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Choosing to earn a graduate degree in marketing is a big decision. It consists of an intense application process and you'll need to be self-motivated and dedicated to complete all the coursework required. Is earning a graduate degree worth the time and effort?

Earning a graduate degree in marketing is the highest level of education you can attain, and would provide you with more nuanced knowledge of the field than you'd have if you pursued an undergraduate degree in marketing. There are two types of graduate degrees that can be earned: a Master's degree or a Doctorate degree. International students should do research on both types of degrees to decide whether getting a masters in marketing or a PhD is the right choice for them.

Master's Degree

Earning your masters in marketing can take two to three years to complete and focuses on cultivating a high level of knowledge pertaining to this particular area of study. Normally people who choose to earn a marketing degree have a few years of experience in the industry or have a job involving business or public relations.

In order to apply for a graduate degree in marketing, as with any other graduate degree, you'll need to have earned a bachelor's degree first. You'll also need several letters of recommendation (usually three) and your college transcript. Also, most graduate programs require students to take the Graduate Management Admission Test, also known as the GMAT or the Graduate Record Examination (also called the GRE).

The higher international students score on these exams the better their chances are of getting accepted into the school of their choice. Once a student earns their masters in marketing they'll be equipped with a wide range of marketing knowledge and should be able to do things like identify a company's key demographic, determine the demand for a product, design and implement marketing strategies and much more. With this high level degree international students will definitely be qualified for a mid to upper level administrative position within any company.

Doctorate Degree

The highest degree any student can attain is a PhD or doctorate degree. It is the most difficult type of degree anyone can earn; you'll have to possess a serious amount of self-motivation to make it through the rigorous coursework and long hours needed to obtain a doctorate degree.

Most people in the industry do not have a PhD in marketing. A doctorate degree in marketing will involve several semesters of coursework (about 13) and students may be required to teach classes about marketing, they'll have to take a field exam, and let's not forget about the research and dissertation requirements.

Students are normally paired with faculty members to help guide them as they begin their studies and the whole process usually takes about five or six years to complete. Normally students spend their first two years on course work, in their third year they'll take the field exam, and then the last few years are focused on their dissertation research and writing.

A dissertation is required in order for any student to earn their PhD and involves the student making a new and creative contribution to the field of study, which in our case is marketing. Some examples of dissertation topics could involve marketing strategies, investigating buyers' motives, etc.

But let's be honest…you don't particularly need a PhD to excel in the marketing industry. Although it would definitely put you above everyone else as far as the job competition goes, it involves a lot of time and money so you need to ask yourself if it's really worth pursuing when a master's degree is more than enough.

Graduate Degree in Marketing

In conclusion, earning your graduate degree in marketing can be a very long and difficult process, but if you can make it through and earn your degree you'll be part of an elite group that has attained the highest level of education.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that people who have a master's degree earn 21 percent more money than people with bachelor's degrees and there is a lower unemployment rate for people who have master's degrees compared to those who have bachelor's degrees; perhaps pursuing the highest education is the way to go?

Bachelor degrees grant you access to entry level and administrative jobs, but depending on how high you'd like to advance in a company determines the level of degree you'll need. If you eventually want to become a chief marketing officer (CMO) for example, you'd probably need to pursue a master's or doctorate degree to do so. Ask yourself what kind of career you'd like to have (entry level, administrative, or executive position), how much self-motivation you can muster, and how much time and money you're willing to dedicate to your degree…once you answer those questions you should know which degree is the best for you!

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