A Master’s Degree in Marketing Can Help Future-Proof Your Career

Working in the field of marketing has never been more exciting. New marketing channels, technologies, and specialty areas seem to explode onto the scene every few months. Experienced and talented marketers are in high demand because companies must differentiate themselves to compete in today’s global economy — and marketers are at the forefront of making that happen.

This marketing revolution and the unbound need for qualified marketers is a double-edged sword for those who work in the field. There’s no shortage of opportunities to grow and thrive in a marketing career, which validates the need for marketing talent. But with marketing being at the white-hot center of business growth and development, it makes the field much more competitive. This requires marketing professionals to continually master new strategies, tactics, and platforms — and, at the same time, find ways to distinguish themselves if they’re competing for a raise or promotion or want to make a job change.
One way to rise above the crowd of experienced (and sometimes, self-proclaimed) marketers is with a marketing master’s degree. Adding this graduate degree to your LinkedIn profile or referencing your “degree in process” story during an interview with a prospective employer gives you an edge.

For busy marketers who work full-time and have active personal lives, getting a master’s in marketing has never been easier, thanks to accredited, respected master’s in marketing programs, such as the Master of Science (MS) in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati Online.

The MS in marketing program is part of the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business. For more than 110 years, College of Business students and graduates have achieved great success in business and service. The academic programs have earned national acclaim, and its faculty and subject matter experts have sparked innovation and insights through cutting-edge research.

Meet the MS in Marketing’s Executive Director
Dianne Hardin, MDes, MS Marketing, leads UC Online’s MS in Marketing study program. She began her role as a professor at Linder College of Business in the Marketing Department in fall 2015 after completing her Master in Design (MDes) and Master in Marketing degrees. In January 2019, she accepted the role of Executive Director for the MS in Marketing Program.
Today, Dianne actively teaches graduate and undergraduate integrated design and marketing courses and oversees the university’s new online offering.

“The online MS in Marketing program is exactly the same as the campus-based program,” Dianne says. “Classes are delivered

Dianne Hardin, MDes

in an asynchronous, independent-learning format.”

With an asynchronous program, you log on and attend class at a time that works for you — and you can change your study preferences whenever you like, even from week to week, adjusting your availability to meet the demands of your work and personal life.

Dianne describes the marketing master’s program as being intentionally designed to be flexible, enabling students to achieve their academic and career objectives while having an outstanding collegiate experience.

Dianne’s journey in furthering her marketing knowledge and education inform and enrich what she does today. She explains that in 2011, when digital marketing was first emerging onto the scene, she decided to go back to school and get a design degree to enhance her creative skills. “Design is all about a rich understanding of the consumer,” she says, “and through my studies, I reframed everything I knew about business — more directly connecting what designers did and thought with what marketers did and thought.”

Dianne describes being a professor as “the best career I never knew I wanted” — and it’s obvious to see that working at the University of Cincinnati and heading up the marketing master’s program is immensely fulfilling to her.

Marketing Master’s Program Strengths
Students who come into the university’s MS in Marketing program arrive from diverse backgrounds and with varied interests. Many are professional marketers who pursue a graduate degree to enrich their career journeys. Some are shifting their focus from another field into the practice of marketing, and others choose a graduate program as an extension of their undergraduate work.

What every student finds at our university is coursework designed for an immediate, real-world application that addresses problems companies regularly encounter. Top-tier educators leading the coursework are passionate about the practice of marketing and are committed to students’ success throughout the program.

“Our Marketing Department professors are internationally renowned consumer science behaviorists,” Dianne says. “All of the core and elective coursework is related to understanding the bleeding edge of consumer psychology and leveraging theory in practice.”

Curriculum Highlights
Students who enroll in the online MS in Marketing program work to complete 32 credit hours over a year — or longer if they choose to attend part-time.

The program curriculum features courses focused on the essential knowledge and skills marketers require today. “The majority of the elective courses are integrated theory-consulting courses, leveraging real client projects or directly simulating contemporary business challenges,” Dianne says.

Program courses include:
• Marketing Strategy for Managers – In this course, you develop a conceptual framework for strategic planning and grow your understanding of marketing analytics tools. By reviewing marketing case studies, you gain more expertise in contemporary issues involving branding, market selection, business definition, program development and management, among others.
• Branding Strategy – This course explores the strategic management of brands, such as brand management and positioning, brand equity and design. The class focuses on strategic brand management principles across a range of situations — e.g., consumable and non-consumable products, services, retail outlets, people, organizations, places and causes.
• Systematic Innovation Tools – This course focuses on new and existing market innovation within the context of a marketing strategy framework. You explore the marketing management continuum, including strategy, segmentation, targeting, positioning and the 4P’s (product, price, place and promotion), learning fundamental techniques to apply throughout your graduate experience and beyond.

Marketing Specialty Tracks
If there’s a specialty area in marketing that interests you, you can customize your master’s degree experience accordingly. Dianne says there are subject-area tracks focused on innovation, marketing research, retail and professional selling.
Another way you can explore a focus area is by taking up to six credits of electives anywhere else in Lindner College of Business or across the university. Dianne gives the example of a marketer interested in working in the real estate industry. They could take six credits of graduate work in the university’s real estate program as part of their elective coursework.
“We have students who take courses to enhance their design skills,” Diane says, “and others who take science credits to gain a richer understanding of psychology.”

Dianne emphasizes the intentional aspect of the program and how the MS in Marketing degree prioritizes a student’s interests and goals above an overly structured program. This includes an online student’s ability to take an on-campus or real-time class during the program.

Career Support and Advice
One of the perks of earning your marketing master’s degree with the University of Cincinnati Online is your access to the university’s Career Services team. “They’re second to none,” Dianne says. “Our graduate students can get support as early as in the first semester of the program.”

The university’s academic advisors and career coaches support all aspects of your career development, including creating a customized roadmap that fits your personal and career goals.

Ready to Become a Remarkable Marketer?
No one can be sure what the future of business will look like, but it’s inevitable there will always be a need for marketers — people who understand the nuances of branding, strategy, market research, buyer behavior and more.

“I often say that the economy runs on business and business runs on marketing,” Dianne says. “The economic pivot and rapid acceleration increase the demand for outstanding marketers.”

Earning an MS in Marketing can open the door to a wide array of career opportunities for you. Many manager and director positions either require or recommend that candidates have a graduate degree.

Completing your education at UC Online and the Lindner College of Business enables you to reach new levels of expertise, ranging from quantitative and qualitative research to branding and advertising.

If you’re ready to explore the benefits of a marketing master’s degree, contact an Enrollment Services Advisor today. They’re here to answer your questions about the program and find out your interest areas and career goals.

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