The 15 Best Online Certificate in Marketing Programs

by TBS Staff
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Choosing the right certificate in marketing program requires an understanding of how certificates align with your professional goals.

A certificate in marketing can lead to an entry-level job, a career change, or a management position. These programs cover foundational and specialized material at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Marketing training can help professionals pursue some of the most in-demand positions in business and finance.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 18% growth in market research analyst jobs from 2019-2029 — more than four times the average rate for all occupations. Though COVID-19 negatively affected the marketing profession, the pandemic also reshaped markets and changed how organizations reach consumers. This shift could lead to an even greater demand for professionals with digital marketing and e-commerce skills.

With the variety of marketing certificate programs and career pathways available, choosing the best program can be challenging. This page aims to help students with this decision by providing detailed information on the various marketing credentials and careers, along with a ranking of the best marketing certificate programs online.

Top 10 Online Certificate in Marketing Programs 2021
#1 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
#2 University of Maine at Machias Machias, ME
#3 Macomb Community College Warren, MI
#4 Ozarks Technical Community College Springfield, MO
#5 Hagerstown Community College Hagerstown, MD
#6 Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell, PA
#7 Pitt Community College Winterville, NC
#8 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ
#9 Dakota County Technical College Rosemount, MN
#10 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Certificate in Marketing Programs

Ferris State University true View School Profile $ Big Rapids, MI 84% Ferris State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Ferris serves more than 14,000 students annually. The school’s distance education offerings include an online marketing certificate that emphasizes concepts and practical applications related to database-driven direct marketing. The certificate program explores direct marketing as both an overall business model and as an aspect of marketing communications, covering topics in planning, promotion, merchandising, fulfillment, and customer service. Other topics featured throughout the curriculum include strategic business planning, business-to-consumer offers, turnkey catalog operations, direct marketing math, and media planning.

Certificate holders often pursue entry-level positions with advertising and marketing agencies or continue their studies to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree. The certificate program uses a fully online, asynchronous format, meaning students can access their coursework any time of day through the school’s online learning platform. Students must complete all required courses with a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to earn the certificate.

University of Maine at Machias true View School Profile $ Machias, ME 59% University of Maine at Machias is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).

One of the seven members of the University of Maine System, UMM ranks among the smaller colleges in the state, enrolling around 800 students annually. The school hosts several distance education programs, including one of the best online marketing certificate programs in the state. The 18-credit certificate in marketing requires a total of six courses, including five core courses and one elective.

The certificate core covers major topics in marketing and entrepreneurship, advertising, personal selling, consumer behavior, and marketing management. Students can choose one of three courses to fulfill the elective requirement: marketing channels, marketing for nonprofit organizations, or marketing research. UMM offers a special “Mainers in exile” tuition rate that allows former in-state students who reside outside of Maine to pay the in-state tuition rate.

Macomb Community College true View School Profile $ Warren, MI 38% Macomb Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Operating multiple campuses around Macomb County in Michigan, MCC offers several online options for marketing students, including a certificate in marketing and a skill specific e-marketing certificate. Marketing courses available at the college include business enterprise, small business marketing, sports and entertainment marketing, and professional selling, making the certificates widely applicable to an assortment of industries.

Students who complete the marketing certificate program can apply their credits toward an associate degree in business management. MCC’s articulation agreements with several four-year colleges throughout Michigan also make it possible to transfer credits toward a bachelor’s in business, marketing, or a related field. Online students also receive support from the school’s career services center, which can connect graduates to job and internship opportunities. MCC provides affordable tuition rates as well, with 80% of students graduating without any student debt.

Ozarks Technical Community College true View School Profile $ Springfield, MO 40% Ozarks Technical Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A major public college, OTC serves more than 15,000 students, with nearly half enrolled in at least one online course. The school’s 30-credit online marketing certificate explores foundational topics in accounting, business, marketing, communications, and management. Students also select one elective course in a related area, such as microeconomics, advertising, or consumer psychology.

