What To Look For In A Marketing MBA

What To Look For In A Marketing MBA

If you’re interested in a career in marketing, experts say you should seek an MBA program that is communication-focused and technically-oriented.

Ilana Kowarski, of US News, recently spoke to experts on how applicants can find the best MBA program in marketing.


Experts say that it requires more than just solid communication to succeed in marketing.

“Marketing is not just about communication,” Tim Derdenger, an associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, tells US News. “People always … have the misunderstanding that marketing is only about communicating something to consumers.”

While communications is an important component of marketing, Derdenger says, it really all boils down to understanding the product you are selling.

“All of those things really come back to understanding the product and the business model and doing that most efficiently and profitably for the firm,” Derdenger tells US News.


A marketing MBA can be particularly helpful in giving insight into specific types of marketing. For students set on landing a marketing job post-grad, experts say, it’s important to first understand what kind of marketing you want to do.

“‘Marketing’ is a very broad field,” Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of the Accepted admissions consulting firm, tells US News. “Brand management, product management, advertising, or strategy, are all part of ‘marketing.'”


Experts say a marketing MBA can be especially helpful if the program places an emphasis on digital marketing trends.

“A lot of MBA programs leave out the digital piece, although I feel that’s a mistake,” Anthony Gaenzle, director of marketing for both SE Healthcare in South Carolina and Saxton & Stump in Pennsylvania respectively, tells Top MBA. “Digital should be a significant component of any marketing requirement in MBA curriculum. MBA candidates who hope to begin and remain successful in marketing careers should really work to develop a strong grasp of the digital space to complement leadership and other critical business skills acquired during the pursuit of an MBA.”

Abraham says prospective marketing MBA students should research a program’s marketing placement statistics prior to applying.

“Strong placement in marketing functions and at companies known for their marketing would be the best indicator that the school provides great preparation for a career in marketing,” Abraham tells US News.

Jenna Hess, a Chicago-based professional career coach and a former associate director of employer development at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, stresses that applicants should look into where alumni of a program end up working too.

“The essential things to consider when researching business schools for a marketing career are the volume and type of companies recruiting their students for marketing roles, and the strength of their marketing alumni network,” Hess tells US News. “MBA schools publish employment reports that include the number and percent of students with internships and full-time roles in marketing, their median compensation, and often the specific companies that recruit their students.”

Sources: US News, Top MBA

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