Certificate in Marketing

What is a Certificate in Marketing?

A certificate in marketing is awarded to individuals who complete a course of study in the principles and practice of marketing. A certificate can be awarded for undergraduate or post-graduate study, and is generally earned more quickly than a degree due to an abbreviated course of study compared to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The study for a certificate in marketing generally covers the same topics as a degree, while focusing on the skills and knowledge most important to potential employers. Other certificates may focus on one particular area of marketing, forming the foundation for expert knowledge in a given marketing subject. Certificates in marketing are offered by traditional degree-granting schools as well as by professional associations.

What Can You Do with a Certificate in Marketing?

One entry level position for which a certificate in marketing can be useful is advertising sales agents. Advertising sales agents sell advertising space in publications and on the Internet, and so must have a strong grasp of marketing concepts. This position pays an average annual salary of $45,350 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with anticipated job growth of 13% between 2010 and 2020.1

A certificate in marketing can also qualify individuals to become desktop publishers. Desktop publishers design product and advertising layouts for print publications and Internet websites, at an average salary of $36,610 per year.2

For those looking to enter a management track, a marketing certificate can be helpful to lodging managers. Lodging managers oversee the administration and public image of hotels and other locations that accept guests for overnight stays. The BLS reports that lodging managers make an average annual salary of $46,880 per year with a projected job growth rate of 8%.3

Many professional marketing organizations offer professional designations that can promote careers in marketing, for which minimum education is frequently required. The Marketing Research Association, which offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC), requires a set number of industry-related education hours for the PRC.

Prerequisites and Requirements

The prerequisites and requirements for admittance to a marketing certificate program vary widely. Most programs require applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED, and may require a minimum high school GPA. More competitive programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, and may require a minimum undergraduate GPA. However, it is rare for marketing certificate programs to require college exams such as the ACT or SAT, and many certificate programs have flexible admissions based on career experience.

Typical Coursework

Most marketing certificate programs require the completion of four to eight courses in marketing, which in many cases are structured similar to college courses whether taken online or in the classroom. The content and time to completion for a certificate in marketing will vary depending upon the program and marketing specialty pursued. Select programs will help students arrange internships, which may be eligible for course credit. Typical courses for a marketing certificate include:

  • Introduction to Social Media
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Creating Marketing Plans
  • Direct Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Advertising Copywriting
  • Marketing Databases
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Multichannel Marketing
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Internet Business Models
  • Consumer Behavior

Marketing through modern media channels requires a deep understanding of how consumers access and use information. Employers seek professionals who can demonstrate this understanding, so a certificate in marketing can give those interested in a marketing career a competitive advantage.

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1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/desktop-publishers.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://bls.gov/ooh/management/lodging-managers.htm