Information about consumer markets is of great value to any business. Therefore, understanding the motivation behind consumer’s decisions to purchase certain products, and how advertising influences decision-making is a key part of the marketing and advertising process. Marketing has become a critical function of every organization, especially in today’s global marketplace. As technologies continue to advance, and the ways consumers connect with brands continuously evolve, skilled market research managers who can navigate through the consumer landscape, study market conditions, and plan programs to generate interest for brands are important assets to organizations across all industries. Marketing management explores basic marketing principles, policies, and data collection through targeted marketing research. Special emphasis is placed on marketing strategy planning, and the integration of marketing with other business activities. For those with a master’s degree in the field, job prospects should be great. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this profession has an excellent employment outlook: employment rate in marketing and advertising management is slated to grow 32 percent from 2012 to 2022, and will continue to be in demand given that this unique integrated marketing business combination is applicable to diverse organizations. There are many career opportunities in the world of advertising and marketing management. Marketing professionals can be found in a variety of industries. These include research analyst, marketing director, brand manager and advertising, to name a few. Additionally, the rise of digital media and an increased use of data in market research have created many new job titles and career paths.
Graduates with an MBA in Marketing Management will be able to develop effective and fiscally sound marketing strategies and plans, analyze the various fundamental marketing concepts, understand and implement research design, evaluate how branding works, and apply ethical principles in business situations. It is paramount to have knowledge of proper research techniques, and the ability to analyze data to succeed in this field. An MBA program in marketing will equip graduates with the managerial skills and business knowledge that are necessary to successfully handle the complex management challenges in advertising today, anticipate consumer needs, translate those needs into products and services and plan campaigns to sell their products successfully. Topics generally include price policies and controls, diverse trade channels, campaign planning, merchandising, market research, competitive practices, and social media planning. Furthermore, a marketing MBA will give you a concrete understanding of marketing important channels, such as branding, social media, advertising, digital marketing, communication, and public relations. No matter which career path you choose, an online education in marketing can give you the edge and creative skills necessary to shine in this competitive arena. The programs evaluated below are a great return on investment, and they offer affordability without sacrificing quality.
Affordability (100%):The out-of-state (if applicable) tuition per credit hour rate multiplied by the number of credit hours required to complete the program of study.
1. California Coast University
California Coast University, established in 1973, is a for-profit, private institution that offers only distance learning with an emphasis on self-paced learning. For instance, there are no classroom attendance requirements, and students can choose between getting their degree in as little as 9 months or take 1 course every 6 months. A primary goal is to offer affordable, flexible, comprehensive, and up-to-date curricula via online or correspondence studies. While the school does not have a physical campus, the headquarters are based in downtown Santa Ana, CA. Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)–the agency that sets the standards for all distance education institutions–California Coast University registers about total of 8,000 students total, including undergraduate and graduate students.
California Coast University’s Master in Business Administration (MBA) is designed for students with a Bachelor’s degree in either, Business Administration, Leadership, or Management. The 39-credit-hour curriculum requires 13 core courses including a capstone project on strategic management. The program’s objective is to provide business professionals with the key concepts, theories, and best practices to be competitive in the contemporary business environment. Students will examine various business theories, research international trade and the global market, and compare legal and ethical issues. The program emphasizes affordability with 3 different flexible payment options as low as $100 per month, interest free. Moreover, textbooks are not included in tuition price but can be rented directly from the library at a nominal cost. Finally, members of the military and veterans receive a 10% discount on tuition, a company tuition reimbursement program is available; not to mention the estimated program cost is already less than $9,000. The program also offers flexibility because of a transfer-credit policy for prior educational and/or professional experience.
No GMAT or GRE required A Top 100 University for nearly a decade
2. Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University (CSU), founded in 1993, is a for-profit, online-only institution and a sister school of Waldorf University as well as an institutional member of the American Council on Education (ACE)–a major higher education coordinating body. While almost half of the CSU student body is made up of active military members, CSU is a student-centered university with a relevant, innovative curriculum that addresses the best practices of the industry and can boast a 98% student satisfaction rate. Columbia Southern guarantees a high quality education by implementing Quality Matters (QM) standards–rigorous, research-supported standards–into their online courses. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that certifies the quality of online courses. While the school does not have a physical campus, the headquarters are based in Orange Beach, Alabama. Also accredited by the DEAC, Columbia Southern University registers approximately 29,000 undergraduate students.
Columbia Southern University’s Master of Business Administration in Marketing prepares students for management and leadership positions in the field of marketing in an estimated completion time of 3 years. Emphasis is on the managerial skills and business knowledge that are necessary to successfully understanding the unique challenges of an evolving global marketplace, anticipating consumer needs, developing new products and services, developing a systematic process for decision making, and achieving a competitive advantage. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 8 core and 4 elective courses, where the marketing concentration (worth 12 hours) focuses on marketing strategies, marketing research, new product marketing, and business-to-business marketing. The program is highly affordable because of a $275 credit-hour cost, giving the program a total estimated cost of $9,900.
