Online MBA in Advertising

The advertising world is fast-paced and complex. In addition to a strong educational background in marketing and advertising, most advertising managers and agencies seek workers who are creative, ambitious, and flexible. If a high-level job in the advertising world is something you’re keen to pursue, obtaining an online MBA in advertising may the stepping stone to get your career where you want it to be.

Many employers place a high value on candidates who possess an online MBA with a concentration in advertising. This is because, in addition to a thorough understanding of concepts such as marketing techniques, buyer behavior, and advertising mediums, MBA graduates also possess valuable management skills that make them excellent candidates for leadership roles.

What is an Online MBA in Advertising?

An MBA advertising online prepares students to take on exciting jobs in a competitive field. The curriculum includes courses to teach students a variety of marketing and advertising techniques, as well as how to successfully manage and market brands, conduct market research, and plan successful advertising campaigns. Additionally, students who enroll in an online advertising MBA are taught a variety of business management skills including accounting, people management, and networking.

Prior to applying for online MBA programs, students often consider if they’re better to obtain an MBA or a master’s degree. It’s important to keep in mind that while both programs include master’s-level advertising courses, only an online MBA program includes a broad range of business management classes. Those who are planning to pursue a high-level career with the opportunity to advance to a leadership role may want to consider the benefits of enrolling in an online MBA program in advertising.

Of course, online study requires dedication, perseverance, and superior time-management skills. It’s also important for prospective students to consider if online learning is a good fit with their learning style and lifestyle. While online study is more flexible and lets students work at their own pace, it lacks the structure of a classroom environment and doesn’t offer students many opportunities to congregate with their peers.

Online MBA in Advertising Curriculum

The curriculum of online MBA programs in advertising includes a broad scope of marketing courses and business management courses. Students learn the fundamentals of marketing and business management and graduate from their program ready to take on real-world challenges that are faced every day by advertising and marketing executives. The inclusion of business management courses helps students easily adapt to management roles as they advance throughout their career.

Of course, the list that follows isn’t exhaustive, but students who aim to receive an accredited online MBA in advertising can expect to enroll in some of the following courses throughout their time in the program:

  • Social Media Marketing: Students learn the ins and outs of advertising using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as the best way to maintain brand presences online.
  • Marketing Research: This course teaches students methods for obtaining and analyzing statistical data about products, consumers, and brands. Students learn how to use this information to determine target audiences and successfully create a positive image for the brands they work with.
  • Promotional Marketing: Students in this course learn to plan and promote sales events. Often, this class includes project work during which students will plan a promotional event from the beginning stages and follow it through to the end.
  • Public Relations: Advertising executives are often responsible for communicating on behalf of the companies they represent. Students in this course are taught the ethics of public communication and how to protect and preserve corporate images.

Online MBA programs usually have prerequisite requirements that students must fill to apply. Typically, this includes a bachelor’s degree and one year of work experience in a related field. Additionally, many schools require students to have high GMAT scores; however, some are recently choosing to waive the GMAT requirement2 so that they’re able to attract more students to their online MBA programs.

What Unique Career Paths Can I Pursue With an MBA Specializing in Advertising?

Graduates of online MBA programs in advertising have a long list of career options to choose from. Often, individuals who have online MBAs in advertising are employed by private advertising agencies. Others often work in marketing for big brands and corporations.

The following list outlines some of the career options that are possible for those who have obtained an online MBA with a concentration in advertising.

Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers3 are responsible for planning advertising campaigns and promotions to generate interest in brand, products, and services. They work as part of a team alongside art directors and sales representatives. They’re usually expected to work long hours to meet strict deadlines. Advertising and promotions managers are often employed by agencies, while marketing managers are typically responsible for marketing directives within a specific company.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics4, advertising and promotions managers earned an average of $117,130 per year as of May 2018, and marketing managers earned an average of $134,290 per year. Job availability for these positions is expected to grow 10% by the year 2026, which is faster than average.

Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists5 use platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to manage a brand’s online presence. They’re responsible for building the brand’s reputation and creating posts that attract users and increase the brand’s engagement. Social media specialists are required to stay up to date with internet trends such as current hashtags and viral content so that they’re able to increase brand awareness. They’re also required to interact with followers professionally and appropriately.

