Is an MBA in Marketing Worth It?
There are professional and personal factors to weigh when considering whether to pursue your Master of Business Administration (MBA). On a professional level, you must consider whether the business knowledge and skills that you’ll learn will benefit the career you’re pursuing. From a personal perspective, affordability, time, and work-life-family balance are among the chief concerns. In the end, one thing you should always do is weigh the pros and cons of now and later. Ask yourself, how much of today’s sacrifice will pay off tomorrow, and is it worth it to you?
What is an MBA Degree in Marketing?
As defined by the American Marketing Association, marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Put simply, marketing is getting the right message to the right people at the right moment.
Traditionally, people often think of the marketing process as one focused on converting the consumer into a loyal customer and brand advocate, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about the sale of a physical good. Marketing is also used to transform attitudes about a brand, and someone can become an advocate without ever having made a purchase.
A Master of Business Administration with a marketing specialization is a versatile and widely respected degree that you can apply to nearly every industry. Several steps beyond a traditional bachelor’s degree in marketing, your MBA degree creates an academic baseline in business topics such as management, communications, and economics, showing you how to apply your knowledge of marketing strategy, research, advertising, consumer behavior, and other topics at an elevated level.
An MBA is a highly valuable tool and, in a sense, it is something you can use to market yourself in today’s economy. Additionally, your specialization tells employers that you are laser-focused on your career, signaling a level of commitment that is highly valued in the workforce.
What Will I Learn?
As noted on Forbes.com, soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving complement the technical skills that you develop in a master’s degree program. As an Ashford University MBA student, you will find yourself immersed in the functions and activities performed in profit-seeking -- as well as not-for-profit -- organizations and focus on areas such as operations, finance, marketing, accounting, and business strategy.
When you graduate, you’ll emerge from the program with a portfolio of marketable skills and will be able to:
- Evaluate the influence of internal and external forces within organizations
- Analyze business administration opportunities and challenges from a global perspective
- Analyze the use of managerial and leadership skills used to develop productive teams
- Assess internal and external communication practices used in business settings
When you are enrolled in the MBA degree program with a Marketing specialization, those skills manifest through a series of business courses that include:
- Management Communications with Technology Tools
- Managerial Marketing
- Business Strategy
- Management of Information Systems
While you are developing your business intelligence, your marketing courses will immerse you in foundational concepts such as the “marketing mix” and “4 Ps” – product, price, promotion, and place.
You’ll also be asked to put yourself in the mindset of a manager - examining the psychological processes that affect consumer behavior, and you’ll become familiar with concepts such as problem recognition, evaluation of alternatives, and purchase decision.
What Can I Do With My MBA in Marketing?
Marketing is a vital component to any business strategy. When you complete your MBA degree program with a marketing specialization, you are able to apply what you’ve learned across multiple career categories.
Marketing management, for example, is one of the most popular career paths that you can choose. Marketing management involves the conception, implementation, oversight, and analysis of these processes and strategies. A marketing manager who is responsible for a campaign will see it through the four stages of decision-making: situation analysis, developing a strategic plan, marketing mix decisions, implementation and control (Finch, 2012).
Additionally, with a business and marketing education, you could pursue a role in the following areas:
- Small Business Management
- General and Operations Management
- Management Analysis
Where is the Industry Headed?
No matter your age, job security matters when you are considering which college degree fits your career path. You want to make sure that everything you learn is relevant and applicable – not just today, but for the years ahead.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for marketing managers – as well as promotions and advertising managers -- is very good and projected to grow faster than average through 2026. The agency also cites New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and California among the top-paying states for marketing managers.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the rise in digital marketing, which comprises everything from ecommerce to social media. As technology reshapes the world, future MBA graduates like you are able to adapt thanks to the business intelligence and foundational knowledge gained in their degree programs.
If you are interested in pursuing your Master of Business Administration with a marketing specialization, contact an Ashford representative to learn more.
Written by Ashford University staff
Finch, J. (2012). Managerial Marketing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.