in a highly-sourced retail lab. With less than 10 hours of lecture per week, you’ll have plenty of time to take on part-time study or even full-time work whilst you complete your studies.

How Does It Work?

Undertaking an online graduate degree in marketing is similar to completing a traditional program. You’ll start by taking pre-requisites (like maths and science) that are necessary for your chosen degree. Then you’ll move onto the more specific modules, which are also available online. These are often practical in nature (like marketing analytics or digital marketing) and require a lot of hands-on experience to be able to apply what you’re learning. Finally, at the end of your studies, you’ll sit for a dissertation or thesis. This is usually a lengthier piece of work that requires significant research and includes a variety of marketing examples and case studies. When you successfully complete your dissertation, you’ll be able to apply for your graduate diploma or certificate.

The Advantages

Whilst there are a wide range of advantages to studying online, not all of them are positive. For instance, you won’t be able to engage in face-to-face interactions with your lecturers. However, as a remote graduate, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with top-notch academic staff via video calls or even synchronous webinars. Moreover, since you’re not physically in the same place as your professors, you may encounter some challenges in keeping up with the workload. To overcome this, many universities offer a range of optional additional services (like free tutoring or mentoring) that can assist you in your studies.

The Disadvantages

Just because you’re able to complete your studies online, it doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. For starters, since the course content is usually available on the internet, you’ll have to make sure that you’re using a reliable and secure source to access your studies. Not doing so can potentially invalidate your results. Moreover, as a wholly-online course, there’s always the risk of you falling behind in your studies. To combat this, many universities allow you to work at your own pace, taking some time off when you need to catch up. However, since you’re not able to attend face-to-face courses, getting up to speed with the material can be quite challenging.

Ultimately, the decision to study online is entirely up to you. Depending on your situation (work / life balance), you may or may not want to opt for an online marketing degree. The crucial thing to consider is whether or not this is the right route for you. With so much information available online, there’s no reason to stick with anything other than the best for yourself.