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2021 Marketing Degree Guide

Clever marketing and advertising serves an extremely valuable function to both businesses and consumers. Marketing is necessary to alert consumers to products or ideas that will improve their life. If the marketing attempts are successful, the business gets a loyal customer. This benefits everyone!

I'm sure everyone has seen a bad ad, but even more of us have seen ads, commercials, marketing slogans or social media campaigns that are fun and interesting. If you are a creative, analytical and energetic person with an interest in business, Marketing would be an excellent major for you.

A program in Marketing will educate students about how to create and sell products and services that will intrigue a consumer audience and move the supply off the producer's inventory. There are a few concentrations within this major; they include Marketing Research and International Marketing. While studying Marketing, you will be taking courses in consumer behavior, marketing research, marketing management, advertising and promotion, and marketing strategy.

A Recent Jump in Marketing Degrees

#16 Most Popular Major
51.2k Degrees Awarded
4.0% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, marketing was the 16th most popular major nationwide with 51,241 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 2,062 over the prior year, a growth of 4.0%.

The United States has 910 different schools where you can get a degree in marketing. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Marketing ranking analyzes 379 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for marketing students. Explore this or one of our many other custom marketing rankings further below.

Marketing Degree Requirements

Creative thinkers are often found in this major. Marketing is about standing apart from the competition, making innovative ad campaigns and ideas are essential. The ability to collaborate with others and work with a team is important for success in college and in your career. Strong oral and written skills are two important skills needed for this major.

Marketers need to thoroughly understand their product, as well as the marketplace to understand what it is customers want. Research and critical analysis will be integral functions as well as an interest in human behavior.

Gaining work experience while still in college may help you find a job after graduating. Take advantage of internship programs, or find a part-time job that gives you experience in the business or customer service field. There is opportunity to gain a Master in Marketing if you decide to further your education.

Marketing Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional marketing certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Marketing Degrees

There are many different marketing degree levels. Marketing programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest marketing degree you can get. Depending on the marketing degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to marketing, with approximately 46.4% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to marketing tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 38.5%
Master’s Degree 17.2%
Doctoral Degree 16.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.7%
Some College Courses 2.4%

About 88.3% of workers in careers related to marketing obtain at least bachelor's degree. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in marketing have received.


The education level required is different depending on the marketing career you are seeking.

Marketing Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$40.3k Average Starting Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Marketing have many different career options they can pursue. They find work as Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relation Specialists, Art Directors, Market and Survey Researchers, and Buyers and Purchasers. These careers all involve helping companies promote their products and services. Job demand varies depending on what area you pursue.

High Growth Projected for Marketing Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your marketing degree? Marketing careers are expected to grow 15.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to marketing.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 733,700 23.2%
Sales Managers 414,400 7.5%
Marketing Managers 240,400 10.1%
Business Professors 123,000 18.0%
Advertising and Promotions Managers 33,000 5.4%

How Much Money Do Marketing Grads Make?

Marketing graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $40,297 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $7,900 to as high as $134,000. As you might expect, salaries for marketing graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Marketing Careers

Salaries for marketing graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers marketing grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Marketing Managers $147,240
Sales Managers $140,320
Advertising and Promotions Managers $133,090
Business Professors $103,330
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists $70,960

Getting Your Marketing Degree

With over 2,062 different marketing degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased marketing school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Marketing

Marketing is one of 21 different types of Business, Management & Marketing programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Business Administration & Management 410,147
Accounting 105,123
General Business/Commerce 58,451
Finance & Financial Management 56,186
Human Resource Management 26,823

View All Marketing Related Majors >


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