An MBA in Marketing has become one of the most desired degrees by both students and employers in recent years. With the shift to digital and online marketing, most businesses now have their own, in-house marketing teams that specialize in bringing traffic and customers to the company.

While there are a number of specific areas of marketing (which are explored in the ‘career options’ tab) an MBA in marketing doesn’t limit the degree holder to pursuing marketing careers alone. The skillset can be put towards dozens of other career options, from consulting to entrepreneurial management.

However, if you like the sound of taking on a diversified role in an ever-changing landscape, the role of the marketing manager might just be your calling.

The MBA in marketing: Entry requirements

The broad nature of marketing, in that its remit can encompass everything and anything from art and design to human behavior and quantitative skills, means that almost any background can lend itself to the degree.

The basic entry requirements for an MBA in marketing are a solid GMAT score and GPA, typically above 600 and 3.0 respectively; a bachelor’s degree – whether this is in a subject from the humanities or in pre-professional studies or anything in between; and most programs. As with any other MBA degree or specialization, admissions officers will, for the most part, be looking to see at least two years of experience before accepting a student into a program.

Required skills

Prospective students hoping to show they have the potential to become an excellent marketing manager require a broad skillset. Well rounded individuals with skills in both mathematics and the softer skills, such as communications, tend to fare well in MBA in marketing specializations. Other desired skills for marketing typically include analytical and leadership skills.

Skills taught

A marketing MBA is designed to teach students a wide variety of skills that can then be applied to a wide variety of positions across any number of companies and industries – no two companies are going to need, or demand, the exact same requirements from their marketing manager.

Courses

Common courses found within MBA in marketing specializations include:

  • Marketing management
  • Operations management
  • Marketing channels strategies
  • Consumer and brand insight strategy
  • Internet, technology, retail, digital, sports, and other specialized marketing fields
  • Forecasting, modelling, and marketing strategy
  • New product strategy, branding, and marketing
  • International and multi-national marketing
  • Sales force management

Specializations

Marketing MBAs can channel their energies into preparing for particular marketing career roles, from IT to retail and anything in between. This will, of course, be reflected in the number of courses available that delve into more specialized areas of marketing.

As every – and we do mean every – sector of the business world has a product it wants to reach the appropriate channels, every sector of the business world, therefore, requires marketing and marketing managers. Popular specializations in marketing careers over the past few years include (but are no means limited to):

  • Internet and digital marketing trends, channels, management, and strategies
  • E-commerce

Internships

As would be the case with any MBA internship, marketing internships can give you a great taste for life at an individual company and in the multi-faceted position of a marketing manager.

Marketing career options

Common job roles

As a marketing manager, you will be overseeing a marketing team for a number of different activities, such as: releasing new products at specific times; tracking how well products are selling; advertising for new and existing products; networking among supply chain channels; liaising between a company’s research & development, design, advertising, and brand strategy teams (as appropriate).

Boutique vs. corporate jobs

A boutique (i.e. smaller) advertising agency or marketing firm is going to require much more flexibility and adaptability from a marketing manager than a large corporation will. A large corporation, after all, will have other branches to deal with aspects of finance, artistic design, sales, product development and design, and other duties that could fall under the remit of a marketing manager attached to a smaller firm. The same is likely to be at least equally true for a startup’s marketing manager. Indeed, those aspects a marketing manager is not directly responsible for may still entail close involvement through communication with just a handful of others at a smaller firm or startup.

A large corporation will instead be looking for a marketing manager to manage one or two aspects of a marketing campaign, whether that is new product research, marketing strategy, consumer strategy, or brand strategy.

As a marketing manager you often receive the chance to oversee the life of a product from inception, design and implementation to sales and delivery.

If you’re looking for a role that offers something different on a day to day basis and will draw on almost every facet of the skills acquired during your MBA in marketing, then a startup or boutique firm is worth considering. But, consider also the difference in resources at your disposal if you opt to join a larger firm and the opportunity it might offer to become a specialist in a particular area.