Graduates of the certificate program often pursue entry-level work in retail, marketing, accounting, or management. Students may also apply their credits toward the school’s 61-credit associate of applied science in business and marketing degree. Those who wish to transfer to a bachelor’s program at a four-year college should contact outside institutions to determine their specific credit transfer requirements. OTC offers a variety of student services for online learners, including career employment services, writing tutoring, library resources, and testing services.

Hagerstown Community College true View School Profile $ Hagerstown, MD 44% Hagerstown Community College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1946 as Maryland’s first community college, HCC offers students one of the top marketing certificate programs online. The school’s certificate in management marketing option requires a total of 18 credits, building foundational skills in marketing that students can apply to professional work or further academic study. The certificate includes six courses covering business communication, macroeconomic principles, information technology, principles of management, and marketing.

The entire certificate curriculum uses a fully online format with an asynchronous delivery mode, enabling students to complete coursework at any time of day without ever visiting the school’s Hagerstown campus. While the program requires no set login times, candidates must still meet deadlines for submitting assignments. Students who complete the certificate program can apply their credits toward HCC’s associate in applied science in marketing degree.

Montgomery County Community College View School Profile $ Blue Bell, PA 40% Montgomery County Community College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Serving more than 12,000 students each year, MCCC operates a sizeable online program. The school’s 30-credit online marketing certificate emphasizes communication skills and fundamental marketing concepts, with a curriculum designed for both working professionals and students new to the business world. Comprising a total of 10 courses, the certificate curriculum explores major topics such as ethical decision making in business, advertising and promotion, personal sales management, and digital marketing.

Students can also complete an optional three-credit internship, performing supervised work in a professional marketing setting. The internship Typically, requires about 15 hours per week, and online learners can intern at local organizations in their own community. Those who complete the certificate can also apply their course credits toward MCCC’s associate degree in management, which Typically, takes just one additional year to complete.

Pitt Community College View School Profile Winterville, NC 46% Pitt Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A member of the expansive North Carolina Community College System, PCC hosts a substantial distance program that offers online marketing courses with certificates. The college’s business administration: marketing certificate builds foundational knowledge in marketing and retailing, training students to produce marketing plans, create advertisements, prepare sales presentations, and create product and logo designs. Students complete an 18-credit curriculum that includes six courses, covering the fundamentals of selling, marketing research, advertising and sales promotions, and office software applications.

Ideal for working students, the program uses a fully online, asynchronous format that makes it easy to balance classwork with professional obligations. Marketing certificate candidates at PCC can join the school’s chapter of DECA, a student organization focused on marketing and entrepreneurship. DECA members take advantage of professional support and development opportunities, joining a community of marketing students and businesses leaders.

Scottsdale Community College View School Profile $ Scottsdale, AZ 57% Scottsdale Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Through a partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, SCC is the country’s only public two-year college located on Native American land. The school serves more than 10,000 students annually through its on-campus and online programs, including a certificate of completion in marketing.

Students pursuing this 18-credit digital marketing certificate online complete six courses, including five core courses and one elective. The program core explores fundamental topics in business and marketing through courses in the principles of sales, advertising principles, the principles of marketing, and computer usage and applications.

Students can choose between several courses to fulfill the elective component, including human relations in business, marketing and social networking, merchandising, and introduction to public relations. Certificate holders often find work in retail, professional sales, entrepreneurship, and wholesaling. Many students also go on to complete SCC’s associate of applied science in marketing and sales.

Dakota County Technical College View School Profile $$ Rosemount, MN 58% Dakota County Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, DCTC offers technical and professional education through both its main campus and a distance education program that hosts one of the state’s best online marketing certificate programs.

The school’s marketing communications specialist certificate explores the foundations of marketing and professional communications, training students in the strategies and tools used to reach consumers. The 28-credit curriculum includes a total of 10 courses, covering topics in public relations, digital marketing tools, marketing research, and marketing communications writing.