Colorado Technical University (CTU) was founded in 1965 in Colorado Springs in a building originally used as a roller rink. CTU is a private for-profit institution with campuses in Colorado Springs and Denver. Since its beginning in 1965, Colorado Technical University has been serving career focused adults by promoting industry-relevant higher education and fostering the development of their professional goals. CTU received a WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) award for its intellipath adaptive learning technology and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students can save up to 30% on tuition and time by using a free assessment module called Fast Track. Moreover, most faculty members are leaders in their fields and hold advanced degrees in the subjects they teach. With a total enrollment of 26,330 students, the school provides real world, industry-current programs in a variety of subjects.
Colorado Technical University’s MBA with a concentration in Marketing (MBA-M) builds on a foundation of core management concepts with industry-relevant practices in the areas of marketing research and digital marketing. In order to be successful in this MBA program, candidates must have prior foundational knowledge in business, but after that, students will study how to construct global marketing strategies using critical thinking, ethics, and cross-cultural strategization. The 48-credit-hour program requires 10 core and 4 elective courses where core focus is on Applied Managerial Accounting, Leadership & Ethical Decision-Making, and Strategic Human Capital Management. The marketing concentration addresses a range of marketing strategies and concepts and includes the following: Marketing Research Methods, Marketing in the Digital Age, and International Marketing. At the end of the program, students complete a management capstone project relevant to their chosen industry. The program provides prestige thanks to CTU’s MBA degree program being named a Tier One program among North American universities in 2015 by CEO Magazine; furthermore, the online MBA program is ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report. Finally, the program provides affordability due to a $325 credit-hour cost and a total cost, giving the program a total estimated cost of $15,600.
No GMAT or GRE required A Top 100 University for nearly a decade
4. Bellevue University
Bellevue University was founded in 1966 in Bellevue, Nebraska and has been a leader in adult education ever since. Bellevue is a private, non-profit, regionally accredited institution serving over 13,000 students. Since 1996, Bellevue University has been offering online degree programs, and the first in the country to offer a Master of Business Administration degree online. Today, the school has campuses throughout the American Midwest. As one of the most affordable online options, Bellevue offers many financing options such as financial aid, need-based scholarships and loans, included for part-time students. Bellevue University has received countless of accolades and has set the standards of excellence in a variety of categories relating to performance and results. To highlight just a few pertinent awards, the school was named among the most innovative universities and ranked #1 for “Most Generous Credit Transfer Policy” by Online Course Report in 2017. Moreover, it was ranked in the top 25 for “Best Affordable Online Masters in Computer Science” from OnlineU.org, and Best Online Master’s in Computer Science & IT Programs in 2015 by SuperScholar.org. Finally, Bellevue has received accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission through the U.S. Department of Education.
Bellevue University’s Performance MBA program is built on acquiring the technical and decision-making skills–and the team-oriented mindset–necessary to achieve measurable success in the area of finance, strategy, and human capital management. In other words, the curriculum is focused on the professional knowledge, hard skills, and relevant soft skills that employers look for. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 9 core and 3 elective courses where students get a global perspective of the marketing field by selecting at least 9 credit hours among the following: internet marketing, international consumer behavior, sales management, global brand marketing, and marketing research. The program offers prestige thanks to an accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Finally, the program is affordable because of a generous transfer-credit policy, minimal fees, and a reasonable $525 credit-hour cost–giving the program a total estimated cost of $18,900.
The University Of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass-L), started in 1894, is a nonprofit research university that has been recognized by Forbes and Payscale for offering a great value education and a high ROI. The establishment can be found on an urban 142-acre campus in heart of Lowell, MA–just 30 miles from Boston–on the Merrimack River. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)–the regional authority of all levels of educational quality–UMass-L currently ranks #152 National Universities and #78 Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report. University Of Massachusetts enrolls approximately 13,266 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, and 59.4% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
University Of Massachusetts’s MBA integrates theory and practice so students gain real-world and relevant experience applicable to every industry in both for-profit and nonprofit settings. The 30-42 credit-hour program requires 7 core and 3 elective courses and an additional 6 foundational courses are required but may be waived depending on student background. When selecting the marketing option, you can choose 3 electives among 7 courses in Market Research, New Product Development, International Marketing, Sales Management, and more. The program guarantees prestige because of its AACSB accreditation–something less than 5% of international business schools can claim. Moreover, the program was ranked as one of the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News & World Report, and ranked by GetEducated.com as a Best Buy in Accredited Online MBA Programs. Finally, the program guarantees affordability thanks to a $630 credit-hour cost.
The University of St. Mary, founded in 1923, is a private Roman Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of Charity to provide value-centered education. The school occupies a suburban campus in Leavenworth, KS. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the State Of Kansas Department Of Education, St. Mary has been consistently named by The Princeton Review as one of the Best Midwestern Colleges since 2005–a distinction given only to institutions with high standards of academic excellence. The University of St. Mary matriculates roughly 875 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, and 67.8% of classes cater to fewer than 20 students.