Social media managers earned an average wage of $56,770 per year as of May 2015. This career is likely to see faster than average growth in coming years due to the increasing popularity of social media marketing.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts6 use statistical data about market conditions, consumer behaviors, and brand awareness to help companies determine what types of products and services people want. A big part of their job is also to help companies determine which type of audience they should target in marketing campaigns and how much they should charge for the products and services they sell.

As of May 2018, market research analysts made an average of $63,120 per year. Job availability is expected to increase 23% by the year 2026, which is must faster growth than the average job.

Sales Manager

Sales managers7 are responsible for directing sales teams. They’re often required to work with marketing managers to create and promote advertising directives, but primarily, they’re responsible for goal setting, sales training, and sales data analysis.

The average sales manager earned $124,220 per year as of May 2018. Job availability is expected to increase 7% by the year 2026, which is about average.

Art Director

Art directors8 create visual advertising campaigns and oversee visual style for print and digital media. While many work in the advertising industry, art directors are also key members of film and television production teams. Many art directors are self-employed and obtain work via private contract, while others are employed by advertising firms, publishers and film production companies.

As of May 2018, the average art director earned $92,790 per year. Job availability for this role is expected to increase 5% by the year 2026, which is about average.

Director of Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing directors act as top executives9, usually for large corporations. They’re responsible for ensuring that their company meets its sales targets and for supervising the sales and marketing departments within the companies that employ them. Directors are often required to meet with other top executives in their organizations to discuss overall directives of the business and ensure all departments are working together cohesively.

As of May 2018, directors and other top executives earned an average of $104,980 per year. Job availability for these roles is expected to increase 8% by the year 2026, which is about average.

Should I Get an Online MBA in Advertising?

If you’re considering an online MBA in advertising, it’s important to take time to consider if it’s the right degree program to suit your career goals. It’s best to ask yourself some of the following questions, which may be able to guide you in the right direction.

Are you confident in your creative abilities?

Most jobs in the advertising field require a high level of creativity. Advertising managers, art directors, and other advertising executives are required to design visual advertising campaigns and need to have a keen eye and visual mind.

Are you comfortable working in a job where you’re required to work long hours to meet strict deadlines?

Most advertising executives work with extremely tight deadlines. This often means pulling late nights, and even all-nighters in some cases, to complete work on time. If you’re unable to work long hours due to health reasons or if you simply aren’t comfortable with it, another field of study may be a better choice.

Are you hoping find a long-term job opportunity with room for advancement?

If you are, obtaining an online MBA in advertising might be the perfect choice for you. Many employers seek candidates who have MBA-level education thanks to their knowledge of basic business theories and procedures. Employees with online MBAs are often the first ones considered for advancement.

Do you have previous educational or work experience in advertising or marketing?

Regardless of a program’s prerequisites, it’s always a good idea to enter any online MBA program with prior experience in a similar field. This helps ensure you won’t feel in over your head or get behind in your studies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete an online MBA program in advertising?

Of course, every institution differs in the specific terms of their online MBA programs, but most often, prospective students find that online MBA programs offer a period of two years to complete coursework. That being said, there are some programs that offer accelerated study, which are to be completed within six to eight weeks, as well as part-time online MBA programs that may offer as long as five years to complete coursework.

Are all online MBAs from accredited schools?

When applying to any online school, it’s important to conduct due diligence prior to paying application or enrollment fees. While many online schools are fully accredited, there are unfortunately some that are not. Prospective students can check a schools status online at the United States Department of Education’s database of accredited programs10.

If I’m already employed in advertising, can obtaining an online MBA help me further my career?

Obtaining an accredited MBA in advertising online is an excellent way to advance your career to the next level, even if you’re already employed in the field. In addition to receiving advanced education on advertising and marketing, you complete your online MBA program with a vast knowledge of business management and operations, which employers view as a highly valuable asset when considering you for promotions.

Am I better to enroll in an in-class program instead of learning online?

While online learning isn’t for everyone, it’s a great option for any student who requires more flexibility due to commitments such as work and family time. However, it’s important when enrolling in any online degree program to consider whether or not you’re disciplined enough to successfully complete the program without the structured environment that comes with classroom learning.


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