Preparing graduates for professional success, the program includes a one-credit portfolio and interviewing course in which students compile a professional portfolio, develop interview skills, and hone their resume and cover letters. The certificate also feeds into DCTC’s associate programs in marketing or business marketing specialist, each of which require an additional 32 credits.

Thomas Edison State University View School Profile $$ Trenton, NJ 58% Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

A public college, TESU emphasizes self-directed learning, offering a substantial online program designed for working students. The school’s 18-credit online marketing certificate offers a broad overview of the field in a fully online format.

The program splits its curriculum evenly between three required core courses and three electives. The certificate core covers topics in marketing, market research, and marketing communications. Electives offer the chance to explore a variety of related topics, including advertising, channels of distribution, marketing management strategy, sales management, and principles of sales.

All courses use an asynchronous format with no designated login times, which makes it easy for working students to complete coursework while maintaining a job. The certificate curriculum also segues seamlessly into TESU’s bachelor of science in business administration in marketing, with all certificate credits counting toward the degree.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College View School Profile Clarkston, GA 20% Georgia Piedmont Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Part of the Technical College System of Georgia, GPTC ranks among the top providers of technical and professional education in the state, serving students across four counties. The school boasts an over 99% job placement rate for its graduates. In addition to several on-campus marketing certificates, the college also offers an online diploma in marketing management.

The 43-credit marketing diploma explores the field in depth, covering topics in advertising, marketing research, retailing, selling, and consumer behavior. The diploma offers three specialization options in entrepreneurship, marketing management, or retail operations, with nine credits dedicated to specialization courses. Students can also participate in an optional three-credit practicum or internship experience. The program takes most students 54 weeks to complete. Program graduates often find work in green marketing, sales management, and advertising and promotions management.

Normandale Community College View School Profile Bloomington, MN 47% Normandale Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Normandale business programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Normandale enrolls more than 10,000 students annually. The school’s online marketing certificate offers a general overview of marketing principles, either as an independent certificate or the first part of an associate degree. Requiring 18 credits, the program includes six courses that cover major topics, such as social media marketing, information technology concepts, the legal environment of business, and professional selling.

Certificate students gain a versatile skill set applicable to many areas of business or to further academic study. The program serves the needs of working students, with a fully online delivery format and asynchronous courses that enable distance learners to complete assignments at their own pace.

North Hennepin Community College View School Profile Brooklyn Park, MN 47% North Hennepin Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

One of the largest community colleges in Minnesota, NHCC also offers one of the best online marketing certificate programs in the state. The school’s marketing and sales certificate builds a foundation in marketing along with general business skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. Students also gain the specialized skills necessary to prepare market research data and analyze marketing communications. Requiring a total of 14 credits, the program includes four courses: consumer behavior, advertising and sales promotion, professional sales and management, and principles of marketing.

While NHCC offers courses online, certificate candidates must complete a four-credit course on campus as part of a required residency component. Students can work with the college to determine the most convenient time to complete their residency requirement. All credits earned through the certificate apply to many of the school’s associate degree programs, including the associate of applied science in marketing.

Dakota College at Bottineau View School Profile Bottineau, ND 28% Dakota College at Bottineau is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A two-year college, DCB offers an affordable, fully online marketing certificate for working students. The 31-credit advertising and marketing certificate trains students to develop consumer audiences and build relationships between businesses and consumers. The program requires two semesters to complete and includes a total of 11 courses, covering topics in management, entrepreneurship, public relations, business communications, and the principles of retailing.

Certificate students often pursue entry-level positions in advertising, communications, publicity, fundraising, and a variety of other fields. Alternately, students can apply their credits toward DCB’s associate of applied science in advertising and marketing, which requires just one additional year of coursework. DCB also maintains transfer agreements with many four-year colleges in the state, making it easy to move from the associate program into a bachelor’s in business or marketing.

Northwest Technical College View School Profile Bemidji, MN 41% Northwest Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

NTC provides professional and technical training to students of all backgrounds, including two online sales and marketing programs: an 18-credit certificate and a 32-credit diploma. The certificate trains students to devise and implement marketing strategies and prepare small business plans, equipping graduates with the skills needed for entry-level positions in the field. Students complete six courses, including principles of marketing, retail management, and e-marketing.

