What to Look for in a B.S. in Marketing and Communication Degree
In today's competitive job market, having a degree is key to advancing in your career and increasing your earning potential. If you're interested in entering a fast-growing, in-demand industry like marketing, getting a bachelor's degree can help you take the first step towards your goals.
As organizations across all industries and sectors seek to expand and increase their market share, the need for skilled marketing professionals with strong, integrated skillsets continues to grow. Marketing professions have a high projected growth rate over the next several years, with Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates estimating growth at 10% from 2016 to 2026.
Given the increased popularity of this field, it's important to find ways to stand apart from the crowd when it comes to applying for marketing communication jobs. One of the best ways to do this is to pursue an academic credential, which will not only give you an edge over your competition but demonstrate your abilities, skills, and knowledge to potential employers.
If you're considering going back to school to pursue a career in this growing field, you might be wondering how to select the right program for you. While there are B.S. in marketing and communication degree programs being offered by institutions across the world, both on-campus and online, it's important to know what to look for, so you can be sure you're receiving a high-quality education that will position you for success.
How to Find the Right Marketing Communications Program
While every individual's needs will vary, when you're looking for a high-quality marketing communication degree, you should, in general, be looking for a program that meets the following criteria.
Is Delivering Up-to-Date Education
Marketing is a constantly changing field, with new developments in technology, best practices, and platforms emerging all the time. That means that a degree program in the field can get stale quickly if it's not being updated to account for these changes. Look for a degree program that clearly recognizes this and strives to deliver the most up-to-date instruction possible, so that your education is as relevant and timely as possible.
Emphasizes Hands-On Learning
While theory is important in all academic programs, it's important that your marketing degree gives you opportunities for hands-on learning. A program that's designed with experiential learning in mind will help you learn to apply your skills to real-world environments, problem-solve, and think critically - all long-term skills that you can use for the rest of your career, even as technology changes and industry best practices shift over time. A good degree program, regardless of whether it's online or on-campus, will be able to deliver that hands-on experience.
Fits Your Lifestyle
If you are a working professional, chances are, your busy schedule would make it difficult for you to attend on-campus classes. Look for a program that offers a flexible schedule, or a 100% online program, which will allow you to fit your coursework into your life.
Look for programs that have faculty with real-world experience in the marketing and communications field - learning from experts who have actually worked on the issues they're discussing in a professional setting will go a long way towards ensuring that you have the skills and knowledge employers are looking for.
Is Regionally Accredited
Make sure that any institution you're considering attending is regionally accredited. Regional accreditation is the most rigorous and therefore the most highly regarded form of accreditation an educational institution can achieve, and is strictly monitored and reviewed by a board of higher education professionals.
Offers Opportunities to Specialize Your Degree
A good marketing communications degree program will offer a combination of general marketing classes to help you build a broadly applicable skillset, but also give you the opportunity to pursue individual interests and build a specialization through an individual academic track or certificate embedded in the curriculum. These could include things like content strategy, digital marketing, project management, leadership, and more.
When considering what to look for in a marketing communication degree, the criteria above are essential. But don't stop there: you want to make sure that all your questions are answered, and that you feel good about the choice you're making. Continue to explore programs until you've identified one that meets your needs.