The University of St. Mary’s MBA with a Marketing and Advertising Management Concentration places strong Catholic values at the core of the program, so emphasis is on ethics and corporate responsibility. The 36-credit-hour curriculum can take as little as 1 year to complete and requires 9 core and 3 elective courses. Available course options include: The Advertising Industry in the 21st Century, Buyer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Advanced Marketing Strategy & Planning.
Lasell College, founded in 1851, is a private university offering professional-oriented studies where 100% of all students participate in an internship. Lasell College was recognized with the distinguished Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement–an honor that only 10% of colleges nationwide are granted. The establishment occupies a suburban 53-acre campus full of Victorian architecture in Newton, MA–only 10 miles from Boston. Also accredited by Higher Learning Commission, Lasell is currently ranked #131 Regional Universities North. Lasell College matriculates roughly 1,815 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, and 66.1% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
Lasell College’s Master of Science in Management with an integrated marketing concentration will prepare students to plan marketing strategies, analyze buyer behavior, and perform strategic information and financial management in the 21st century. The 36-credit-hour program requires 6 core, 2 elective, and 3 marketing concentration courses along with a capstone internship or research project. The available concentration courses are Consumer Behavior, Marketing Research, and Global Marketing. The program offers prestige thanks to an accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC), established in 1947, is a public research university sitting on a 1,250-acre campus in Adelphi, MD–a suburb of Washington, D.C. UMUC is one of the largest online universities in the United States, offering 17 graduate online programs and enrolling over 90,000 students around the world. With a long-time commitment to active-duty military personnel, UMUC offers reduced tuition rates for members of the military and federal government employees. The University of Maryland University College offers a student-faculty ratio of 22:1, and 64.8% of its classes cater to fewer than 20 students.
University Of Maryland University College’s Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Marketing prepares students for leadership positions with a focus on the latest marketing strategies as well as the foundations of solid management practice to be competitive in the job market. The program covers, first and foremost, topics such as brand management, consumer behavior, international marketing, and financial decision making for managers. Though not required, it is recommended to have strong writing and analytical skills as well as a background in statistics, finance, and accounting. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 3 core and 7 elective courses designed with input from professionals in the field. The curriculum will cover topics such as Marketing Principles, Regulation & Ethical Issues, Marketing Management, Legal & Ethical Issues in Global Communications, and Statistics for Managerial Decision Making.
Brandman University, started in 1958, is a private, nonprofit, coed institution that is affiliated with the Chapman University system and serves mature students and members of the military. The school occupies a suburban 7-acre campus in Irvine, CA–the main campus–with over 25 campuses throughout California and Washington as well as a virtual campus. Accredited by the Western Association Of Schools & Colleges (WASC)–the regional authority on higher educational effectiveness on the West coast–Brandman tied for #63 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Brandman University registers about 5,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students.
Brandman University’s MBA focuses on strategy, leadership, and global perspectives while stressing the importance of sustainability and innovation. The 36-48 credit-hour program requires 6-8 core and 4 elective courses where the curriculum covers market research tools for consumers, industrial applications, and new product development strategies. Further, the designated marketing emphasis offers 4 seminars in Marketing Research, New Product Development, Advertising & Promotion, and International Marketing. Students will examine ethics, sociology, and culture within global marketing environments and the role of advertising and promotion in the marketplace. The program guarantees prestige because of its #152 ranking for Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News and World Report and an accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
Marist College is a private, coeducation college located in Poughkeepsie, New York. Traditionally a liberal arts college operating in the Catholic tradition of the Marist Brothers, the university has grown in recent years to serve over 6,500 students. Today the university is not associated with the Catholic Church. Marist College is routinelly ranked among the top regional colleges in the Northeast, as well as a top value private school nationwide. A second campus has also been recently opened in Florence, Italy, which allows students to study in the disciplines of Art History, Conservation Studies/Restoration, Digital Media, Interior Design, Fashion Design, Studio Art (B.A.) and Studio Art (B.S.). Other particularly noteworthy facets of the university include a longtime partnership with IBM, through which the university has had access to high powered computer mainframes of the scale normally only ever operated at larger research institutions or Fortune 500 companies. Marist is also home to the Marist Institute of Public Opinion, which is known nationally for their Marist Polls (political).
The fully online Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications offered by Marist is the 10th most affordable program of those we surveyed. The degree programming is noteworthy for its compilation with the aid of leaders in the integrated marketing communications field. Besides being leaders in their field, all faculty members also hold advanced degrees in integrated marketing communications and related fields. The course of study is customizable, allowing students to take ten courses in a wide variety of disciplines: branding, social media, advertising, digital marketing, communication, and public relations. A wide range of support services are avialable to online students as well, including financial aid, career management/placement, counseling, and academic events, all online. The tuition per credit hour rate for the program is $750, which multipled by the 30 credit hours required in the program brings total tuition cost to slightly more than $22,000.