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How Can an Online Marketing Degree Boost My Career Prospects?

How Can an Online Marketing Degree Boost My Career Prospects? main image

Sponsored by Imperial College Business School

While more of us are enrolling in some form of online learning program than ever before, there are still concerns surrounding studying a degree online. Will prospective employers take my online degree seriously? Is an online degree as reputable as a ‘traditional’ degree? Can an online degree help my marketing career development? (Spoiler: the answer to all three is yes).

Online degree programs allow you to study practically anywhere in the world as well as balance your studies with other responsibilities such as your job and family. So it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your marketing career – if you want to move on up or move over into the world of marketing, an online marketing degree can help you do just that (and you won’t even have to put your career on the back burner while doing so).

We spoke to Ceri Willmott, Career Consultant at Imperial College Business School and Emma Bevis, Talent Acquisition Partner at Early Careers, Dyson to find out more.

Get up-to-date knowledge of the industry and build your digital toolkit

In what is becoming an increasingly globalized world, it’s becoming very much apparent that good marketers who have the right digital capabilities are well in demand.

“There are a multitude of soft and technical skills important in a marketing function, especially for students wanting to become future business leaders. Data analytics and digital skills are always going to be critical, but innovative thinking and entrepreneurship are also going to be sought-after traits,” said Bevis.

“Commercial awareness, adaptability and creativity will help in setting yourself up for success in a commercial or marketing function. It’s important to also self-reflect and be able to recognize your own personal development for successful career growth.

“Being able to navigate this way of working alongside strong time-management will be a huge advantage,” she added. 

In what is becoming an increasingly globalized world where services, facilities and resources are moving over to digital platforms, the need for those who have the knowledge and digital skills to work in such settings is critical – which is why the two-year online MSc in Strategic Marketing program at Imperial College Business School aims to train students in having a key understanding in “marketing fundamentals with the latest thinking and tools in strategy, technology and innovation.”

You can choose your own electives to suit your career needs

This is where you can take full control of your learning. Whether you aspire to climb the career ladder in your current company, or find new opportunities elsewhere, the modules you choose to study in your online marketing degree can help you get where you want to be.

You won’t be left out of practical and interactive experiences either, as students will have the “ability to apply and embed new learnings from the degree in the context of real challenges and opportunities in the workplace,” said Willmott.

An increasing number of online degrees – such as Imperial’s online MSc in Strategic Marketing – also offer work-based projects. Students will be able to carry out this project for their current organization or as a consultant for an individual company as they work on a real marketing project from start to finish, drawing on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the degree.

Your next job opportunity might come around thanks to a new-found network connection

Although you may not collaborate with your peers and professors face-to-face, this doesn’t mean your networking skills can take a back seat. It may be daunting, but it’s usually a classic case of the sooner you do it, the easier it’ll get, and the quicker the chances of new and exciting opportunities that’ll come knocking.

Not forgetting as well your university or business school’s career services team. Even if you’re studying your degree online, students at Imperial College Business School can still access one-to-one careers support.

“One of the really incredible thing about the Careers Service provision for online students is that they have unlimited access to a Careers Consultant,” said Sarah Ranchev-Hale, Director of Employer Relations at Imperial.

“Let’s say you have an online student who’s interested in working in the technology sector. They could connect with the Careers Consultant who looks after technology and really delve deep into what they might be missing to get into the career of choice they’re hoping for. There’s a really great opportunity there for the student to drive how they access that service, and make sure it helps them get the job that they’re looking for,” she added. 

It demonstrates your commitment and ability to take responsibility

In the same FutureLearn Employer Survey 2018, 73 percent of recruiters considered "online courses valuable when considering the promotion of an existing employee".

There’s no doubt studying an online degree while balancing your job and/or family has its challenges. But it does also offer “greater flexibility to study when it suits you and manage other commitments,” said Willmott.

In an industry that’s as lucrative and competitive as marketing is, you’re going to want to stand out from the crowd as much as possible. An online degree can do just that, demonstrating a genuine commitment to the industry.

“I would be extremely interested in seeing more students complete an online degree, it provides students with the flexibility to study while building practical experience and contributing to group project work,” said Bevis.

“It will provide an opportunity to showcase their passion and engagement for marketing, but the course could be very versatile for a career in a number of different industries and organizations.”

Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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