With the increasing prominence of a digital economy, marketing has changed considerably in the past two decades. For people looking to enter the field, this presents a golden opportunity to learn new skills that will be indispensable in a global marketplace, including social media marketing, digital branding, website maintenance, business to business marketing, and much, much more. If you’re interested in marketing, management, sales, or carving out a niche in the business world, a great place to start is with an Associate’s degree in marketing. Here we’ve ranked 10 of the best online Associate programs in that field for your perusal. These schools were chosen based on their affordability (weighted at 33%), the core content areas covered (another 33%), including whether the programs addressed information literacy, advertising, internet marketing, B2C marketing, and B2B marketing, and the final 33% based on their academic quality, defined by their retention rate.
1) Kennebec Valley Community College
KVCC is one of seven colleges that make up the Maine Community College System. It was founded in 1969, and is a public, two-year college conferring certificates (in less than a year or less than two year schedules) and Associates KVCC has over 30 degree, diploma and certificate programs. Over 2,500 students attend the school, which offers them an 18:1 student to faculty ratio. It focuses on education, business and industry outreach degree offerings. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. 89% of KVCC students receive financial aid.
Through its Business Administration Associate program KVCC offers a Marketing/Management program. It requires 63 credits and a C average throughout. The program focuses on “managerial positions in organizations operating in the marketing of a product or in a service capacity.” Students can collaborate with students from other program options (including Accounting and Computer Systems Integration) in a “simulated office environment.” This program utilizes a “Virtual Office” and an “incorporated internship program.” This program prepares students for a variety of positions in marketing, advertising, insurance, human relations, retail management, wholesale sales, among much more.
The Marketing Communication master’s concentration prompts you to analyze consumer behavior, conduct market research, and engage the power of brands and messages in order to develop powerful digital marketing strategies. Evaluate various tactics, measure their effectiveness, and explore the intricacies of working with or in complex, multi-functional teams to execute compelling marketing campaigns.
You’ll learn to:
Design, manage, and measure persuasive, integrated, digital marketing communication campaigns
Assess the current scope and predict future trends in traditional, social, mobile, email, search, and digital marketing
Measure traditional and digital marketing communication efforts and create plans to adjust future campaigns based on results
Create strategies to elevate an organization’s or client’s marketing and branding efforts
2) Coastal Pines Technical College
Coastal Pines was founded recently, in 2014. It already has 2,775 students and educates students in thirteen counties in Georgia, as well as online through its distance programs. The school has seven campuses in Alma, Baxley, Brunswick, Hazlehurst, Jesup, Kingsland and Waycross in southeastern Georgia. The school offers associate’s degree, certificate or diploma programs in health, business and computer, personal services, and technical and industrial technology. It’s a member of the Technical College System of Georgia, made up of 28 technical colleges and 31 satellite campuses. It has a 13:1 student to faculty ratio, and 91% of its students receive financial aid.
Coastal Pines offers an Associate of Applied Science in Marketing. Its goal is to prepare students for a variety of marketing and management positions. Students 16 and older are eligible for the program with a high school diploma or GED. Sample courses include Financial Accounting, Principles of Marketing, Business Regulations and Compliance, Professional Selling, Integrated Marketing Communications, and Marketing Research. Students in this program can specialize in marketing management, entrepreneurship, or retail management. A major focus of the program is teaching students how to get jobs, keep them, and advance within them.
DCTC is a public, two-year technical college founded in 1970. The school is headquartered out of Dakota County in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. It’s part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and is one of five self-sufficient technical colleges in Minnesota. Over 2,500 students attend DCTC, which offers students a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. 78% of its students receive financial aid. It offers students 57 distinct instructional programs through six departments: Business and Information Systems, Business and Management, Design, Health and Human Services, Technical Careers, and Transportation Careers. It also offers a long list of universities it’s reached credit transfer agreements with.
