Earning an Online Associates Degree in Marketing & Advertising

Online associates degree in marketing programs introduce students to developing new advertising campaigns, overseeing product development, and monitoring trends that affect your target market. Many online marketing associates degree programs are focused on teaching you the fundamentals of identifying markets and meeting their demands and expectations.

Online Associates Degree in Marketing - Associates in Marketing

Typically, these programs combine group projects, independent study, exams, and case studies. They also involve creating mock businesses and campaigns. That’s why online marketing associates degree programs often appeal to people who are creative, dependable, and self-motivated. Continue reading to learn more about earning your associates in marketing and advertising degree online. Keep in mind that you can click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual programs at any time.

Online Associates Degree in Marketing: Basics

Typically, earning your online associates degree in marketing takes about 2 years for full-time students, which breaks down to 20 classes and 4 semesters. This may take longer for part-time students. Courses and coursework are focused on providing students with a fundamental knowledge of business, as well as marketing and advertising in particular.

Many marketing and advertising associates degree online programs are focused on providing students with the fundamental education needed to succeed in entry-level positions. This includes developing strategies to appeal to and sell to your target market, creating marketing plans, and understanding the effect of accounting and economic principles. Programs also focus on the legal and ethical principles involved with marketing.

Choosing the Right Associates Degree in Marketing

Some of the online associates degree in marketing programs are focused on both marketing and advertising, but others are focused on one or the other. That’s why it’s important for you to research individual schools and programs to find the perfect match for you.

What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

Both marketing and advertising are vague topics, which is why it may be hard to tell the difference between marketing and advertising. However, they are not synonymous terms. Marketing is a comprehensive plan that includes advertising, which means advertising is part of an overall marketing strategy that includes many other components.

This may cause confusion as you research online marketing and advertising associates degree programs. To help, here’s a breakdown of both marketing and advertising, what each includes, and how they’re different.

"Marketing is designed to get a response. Advertising is designed to raise awareness."

James Pollard Marketing Consultant at Advisor Coach - What Can I do with an associates degree in marketing?

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James Pollard Marketing Consultant at Advisor Coach

Marketing: There are 4 main pieces of the marketing mix, commonly referred to as the 4 P’s of marketing.

These are:

  1. Price
  2. Product
  3. Promotion
  4. Place

Therefore, marketing covers many different topics of which advertising is one piece. Other topics include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Public Relations
  • Product Pricing
  • Distribution
  • Sales Strategy
  • Customer Support
  • Market Research

Advertising: As you can see from above, advertising is one component of the overall marketing mix under “promotion”. People may get confused because advertising commonly communicates information about the other three P’s (product, place, pricing) to an organization’s target market. An easy way to remember the difference between marketing and advertising is that marketing uses advertising campaigns to reach the target market through direct mail, email, television, radio, internet, and many other forms.

When searching for associates in marketing and advertising degree online programs, it’s important to understand this difference. Most advertising programs may include more courses focused on design and creativity. On the other hand, marketing programs may focus more on the business and financial components.

The difference between marketing and advertising is the difference between showing and telling.

When you advertise to people, you’re telling them this is what we do and we do it well, so you should use our product/service. When you market to people, you show them what you do and that you do it well. This is why marketing always trumps advertising. When people can see for themselves that you do something well, it’s so much more powerful than just telling them.

Rafael Romis CEO Weberous

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Rafael Romis CEO of Weberous

Common Courses While You Earn Your Marketing Associates Degree 

While earning your online associates degree in marketing, you’ll take a number of classes focused on providing you the fundamental business knowledge you’ll need in marketing and advertising. Most of these business courses are standard to all business degrees, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, and management.

You will also take a number of classes specific to marketing and advertising to provide you with the fundamental knowledge in these fields and how they influence businesses and organizations. These classes may vary from program to program, however, some of the more standard ones include, but aren’t limited to the following.

  • Introduction to Marketing: During this course, students are taught how organizations create, communicate, and deliver value to customers. Specific topics may include marketing research, environmental monitoring, identifying target markets, promotion, distribution, and pricing.
  • Consumer Behavior: This course teaches students the behavior that consumers display while searching for, purchasing, evaluating, and disposing products.
  • Online Multimedia Marketing: Students explore the emergence of new marketing techniques such as weblogs and podcasting. This course may also explore creating and evaluating proposals, media purchasing, and online public relations.
  • Public Relations and Advertising Strategies: During this course, students examine the similarities and differences between public relations, advertising, and promotional marketing. They may also learn the difference between a target audience and a target market, as well marketing interactions with current and new customers.
  • Integrated Marketing Communications: Students are taught how companies use Integrated Marketing Communications (IMO) to make sure that their message is heard through the highly competitive and cluttered marketplace.

Accreditation for Online Marketing Associates Degree Programs

When it comes to choosing the perfect online associates degree in marketing program, it’s important to find schools that are accredited because that means the school or program provides students with an education that meets or exceeds preset standards. There are both national and regional accrediting agencies, and some accredit entire schools, while others only do individual programs.


Experts say that most employers check to verify that a job candidate’s online degree comes from an accredited program.

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is one of the main accrediting bodies to look for when choosing to pursue your online associates degree in marketing. The DEAC is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which means it meets strict criteria. However, there are many other regional accrediting agencies that hold programs to similarly high standards to ensure students that they meet certain curriculum requirements, academic quality, and learning resources.

Is an Online Associates Degree in Marketing Worth It? What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Marketing?

There are a number of entry-level positions you may be qualified for after earning your online associates degree in marketing and advertising. Two of the most common roles include public relations specialist and advertising sales agent, which have very different roles inside of a company or organization.

For instance, a public relations specialist may be responsible for maintaining files on an organization’s activities, scanning media articles for relevant information, and writing news releases and speeches.iOn the other hand, an advertising sales agent sells advertising space to businesses and individuals.iiTherefore, most advertising sales agents are personable and good at networking and performing sales presentations. While a college degree isn’t required, some employers, especially larger companies with higher circulation numbers, prefer applicants to have a college degree.iii

Take the Next Step to Earn Your Online Marketing Associates Degree

Get on track by finding the perfect online marketing and advertising associates degree program for you. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual programs. This includes admission requirements, curriculum, and coursework. Plus, you can talk to the school directly to request more information. Research as many different schools as you need to find the perfect online marketing associates degree program for you!

[i] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-4 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm#tab-2 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/sales/advertising-sales-agents.htm#tab-4