The diploma features a more extensive curriculum, covering topics in business communications, advanced professional selling, and customer relations management. The program includes most certificate courses along with advanced courses, such as customer relations management and financial information for life. Students can apply credits earned in both the certificate and diploma programs toward NTC’s associate of applied science in either business or sales marketing and management.

Best Online Programs

Online Marketing Certificate Program Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

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What Is an Online Marketing Certificate?

Marketing certificate programs vary considerably, depending on the level and focus of the training. Some programs teach marketing fundamentals to help graduates qualify for entry-level positions, while others offer advanced material for experienced professionals who wish to expand their skill sets.

Students will learn to create branding strategies, analyze market trends, and measure brand and campaign effectiveness. They may also acquire specialized skills in digital marketing, international marketing, or marketing analytics.

Certificates in marketing typically provide the same core content as marketing degrees, but in more condensed formats and without the general education courses. These programs usually provide transferable college credits, which is helpful for students who want to pursue degrees.

What's the Difference Between a Marketing Certificate and an Associate Degree in Marketing?

An associate degree in marketing provides similar core training to an entry-level certificate in marketing in addition to general education courses in science and humanities. These two-year degrees prepare graduates for the workforce while setting the foundation for further studies.

The best online associate marketing degrees offer comprehensive training in different aspects of the profession, such as social media marketing, public relations, and integrated communications. Graduates can then qualify for positions in advertising sales or public relations. Many schools offer marketing certificate programs and degrees to accommodate students of different backgrounds and goals.

What Can You Do With a Marketing Certificate?

Graduates with a certificate in marketing are prepared to take on entry-level roles in advertising, market research, and social media. For experienced professionals in business and community management, marketing certificate programs can build on business and branding fundamentals to tackle complex and advanced concepts, such as fundraising and public relations.

Advertising

Advertising professionals help organizations market their products and services. Advertising duties may include identifying target markets, creating marketing campaigns, and selling advertising services.

Marketing certificate program coursework in basic branding and consumer markets helps candidates land entry-level jobs, and classes in advertising design, copywriting, and digital marketing can help experienced professionals take on creative aspects of the field.

Market Research

Market researchers analyze consumer markets and the demand for various products and services. Analysts in this field identify market opportunities for organizations and provide information on competitors, consumer buying habits, and purchasing trends.

Certificate in marketing students can prepare for market research roles by taking classes in marketing analytics, research, and statistics. Learners may also take coursework in consumer behavior, branding, and business intelligence training.

Social Media

Social media professionals manage social media marketing campaigns, create digital content, and foster online communities. These individuals drive consumer interactions and help maintain a company's voice and public appearance.

Marketing certificate programs online can equip both new and seasoned marketing professionals with updated skills for these positions. Candidates seeking social media roles would benefit from taking courses in public relations, digital marketing, and social media.

Choosing an Online Program

When choosing a certificate in marketing, prospective students should consider their career goals and interests. Learners should examine the job requirements for their ideal positions and ensure their certificates provide them with the right skill set. Readers can find more information on choosing the right program at the links below.

Accreditation for Marketing Programs

Applicants should ensure that prospective schools possess regional accreditation. Attending non-accredited schools could lead to employment and financial aid challenges down the road.

Marketing students should also consider programmatic accreditation. Many business and marketing programs receive accreditation from industry organizations, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This recognition ensures the program's training meets or exceeds industry standards.

What to Expect From a Marketing Certificate

Marketing certificate coursework varies based on level and type of training. While every program features its own curriculum, the following section highlights common courses offered by certificate programs.