DCTC offers a 60 credit A.S. Degree in Marketing. This program goes in depth on marketing and managerial strategies, business law, ethics, proposal writing, and much more. Graduates will be experienced managing related projects, using targeted strategies on desired markets, distributing products and content, research, and building/maintaining an alluring and efficient web presence. This program offers “Credits for Prior Learning,” which can include life experience that is used to hasten degree completion. Core courses include Marketing Research, Business Law, International Marketing, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Consumer and Professional Buying Behavior, among others. This program is intended for those looking to seek a higher degree afterwards.
Albany Technical College is a part of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). It provides education online, and in seven counties in southwest Georgia. It was founded in 1961, and currently has over 3,250 students enrolled. It has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio. 99% of its students receive financial aid. Albang has programs in Agriculture, Business, Communication Technologies, Computer and Information Science, Construction, Education, Engineering Technology, Health, Homeland Security and much more. The school offers a breadth of certificate programs, and Associate degrees.
Albany’s Marketing Management Associate degree is a 62 credit hour program that requires students to have a high school diploma or GED for admission. The program’s goals are to get students ready to enter jobs in a number of positions in the marketing and management fields. Students can graduate with specializations in marketing management, entrepreneurship, and retail management. Students will also learn extensively about computers, digital technology, accounting, regulations and compliance, consumer behavior, marketing channels among many, many other topics covered.
Like Albany Technical College, Atlanta Tech is part of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). It was created after World War II in 1945 as an adult vocational school, then became a Technical School in 1967. 3,775 students are served by Atlanta Tech, and it has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio. 97% of students receive financial aid. It offers 39 one year certificate programs, 12 1 to 2 year certificate programs, and 11 Associate programs. It also allows students to take 2 to 4 year certificate programs. It is outspoken about its anti-discriminatory philosophy.
Under its Marketing and Entrepreneurship department, Atlanta Tech offers a Marketing Management Associate Degree Program. The program requires at least 5 semesters, and has an estimated cost of $10,256. Students may specialize in Entrepreneurship, Social Media Marketing, e-Business, Professional Selling and Sports Marketing. The curriculum encompasses 64-67 hours. After Gen Ed courses like College Algebra, Public Speaking, Composition and Rhetoric, Introductory Psychology and Intro to Humanities, students dive into an exciting and diverse 38-40 hours of occupational courses. Some standouts include Global Marketing, Marketing Research, Professional Selling, Hospitality Marketing and Project Management. Then students will spend 11-12 hours on the specialization of their choice.
This technical college is based out of Wausau, Wisconsin, and was founded in 1912. It’s one of 16 schools in the Wisconsin Technical College System, and serves students online, as well as in Marathon, Lincoln, Taylor, Price, Langlade, Menominee, Clark, Portage, Shawano and Waupaca counties. It grants students associate degrees, technical diplomas, and over 100 certificates in agriculture, business, community services, general studies, health, public safety, tech and trades. Over 4,200 students attend NTC, which has a 18:1 student to faculty ratio. 78% of its students receive financial aid.
NTC offers a Digital Marketing Associates degree that can be accessed completely online. It prepares students to work as SEO Analysts, Managers, Social Networking Specialists, Digital Marketing Analysts, Ecommerce Managers, among much more. The approximate cost of the program is $12,693, according to NTC. It requires 68 credits, and sample classes include two courses in Social Media Campaigns, an Internet Marketing Strategies class, Email Marketing Campaigns, Mobile Marketing, Publishing on the Internet, and much more. The focus of the program is using digital media to attract and retain customers.
Chattahoochee, (also known as Chattahoochee Tech, CTC, or Chatt Tech) was founded in 1963, in Marietta, Georgia. It now has 8 campuses in the north-northwest metro-Atlanta area, with one campus just outside that area. It confers technical certificates of credit, diplomas, and associate degrees to students. Its current incarnation was birthed in 2009 after the merging of Appalachian Technical College, Chattahoochee Technical College, and North Metro Technical College. Just under 10,000 students currently attend Chatt Tech, and it has a 23:1 student to faculty ratio. 86% of its students receive financial aid.
