An online marketing associate’s degree can be a great way to further your career, whether you’re a first-time student eager to enter this ever-growing field or a working professional interested in changing careers. There are so many online associate marketing degree programs that it can be difficult to find the one that best fits your needs, though. This ranking will give you several schools to start with, as well as a guide for what to look for in a program.
- #1 – Milwaukee Area Technical College
- #2 – Albany Technical College
- #3 – Coastal Pines Technical College
- #4 – Pitt Community College
- #5 – Kennebec Valley Community College
- #6 – Lakeshore Technical College
- #7 – Ozarks Technical Community College
- #8 – Dakota County Technical College
- #9 – North Hennepin Community College
- #10 – Normandale Community College
Student Support for Online Marketing Associate’s Degree Programs
One thing that can make or break any online program is the quality of its student support. Just because you aren’t earning your degree on campus doesn’t mean you have to fend for yourself. Good online associate marketing degree programs should provide you with many of the same resources available to traditional students.
For example, students should be able to contact their professors and advisors easily and expect prompt responses. Good technical support is also important, especially when your education depends so heavily on technology. Other support services typically offered to online students include online career services, writing center help, and library databases.
Online Associate’s in Marketing Accreditation
All legitimate online marketing associate’s programs are, at a minimum, institutionally accredited because they are part of reputable, accredited schools. As long as you are taking an online program from a school that is accredited by a legitimate accrediting body, you don’t have to worry about the program being a scam. It’s also likely that the program is at least somewhat high-quality, since the institution has met the standards set by its accrediting body.
However, the best online associate marketing degree programs are not only institutionally accredited, but also programmatically accredited as well. Programmatic accreditation is better since it is more thorough. Because the scope is much smaller, the accrediting body is able to take a closer look at the program’s curriculum. The accrediting body is also better equipped to judge whether or not a program equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field.
The organization that accredits most marketing programs is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The ACBSP emphasizes student-centered teaching and developing the skills the industry needs. Most online marketing associate’s programs are ACBSP-accredited because the business departments they are part of are ACBSP-accredited.
Transfer Credits for Online Marketing Associate’s Degree Programs
How important transfer-friendliness is to a prospective student depends primarily on the student’s background. If this is your first time taking college courses, then it’s okay if the programs are stricter when it comes to transfer credit. However, if you have taken courses previously, it’s usually a good idea to transfer as many credits as possible when embarking on your online associate’s in marketing program in order to save both time and money.
It’s typical for most online associate marketing degree programs to allow transfer students to transfer up to 45 credits. The exact requirements for transfer varies greatly between schools, however. It’s always a good idea to ask if your credits will transfer, even if you think they won’t. Some adult learners have been surprised to find that credits they earned years ago could still be counted towards their degree.
On a similar note, some online associate’s marketing programs will offer credits for real-world experience. Typically, credits can be earned in this way through portfolio reviews or assessments. This is somewhat rare, but it can help students complete their degree more efficiently instead of taking courses on material they’re already experienced with.
Format Options for Online Associate Marketing Degree Programs
Even within the online format, there are format variations that prospective students should take into consideration before choosing where to earn their online associate’s degree in marketing. Each variation in delivery format has different pros and cons, so there’s no one-size-fits-all option that is best for every type of student.
One of the biggest format variations to keep in mind is synchronous delivery versus asynchronous delivery. A synchronous delivery format requires students to log in at specific times and dates for activities such as live discussions and live-streamed lectures. This format is great for students looking for a little more structure and interaction in their online courses. However, students who desire more flexibility should look for asynchronous programs. Asynchronous delivery allows students to access lectures, discussion boards, and assignments at any time and day of the week. This is typically the best format for students with full-time jobs or unusual schedules. It is common for programs to use a blend of both formats, but use one more heavily than the other. Purely asynchronous degree programs are more common that purely synchronous programs.
Another variation to look out for is the cohort format. This format is somewhat uncommon, but it is great for students who thrive off structure and community. The cohort format focuses on keeping a group of students together on the same track. Students take the same courses in the same order at the same pace, rather than creating their own custom degree plans with the help of an advisor. Students who need more flexibility will likely not thrive in this format, but this can be a happy medium for students who might not do well with the level of freedom other formats offer.
Other format variations include full-time versus part-time pacing and hybrid versus completely online. Almost every online marketing associate’s program allows students to adjust their pacing in some way, though some are stricter than others.
Likewise, many schools will allow students to take a combination of online and on-campus courses to create a hybrid format, but the details vary greatly from school to school.
Content Customization Options for Online Associate’s in Marketing Programs
Another thing to consider when choosing an online associate marketing degree program is how much flexibility the program will give you when it comes to the curriculum. Unfortunately, it’s rare for students to be given many options at the associate’s level, but it’s still worth knowing what to look out for.
Just like with more advanced degree programs, an online associate’s degree in marketing can be customized with separate concentration tracks. Most programs want to avoid students specializing too early, but some will still offer concentrations such as international business or services marketing, for example. A more common way to customize the content of your degree is by taking electives. Many programs include at least a couple of electives that students are encouraged to use to tailor their degree to their individual career goals.
