If you have an interest in marketing and creating advanced campaigns across platforms, then earning a masters in integrated marketing communications may be the next step in your professional journey.
With the rise of varied marketing platforms—such as social media, email, landing pages, and more—individuals versed in integrated marketing may be needed more than ever.
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Integrated marketing communications aims to create a consistent experience for consumers across all types of media. This may lead to an exciting and creative career in building marketing campaigns that touch lives and improve businesses.
Online Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications Programs
A masters in integrated marketing communications is designed to equip students with the skills needed to create cohesive marketing strategies and campaigns across platforms.
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Here, you’ll be exposed to a range of communications concepts ranging from advertising, direct marketing, social media marketing, and more. Alongside this, you’ll learn the art and science of combining these disciplines into a cohesive whole that expands across web, email, social media, commercial, and other platforms.
You’ll also take courses on:
- Campaign strategy and execution
- Consumer behavior
- Database management and modeling
- Digital marketing tools
You can learn various research approaches and techniques in order to understand consumer behavior and measure and predict the success of campaign approaches.
Courses on creative strategy can help you grow your expertise in campaign design and branding. You may also take courses on campaign management, in which you can develop the skills needed to manage cross-platform campaigns. This masters program will also include leadership and ethics courses to help prepare you to lead effective teams and create ethics-driven marketing campaigns.
You can also grow in your understanding of marketing budgets and other financial aspects of campaign creation. Graduates of this type of program often go on to become marketing managers, brand managers, market analysts, social media managers, and more for all types of brands.
Integrated Marketing Communications Careers & Salaries
The broad spectrum of integrated marketing and communications skills learned in a masters in integrated marketing communications program can lead to a variety of career opportunities.
The coursework in this degree path is designed to help graduates create and manage marketing campaigns across all types of platforms for brands. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of career paths related to marketing and communications.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Public Relations Managers||$129,430|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||$127,830|
|Writers and Authors||$73,150|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||$68,230|
|Public Relations Specialists||$67,440|
Some graduates work as social media managers, where they help design and manage brand campaigns across social media channels.
Some professionals work toward becoming a marketing manager for a brand, where they lead a marketing team in an integrated campaign strategy across digital platforms. They may also pursue positions as brand managers, product marketing managers, marketing research managers, online marketing managers, and more.
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Others choose to open their own digital marketing agency, where they lead a team of professionals that manages integrated marketing for clients or provides consultations.
MS in Integrated Marketing Communication Curriculum & Courses
While courses in an integrated marketing communications graduate program can vary depending on your school, here are some examples of courses you may take:
- Integrated Marketing: This course overviews the creation and integration of marketing tactics and plans.
- Digital Marketing: This course focuses on integrating existing and emerging digital marketing tools, including SEO, website UX, content marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, and more.
- Campaign I: Strategy and Execution: This course focuses on the development of core marketing concepts that cross all channels, the creative strategy behind them, and how to build a successful campaign.
- Competitive Strategy: This course focuses on strategic analysis of competitors and audience in order to create marketing initiatives that drive an organization’s success.
- Database Management and Modeling: This course overviews the foundations of database structure, setup, and management, and it also covers analytical tools like logistic regression models.
- Finance for Marketing Decisions: This course focuses on the financial ins and outs of marketing initiatives within businesses, including budgets, profit and loss projections, and more.
- Campaign Planning and Management: This course focuses on planning, executing, and managing marketing campaigns, which includes cross-platform integration and budget allocation.
- Statistical Measurements, Analysis and Research: This course overviews quantitative and qualitative techniques marketers use to develop consumer insights and market potential.
- The C-Suite Perspective: This course explores the differences between management and leadership and covers organizational culture, mission, and values, risk analysis, and more.
- Consumer Behavior: This course overviews the psychological processes behind consumer behavior as well as concepts, theories, and tools used to predict marketplace behavior.
Your coursework could also vary depending on whether or not you choose a concentration, such as brand management, digital marketing, or marketing analytics.
While admissions requirements for an integrated marketing communications graduate program can vary, here are some typical requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree and official transcripts
- Resume or CV
- Personal statement
- Completed application
- Letters of recommendation
Many colleges no longer require GRE or GMAT scores for admissions. Since this depends on your school, though, it’s strategic to contact them to determine what you need. Some schools also request applicants to undergo an interview with faculty.
