What is the Difference Between an MBA in Marketing and Master’s in Marketing?

You may know that a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a common degree sought by professionals in the business industry. This degree encompasses a broad range of subjects, and marketing is one of them. However, a master’s degree in marketing differs from an MBA. If you want to know the major differences between an MBA with a focus in marketing and a master’s degree in marketing, then consider the following.


For starters, the primary difference between an MBA program and a master’s program in marketing is the level of education you have beforehand. MBA programs do not require a specific bachelor’s degree. For example, if you earn a bachelor’s in English from an accredited university, then you can usually enter most MBA programs without meeting additional prerequisites. Conversely, a master’s program in marketing usually requires some prerequisite coursework in marketing or a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Someone with a political science degree, for instance, would need to meet coursework requirements in order to be accepted into a master’s program for marketing.

Specialty Classification

There is no real “MBA in marketing” because an MBA is a master’s degree in and of itself. People who pursue their MBAs can branch off into many different fields including HR, management, marketing, communications and other business-related career paths. However, students may emphasize a preference for marketing, and some MBA programs may allow you to take a majority of your classes with a focus on marketing. An MBA in marketing doesn’t differ in essence from a typical MBA because students in these programs can go on to pursue many different options.

A master’s in marketing is a path that requires more specific, marketing-based coursework. As mentioned above, you usually need to meet certain prerequisites in order to pursue a master’s in marketing. Schools that offer these programs focus on concepts related to marketing specifically rather than a general education of common business principles. Those who earn a master’s degree in marketing will gain specialized knowledge and in-depth training in the field.

Real-World Translation

How do employers differentiate between the two degrees? The answer depends on the type of company and their current needs. Many employers prefer those with an MBA because these people can contribute on a broader scale. Having studied finance, economics and other subjects aside from marketing, they can be put to use in more than one department. However, some companies, particularly large ones with marketing departments, value those with specialized training and coursework. They respect individuals with a master’s in marketing because of the level of skill required for the job.

What are the major differences between an MBA in marketing and a master’s degree in marketing? In essence, the two degrees vary based on the level of specialization a person seeks. An MBA will allow you to explore many different business-related fields even if the majority of your coursework centered on marketing. A master’s degree in marketing will train you specifically to enter into the marketing profession and requires more career-specific coursework. In either case, you will have a leg up on those without a master’s degree at all.