CTC offers a Marketing Management Associate’s degree that focuses on teaching students how to find, keep and get promoted in a variety of management and marketing positions. Students can choose to specialize in marketing management, entrepreneurship or social media. Sample courses include Integrated Marketing Communications, Global Marketing, Information Literacy, Business Regulations and Compliance, Professional Selling, but students also have a wide selection of electives in different areas. For example, they can take Music Appreciation, or World Literature, among other options in the General Education Core on Humanities. This program requires 63 total credit hours.
Lakeshore is a 2-year, public Technical school that was founded in 1967. It’s based out of Cleveland, Wisconsin, which is between the lakeshore cities of Sheboygan and Manitowoc, right on the banks of Lake Michigan. LTC confers Associate degrees, and has technical diploma programs, among other certifications and adult continuing education programs. The school has over 2,600 students, and an uncommonly low student to faculty ratio at 12:1. 70% of Lakeshore students receive financial aid. It has also invested in wind turbines, boasts a 154 acre campus in Cleveland, Wisconsin, as well as 5 other campuses and 9 community education centers.
LTC offers an Associate’s degree program in Marketing that can be taken entirely online. It requires 60 credits and 4 semesters to complete. It has two starts, in August and January. The program is intended for people curious about what drives consumers to make purchases, and who believe their career path will involve a deeper understanding of this drive. One class that stands out in comparison with comparable programs is Personal Branding, but also Marketing Field Study, Integrated Web Concepts, Promotion in the Social Media Campaign, and Research and Web Analytics. The program costs $140 per credit for Wisconsin residents, and $205 per credit for out-of-state residents.
CCU is a for-profit, private university headquartered in Santa Ana, California. It is strictly a distance education school, offering online and correspondence studies but with no classroom attendance. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, management, marketing, psychology, criminal justice, human resource management, health care management, and education. It began in the early 1970’s by accepting students who were in the middle of their careers, and had been employed in jobs related to their prospective major field. From that beginning, CCU has set out to be different from other nontraditional private, for-profit universities. It does so primarily by hiring experienced, respected faculty who hold doctorates from traditional universities. The school has approximately 8,000 students.
CCU offers an Associate’s degree program in Business Marketing through its School of Administration & Management. This program offers interest-free payment plans that may cost as little as $100 per month. Students won’t be expected to participate in group projects, or have set class, meeting or exam times. CCU is also flexible and open to granting academic credit for work experience and training through this program. This program requires 60 semester units, and focuses on “marketing theories and concepts utilized in the global economy. You will focus on implementing marketing strategies within an organization.”
Columbus State (CSCC) is a community college founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio. It began with 67 students that year, and now enrolls over 27,000 students over two campuses, nine learning centers and of course, online. 71% of its students receive financial aid, and it has a 19:1 student to faculty ratio. CSCC offers a huge breadth of academic programming, including two-year career programs in over 50 areas of business, health, public service, human service, engineering technologies, and facility maintenance. It also has transfer programs for students trying to complete the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree and then transfer to a four-year school, including Nursing, Architecture, Geographic Information Systems, and Nuclear Medicine Technology. Columbus State also offers Automotive Technology, Applied Technology, Aviation Technology, Real Estate, Law Enforcement, Paralegal Studies, Fire Science, Sport & Exercise Studies (five majors: Sport Management, Physical Education, Exercise Science, Recreation & Leisure Studies and Wellness & Health Promotion), Massage Therapy, Veterinary Technology, and Respiratory Care.
CSCC’s Marketing Associate’s degree is focused on teaching students how to get and keep customers. Graduates will be prepared to enter careers in product management, advertising, market research, public relations, Web-based businesses, customer service and sales. This program requires 5 semesters. Standout courses include Branding, Advertising and Promotion, Negotiation, Digital Media Preparation, Business to Business Marketing, Supply Chain Management Principles, among many others. This program offers a wide variety of learning outcomes, including graduates’ ability to “differentiate between the traditional role of advertising and promotion in marketing communications strategies for an organization and current trends which make use of interactive and digital media advertising and communications strategies in a global and competitive environment.”