IMC Programs Accreditation
When exploring different grad schools, it’s beneficial to choose one that is regionally accredited. Accreditation is a process that ensures a standard of quality for colleges, with regional accreditation being considered the most prestigious type.
The accreditation status of your school can impact your eligibility for financial aid as well as future career opportunities. Employers are more likely to recognize academic credentials that were earned at an accredited school.
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You can find visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website to learn more about accreditation and discover whether your prospective school is accredited by a credible organization.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many students pursuing a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications are in need of financial aid. Luckily, there are several financing options available to students who qualify.
For starters, you can consider applying for different types of scholarships and grants. Both grants and scholarships are available for all kinds of majors and life circumstances. You might research scholarships from your school, local community, and national organizations.
Another option is to look into federal and state aid programs. They often provide financing in the form of student loans. Your eligibility can vary based on your financial situation and state.
To apply for financial aid and determine your eligibility, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
What Is Integrated Marketing Communications?
Integrated marketing communications is a marketing approach that aims to create a consistent experience for consumers across all types of media. Because 21st-century marketing contains so many marketing opportunities through various media—such as social media, email campaigns, and so on—integrated campaigns are often necessary.
Integrated marketing aims to create cohesive campaigns across all of the available platforms in order to create a positive familiarity with an audience. From visual design and content to delivery style, integrated marketing campaigns also work with a lot of consumer data to create compelling marketing strategies.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications?
Graduates with a master’s in integrated marketing communications have often developed advanced campaign creation skills. As a result, they may have access to many career opportunities.
Some professionals help design, manage, and measure campaign metrics across multiple media channels—like social media, email, and commercials—for various brands. They may pursue positions as brand managers, market strategists, market analysts, social media managers, digital marketing managers, media managers, and more.
Those with experience may also move into senior positions, such as that of a chief marketing officer or public relations manager.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Integrated Marketing Communications Masters Degree Online?
How long a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications takes to complete can vary depending on your enrollment timeframe and the number of required credit hours.
Like a masters in communication management online or on campus program, most masters programs can be completed in 1 to 2 years with full-time study. Generally, a 36 credit hour program with no thesis required can be completed in 1 year with full-time enrollment, which includes enrollment during the summer.
If your program does require the completion of a thesis, it may add some additional time to completion. Attending part-time at any time could also extend the overall time it takes to complete your program.
Is an Integrated Marketing Communication Master Degree Worth It?
Yes, an integrated marketing communication master degree is worth it for many students. Integrated marketing communications could be a strategic professional path for creative individuals who enjoy working with design and content.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is forecast to grow 10% over the next ten years. This is considered a faster than average growth, which may indicate more career opportunities. Plus, as more and more digital platforms become available, there will likely be a need for more integrated marketing communications professionals.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Georgetown University offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Integrated Marketing Communications. The program requires 33 credits, which can typically be completed in 2 to 5 years, depending on full-time or part-time attendance. The curriculum emphasizes real-world case studies and up-to-date practical skills.
Georgetown University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Kansas features a 100% online MS in Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications. The program requires 30 credits and typically takes 1 to 2 years to finish. The online curriculum features a high level of flexibility and instruction from the same faculty who teach on campus.
The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of North Carolina – Wilmington offers a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication. This online program requires 30 credits including a thesis, portfolio, or applied project as a capstone. The required coursework can typically be completed in 1 year and there are 6 start dates every year.
UNCW is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of West Alabama offers an online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications. The curriculum aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles. The program requires 30 credits. Courses are 8 weeks long and the required coursework may be completed in as little as 1 year.
The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
West Virginia University offers an online MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. The program does not require GRE/GMAT scores. The 30 required courses can be completed in an asynchronous format. The curriculum is highly customizable through elective options, and there are no in-person requirements.
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications Online
Pursuing a masters in integrated marketing communications online could be a convenient way to earn an advanced degree while continuing your career. The demand for integrated marketing communications professionals will likely continue to grow as the number of marketing platforms increases alongside the advancement of technology.
This degree path could be strategic for people working in marketing who want to learn more about integrated approaches to advance their career and work with higher-level campaigns. This graduate degree could also be beneficial for creatives who are passionate about campaign design, branding, and the creation of relatable and engaging content for brands and consumers.
Why not start exploring accredited online colleges for communications degree today?