Since it’s difficult in most associate’s level degree programs to customize the content in a significant way, it’s best to look at the whole program to see what specific career paths it is most suited for. Most undergraduate programs are purposely left more general so that students have more room to explore their options. That said, it’s common for some programs to be more occupation-focused, where others are more geared towards preparing students for a more advanced degree program. Some schools offer both a more academic associate of arts or associate of science in marketing and a more job-oriented associate of applied science to account for this distinction.
Career Options and Outlook for Graduates of Online Associate’s in Marketing Programs
Marketing is a promising career choice, as several other industries depend on good marketing for success. As a result, the rate that marketing careers grow is about the same as the average for all other occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing jobs are expected to grow 9% from 2016 to 2026. The median pay for this field as of 2016 was $127,560 annually, or $61.33 an hour.
Common job titles for individuals with an online associate’s degree in marketing include marketing research assistant, public relations associate, and advertising manager. Higher level positions may be available to individuals with more work experience or certifications.
Online Associate Marketing Degree Programs: Paying for Your Education
Paying for your online associate’s in marketing can seem like a daunting task, but there are steps you can take before, during, and after your studies to make it easier to manage.
Much of the work starts before you even select a school for your online associate’s in marketing degree. Different institutions and departments offer different scholarships. This, combined with the cost of tuition before taking financial aid into account, should be an important part of your decision on which online program to attend. A more expensive program can be feasible, especially if the institution offers larger scholarships.
Students should also be sure to fill out their FAFSA. Not only is this required for most of the scholarships offered by schools, but is also necessary for government grants and loans. Grants such as the Pell Grant can go a long way towards paying for your education. The direct student loans offered through this form are also much better than private loans. They are far less expensive and include benefits such as fixed interest rates, public service loan forgiveness, and better repayment terms. Private loans should be a last resort for funding your online associate’s degree in marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions for Online Associate Marketing Degree Programs
Starting any degree program is a major commitment, so it’s normal for prospective students to have several questions that they want answered before they are willing to invest their time and money into an online marketing associate’s program. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions people have about earning an online associate’s degree in marketing.
Are online associate marketing degree programs as good as traditional-format associate marketing degree programs?
Yes. Most online programs have the same curriculum and professors as their on-campus counterparts. If a school is known for having high-quality traditional-format programs, chances are its online programs are just as high-quality. As long as the program is accredited by a legitimate accrediting body, you don’t have to worry about the program being a scam.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that even if an online program is high-quality, students who need more structure may not do as well as they might in a more traditional program. It’s important to find a format that works best for you, whether that is a more flexible online program or a more structured on-campus program.
Will future employers respect my online associate’s marketing degree?
If you’re concerned about employers valuing degrees earned traditionally more than degrees earned online, chances are you don’t need to worry. The majority of employers don’t care what delivery format you chose as long as you’re competent. That said, even if they do care, they don’t necessarily have to know that you earned your degree online. Most schools don’t indicate anywhere on your degree or transcripts that you completed your degree online.
How long will it take for me to complete my online associate’s marketing degree?
Most online associate’s marketing degrees are designed to be completed in roughly two years. However, several factors can change the amount of time it will actually take you to graduate. The biggest factor is the course load you decide to take on. Taking more classes at a time will allow you to graduate more quickly, whereas taking fewer courses at a time will increase the amount of time it takes for you to complete the program. Transferring in several credits can also dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to earn your degree.
Can I really earn my online associate’s in marketing degree without taking any trips to campus?
Yes. Most online associate’s in marketing programs can be completed entirely online, even if they also offer a hybrid format as an option. However, some programs may require students to come to campus once or twice for orientation, a conference, or similar activities. If your location or schedule doesn’t allow you to travel to campus for these required meetings, it is important to be on the lookout for these requirements when choosing a program.
How much will my online marketing associate’s cost?
Unfortunately, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of earning an online marketing associate’s degree can vary greatly from school to school. It can range from only a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Thankfully, online programs are typically more affordable than traditional programs, because you don’t have to worry about costs associated with living on campus or commuting. There are also several ways to reduce the cost of your degree, such as the grants and scholarships mentioned above, for example.
Ranking the Best Online Marketing Associates Degree Programs
To compile the following list of best online associate’s in marketing programs, we applied the rating methodology below, using data from College Navigator as well as from US News & World Report. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school appears higher in the ranking.
- Under $6,000—1 point
- Under $5,000—2 points
- Under $4,000—3 points
- Under $3,000—4 points
- Under $2,000—5 points
- Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
- Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
#10 – Normandale Community College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Business: Marketing & Management
Normandale Community College is home to a robust, ACBSP-accredited online associate’s marketing degree program. This AAS program requires students to take courses such as Information Technology Concepts & Business Software, Business Practices in the Global Market, Principles of Microeconomics, and Financial Accounting. Students will also learn soft skills necessary for the business world such as critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and problem solving. Graduates of this online marketing associate’s degree offering go on to enjoy successful careers in sales and sales management, product and brand management, marketing research, advertising, and international marketing.
