Marketing Communications Degree

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - July 30, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Every great service, product or idea requires strong communication to get attention, increase desire and gain sales from customers. In the global marketplace today with so much competition, companies are spending more money on marketing to win the hearts and minds of consumers. They use vital marketing communication tools such as public relations, advertising, sales promotions, social media and more. All of this comes down to professionals using effective marketing communications to generate sales and interest in consumers.

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A marketing communications degree is ideal for the student who wants to generate creative solutions to marketing problems through a variety of communications.

What Is Marketing Communications?

Marketing communications or MarCom is a complex and fundamental part of the marketing efforts of an organization. MarCom is defined as all of the media and messages that you use to communicate to your market. Effective marketing communications includes the following aspects:

  • Advertising
  • Direct marketing
  • Branding
  • Packaging
  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Printed material
  • PR activities
  • Sales presentations
  • Trade show appearances
  • Sponsorships

Those who earn a degree in marketing communications will be able to work with these different aspects of MarCom to increase the presence of their organization in the marketplace.


It is expected as the US economy continues to gather strength that there will be a higher demand for a variety of marketing communication professionals with bachelor’s or master’s degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for advertising, marketing and promotions managers will grow by a healthy 10% through 2026, which is faster than average. It is expected that advertising, promotional and marketing campaigns will continue to be more important as companies are expanding and facing more competition.

Career Paths

Another great option with strong job possibilities if you have a marketing communications degree is to work as a public relations and fundraising manager. It is expected that employment in this sector will grow by 10% through 2026, which is faster than average. Good public relations managers are needed especially online these days to address good and bad news that affects clients.


The median salary for advertising and promotions managers in 2017 was $106,100, with the bottom 10% earning $48,000, and the top 10% earning more than $200,000 per year. The median salary for marketing managers was $132,200. Generally, professionals with more experience and a master’s degree in marketing communications will earn towards the top of the payscale.

Online Degree Programs

Marketing communication students and professionals have excellent options today to earn their degree online. You can often get your degree from the comfort of your own home, and attend a college far from where you live. Plus, you can continue to work if you choose.

A good option to consider for an online degree is the online Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. This program is designed to improve and accelerate your marketing communications career that will teach you how to engage consumers, solve difficult marketing challenges and build a stronger brand and product in the digital age.

This program has been designed for the life of a working professional with limited time. Students can take most of their courses online, and also can participate in one to four week MarCom courses outside Chicago. Students have the option to take these immersive classes in San Francisco, Asia, London, and Chile.

Required courses in this program include:

  • Consumer Insight
  • Financial Accounting
  • IMC Strategic Process
  • Marketing Management
  • Statistics and Marketing Research
  • Brand Communications Decisions
  • Brand Equity
  • Content Analytics and Strategy
  • Crisis Communications
  • Digital Analytics

Bachelor’s Degree

Students who want to get their foot in the door in a marketing communications role may consider earning their bachelor’s degree either online or on campus. National University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications that provides students with a blend of marketing principle foundations, which include advertising, sales, promotion, public relations, and direct marketing. Graduates of this four year degree program will understand the vital roles that communication plays in developing businesses, individuals, and social institutions.

Core requirements to earn this marketing communications degree include:

  • Intercultural Communication
  • Communication Technologies
  • Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Critical Thinking and Ethics
  • Persuasion
  • Professional Presentations
  • Intro to Global Marketing
  • Introduction to Advertising
  • Channel and Value Networks
  • e-Marketing
  • Communication Strategies

Master’s Degree

Professionals who want to accelerate their marketing communications careers may consider obtaining their master’s degree. The University of Southern California offers a Master of Communication Management that will give you the grounding in foundations, marketing skills, and the principles of strong communication that will make you an asset to your organization.

The program teaches skills and concepts that are critical to the modern communication professional. Students learn how to design and execute strong communication strategies across many settings, including how to support a company that is in a public relations crisis, or drafting a strong story for a nonprofit organization. Students also will learn how to research new markets for a new product, and will generally enhance their critical thinking and writing skills.

The on campus program is ideal for students who are recently graduated from college, and/or young professionals who want a regular graduate school experience. The online program is a good option for students who are in the middle of their career and have several years of work experience.

Admission Requirements

Typical entry requirements for a master’s program in marketing communications include:

  • GRE scores may be required
  • 5 or higher GPA
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited university
  • Writing samples and personal statement
  • Resume
  • Transcripts from bachelor’s level work


Each program has its own marketing communications curriculum. A typical curriculum for a master’s program includes these types of courses:

  • Media Communications
  • Media and Culture
  • Advertising and Marketing Communication
  • Marketing
  • Advertising Decision Making
  • Media Research
  • Seminar in Media Communications

Financial Assistance

Students who want assistance to pay for their college education may consider these scholarships and grants. Also remember to check with the financial aid office at your university for financial aid opportunities specific to that school:

  • Charlie Corr Memorial Scholarship: $2000
  • AWMF and Loreen Arbus Foundation Scholarship: $2500
  • Dan Klepper Memorial Scholarship: $2000
  • NBCUniversal/ LNESC Scholarship: $5000
  • Direct Marketing Education Foundation: Various amounts


Do you want to stand out from other marketing communication professionals? Then consider getting one or more of these certifications:

  • AMA Certified Professional Marketer
  • Bing Ads Certification
  • Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer
  • DMA Certification
  • Google Analytics Certification
  • Hootsuite Certification
  • Hubspot Certification
  • Marketing Management Certificate (Harvard University)


These associations can be helpful to belong to in terms of enhancing your networking, educational and career options:

  • American Marketing Association
  • Data and Marketing Association
  • Internet Marketing Association
  • National Communication Association
  • International Communication Association

The marketing communications field is growing as is the overall US and world economy. More companies are growing and starting in the stronger economic environment. This means there is a greater demand for skilled marketing communications professionals, so earning your degree in this field will help you land many good job opportunities.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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