Marketing Curriculum

  • B2B Advertising: This course teaches students how to market products to businesses. Training covers identifying buyer needs, creating product value, and developing pricing and communication strategies.
  • B2C Digital Marketing: Enrollees will learn about digital marketing strategies, online buying behaviors, and e-commerce marketplaces. Learners will also take courses in social media and search engine marketing.
  • Business Communications: Business communications courses teach learners to communicate effectively through speech and writing. Students learn to use business language in emails, presentations, meetings, and customer service settings.
  • Customer Service: Enrollees examine the role of customer service in modern organizations, including how to deliver effective service in person, in writing, and online.
  • Marketing Strategies: Marketing strategies courses teach students to analyze market conditions and consumer groups. Enrollees learn to develop effective strategies that meet the needs of consumers and align with organizational branding.
  • Professional Selling: Students learn to communicate with buyers and adapt their sales strategies to fit unique situations. Coursework covers buyer behavior, psychology, and persuasion tactics.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Marketing Certificate?

Marketing certificate programs typically take less than one year to complete. Many programs consist of 12-18 specialized course credits, which students can finish in less than six months of full-time study.

Working professionals can enroll in online marketing certificate programs part time. Students can have up to three years to complete these certificates.

Marketing Certifications

Marketing certificate programs train students in certain areas of the field, whereas marketing certifications recognize professionals who meet specific industry standards. In some cases, the training provided by a certificate in marketing can help individuals acquire certification.

While eligibility requirements vary by credential, applicants typically need a combination of prior education and experience to qualify. Some organizations offer optional preparation programs.

Marketing certifications usually require candidates to pass an examination, after which professionals can apply for certification. These credentials often last 1-5 years and can be renewed by completing continuing education credits. Some common marketing certifications include:

Google offers several certifications for individuals who demonstrate Google Ads expertise. Candidates can earn credentials in display, search, measurement, and shopping ads. Professionals can use these certifications to take on new job responsibilities or apply for positions that leverage Google Ads marketing. A Google Analytics certification demonstrates a candidate's ability to effectively implement and manage marketing analytics programs, leading to better marketing responsiveness and results. The credential requires expertise in data collection, configuration, and report-making. The OMCP® digital marketing certification tests candidates on paid searches, email and mobile marketing, and search engine optimization. This credential highlights a professional's practical experience and knowledge in several online marketing disciplines. This dual certification awards professionals who complete the Digital Marketing Pro program and pass the examination. The assessment measures a candidate's knowledge in Google Analytics, digital marketing strategies, and social media marketing. The Hootsuite social market certification examination tests professionals on audience building, advertising, and strategizing. Professionals with this certificate indicate their ability to manage organizations' social media accounts responsibly and effectively.

Marketing Organizations

Professional marketing organizations offer benefits to both new and seasoned professionals. Students and recent graduates can take advantage of career support and mentorship programs, while veteran marketers benefit from networking events, continuing education courses, and professional development programs.

Some organizations accept members from different marketing disciplines across the country, while others limit memberships to individuals from certain geographical regions or specialized groups. These organizations include the American Marketing Association, Black Marketers Association of America, African-American Marketing Association, and the Hispanic Marketing Council.

Marketing Careers

Marketing professionals use their skills in many different careers and industries. Marketing degrees and marketing certificate programs provide access to some of the most promising roles in business and finance.

The list below highlights some of the most common career paths for marketing graduates, but certificate-holders can pursue many other positions depending on their experience and education.

Marketing Career Median Salary (2020)
Marketing Managers $141,490
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
Market Research Analysts $65,810
Public Relations Specialists $62,810
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions

true What Can You Do With a Certificate in Marketing?

A certificate in marketing helps graduates acquire both entry-level and leadership positions in public relations, market research, and social media. Professionals with previous experience can use certificates to advance their careers or expand their responsibilities.

What Are the Best Marketing Certifications?

The best marketing certifications depend on the student and their career goals, as employers typically value credentials that are relevant to their industry. Some highly valued certifications include the Google Ads and Analytics credentials and digital marketing certifications.

Is a Certificate in Marketing Worth It?

Professionals with a certificate in marketing can enter the field in less than a year. These credentials may also help individuals switch careers, advance in their company, or earn more money.

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