#9 – North Hennepin Community College
Online Marketing Associates Degree
North Hennepin Community College’s online associate’s degree in marketing offering is an accredited AAS program. Enrolled students will take business foundation courses such as Human Relations & Professional Skills, Effective Supervision, and Business Computer Systems as well as marketing specialty classes like Professional Sales and Management, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Consumer Behavior, and Legal Environment of Business. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in professional sales, marketing, and marketing research. This online associate’s marketing degree also articulates to a variety of bachelor’s in marketing programs.
#8 – Dakota County Technical College
Online Associate of Science in Business Marketing
The online associate’s in marketing option from Dakota County Technical College is an AS in Business Marketing designed for students who wish to eventually transfer to a four-year university for further study in marketing. Core courses comprising the curriculum for the program include Advertising Practices and Procedures, Fundamentals of Sales, Digital Marketing, Consumer and Professional Buying Behavior, and Public Relations. Students enjoy convenient start dates in the spring, summer, and fall. Moreover, this online associate’s marketing degree program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. A marketing communications specialist certificate is also available.
#7 – Ozarks Technical Community College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Business and Marketing
The online associate’s marketing degree program from Ozarks Technical Community College is an Associate of Applied Science in Business and Marketing. Required courses for the major include Business Strategy, Managerial Accounting, Business Law, Technology and Digital Literacy, and Principles of Management. These courses are taken in addition to a basic general education requirement. Although the program is primarily designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in various business fields, Ozark Tech’s online associate’s degree in marketing graduates may qualify to transfer their credits to a four-year university for further study in the marketing field.
#6 – Lakeshore Technical College
Online Marketing Associates Degree
Lakeshore Technical College offers a flexible 60-credit hour online associate’s in marketing degree program designed for working adults. The curriculum blends traditional instruction in marketing with marketing and advertising training for the 21st century. Sample courses include Marketing Strategies and Planning, Research and Web Analytics, Promotion in the Social Media Campaign, and Personal Branding. This offering is a FastTrack program and offers both August and January start dates. Online marketing associate’s degree graduates may transfer their credits to more than 30 different universities for bachelor’s-level study.
#5 – Kennebec Valley Community College
Online Associate of Applied Science Marketing/Management
The online associate’s degree in marketing offering from Kennebec Valley Community College is an Associate of Applied Science in Marketing/Management program. Required courses for the major include Personal Selling and Advertising, Math for Business and Economics, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Small Business Management, Investment Planning in Our Society, and Introduction to Ecommerce. KVCC’s online associate’s in marketing students will also have the opportunity to participate in a virtual office environment. An internship experience is required as well.
#4 – Pitt Community College
Online Marketing Associates Degree
Pitt Community College’s online associate’s marketing degree option is an online Associate of Applied Science in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Economics with a concentration in Marketing. Enrolled students will study topics such as retailing, international marketing, marketing research, advertising, and service marketing. Specific course topics include Advertising and Sales Promotion, Principles of Financial Accounting, Social Media Marketing, and Visual Merchandising. The program also offers students the opportunity to join Collegiate DECA, a national marketing organization. Online associate’s in marketing graduates are qualified for entry-level marketing positions in manufacturing, retail, and service organizations.
#3 – Coastal Pines Technical College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Marketing Management
The online associate’s degree in marketing from Coastal Pines Technical College is an AAS in Marketing Management program designed to be completed within 5 semesters. Students enrolled in the program can choose from three specialization options: marketing management, entrepreneurship, and retail management. The curriculum blends traditional marketing courses like Marketing Research and Business Regulations and Compliance with classes in digital marketing like Introduction to Computer Literacy, Digital Technologies, and Desktop Publishing and Presentation Applications. CPTC’s online marketing associate’s degree students may also choose to take advantage of an optional internship/practicum experience.
#2 – Albany Technical College
Online Marketing Associates Degree
Albany Technical College’s online associate’s degree in marketing offering is an Associate of Marketing Management with specialization options in marketing management, entrepreneurship, and retail management. Students enrolled in this 62-credit hour program will take required occupational courses such as Digital Technologies in Business, Marketing Research, Business Regulations and Compliance, and Financial Accounting. Albany Tech’s online associate’s in marketing degree graduates are qualified for entry-level positions in various marketing and management fields.
#1 – Milwaukee Area Technical College
Online Associate of Marketing Management
Milwaukee Area Technical College’s online associate’s degree in marketing program is an Associate of Applied Science in Marketing Management with optional diplomas in marketing management, marketing specialist, and sales specialist. Required courses for the degree include Selling Principles, Supply Chain Management, Advertising Campaign Strategies, and Web and Social Media Management. Several formatting options are available for students who wish to customize their program. For example, the program is available either entirely online or via a hybrid format. Additionally, students who wish to complete their online marketing associates degree quickly can opt for the accelerated format and finish in just 16 months of full-time study.
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