How to successfully advance your career through education

As a relatively recent discipline that’s emerged, digital marketing might seem like the kind of field where the only true teacher is experience. Experience certainly is one of the best ways to find out what works and what doesn’t. It can be hard to learn those real world lessons if no one’s willing to give you a chance to learn. Traditionally, that’s what a degree program is for. For a field that’s as fresh and fast to evolve as digital marketing, can there really be university courses that are up on the latest trends? That’s a good question. Let’s discus how to advance your career through education.

The most relevant degree programs out there can teach you everything from the basic tenets of the field to the latest in digital and social media marketing. For those trying to kick start their career, or transition to a related business career, there are few options as powerful as a well-tailored degree.

Successfully advance your career through education

Business degree programs have a wide variety of specialization options, available as both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

A Bachelor’s Degree

If you’re just getting started in your career, or have yet to enter the field, a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus in marketing can certainly start you off on the right foot. Such programs teach the fundamentals of marketing, how to analyze market data, and consumer behavior. You have to learn the basics. They are not the main focus of most modern business degree programs today.

Instead, many top business schools have begun to ensure that students can start building a portfolio. They can simulate those valuable real world experiences even before they graduate. Take the University of Michigan for example, rated as the #1 school for marketing by US News and World Report. The Ross School of Business at University of Michigan structures its program around what they call “signature learning experiences.” It culminates with a big project.

This gives students a chance to actually use what they’re learning. It also provides evidence of work to put on a resume after graduation. And that’s all in addition to internship and practicum options, both locally and abroad. They can act as a foot in the door for entering the industry.

Reinvigorate your career with new skills

If you’re already progressing through your career, a bachelor’s degree won’t be enough. You’ll need a boost to reach the next level. What are your other options?

A Master’s of Business Administration

A Master’s of Business Administration or MBA is one of the strongest choices available to help you advance. As a degree, it holds near universal respect, particularly when compared to the often confusing world of certifications.

An analysis of the data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics concludes marketing managers, marketing specialists, and market research analysts who receive an MBA have a wage premium of 38%. This means that workers who have a master’s degree in those positions are paid on average 38% more than their coworkers without a master’s.

While it takes some time to earn, there can be no doubt that an MBA will pay for itself.

MBA programs offer even more specialties than undergraduate business programs do. Therefore, it can be hard to find two business schools with the same list of options. There are even online MBA options.

An MBA in Digital Marketing

MBA programs in digital marketing are taught by professors who perform research about digital marketing techniques and developments in social media. They keep up with the latest trends and it is a key part of their job. Courses focus on subjects like analytics on “big data,” running integrated marketing campaigns, and cutting edge areas like cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Expanding your knowledge into these emerging technologies can give you just the advantage you need. They can help you when competing for top positions at major companies. They provide yoi with the confidence that you’re staying educated and offering them the best strategies you can.

But furthering your education in marketing isn’t the only option for getting ahead.

An MBA in Leadership or Management

An MBA in leadership or management can help you to acquire the skills to take on leadership positions within your company. Whether it’s heading teams to tackle particular campaigns or stepping up to guide the entire marketing department, a leader needs to be able to set goals, delegate responsibilities effectively, and handle problems as they arise.

MBA programs focusing on management will teach you all of this as well as other crucial information, such as group psychology, how to create teams, and how to facilitate camaraderie among your team members. You can start putting these sorts of skills to use in the workplace almost immediately, and having the documented experience of learning can help to prove that your leadership potential is very real.

An Executive MBA

You can even take this a step further with Executive MBAs, sometimes shortened to EMBA. These are programs for corporate executives and managers. EMBA programs focus on the skills needed to succeed in the upper echelons of the corporate world. They are convenient for full-time working professionals. They are brief but intense class sessions. The program is usually held on the weekends. Most EMBA programs last a year and a half. This is faster than a typical full-time MBA without sacrificing your existing progress climbing the corporate ladder. As such, most EMBA candidates are generally fairly far along in their careers.

EMBA students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, for example, typically had 12 years of work experience behind them, compared to the traditional MBA program’s average of 4 years. For the ambitious executive, an EMBA provides a career jumpstart.

Advance your career through education

Education has never been in doubt as a key ingredient for success. It can sometimes be hard to know what the right amount of schooling is. Fortunately, business schools are well aware of the need to gain experience before returning to the classroom to hone the skills they now know they require in the real world.

A bachelor’s in business offers all the tools to begin a career, no matter the particular discipline. Master’s programs present the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and specific skills in a variety of topics. They are compatible with careers, allowing you to continue working uninterrupted. The versatility of an MBA and the flexibility of most MBA programs combine to make this degree one of the most powerful tools for getting ahead in any field. Whatever you choose, advance your career through education.

This guest blog article was written by Carlyle Edmundson. He is a writer for Study.com, a company that aims to deliver a better way to learn.