NIU’s newly-created Master of Science in Digital Marketing (M.S.D.M.) degree, offered by the College of Business, will launch as a fully online program in fall 2018. This Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited degree is designed for the speed of life, giving M.S.D.M. students the flexibility to balance work and family commitments and to enroll on either a full- or part-time basis.
The program appeals to working professionals who seek upward mobility in the rapidly growing field of digital marketing, an area projected to reach expenditures of nearly $120 billion and to account for 46 percent of all advertising spending by 2021, according to a 2017 Forrester Research study. When students graduate from the program, they’ll also be prepared to earn a number of certifications.
“Kudos to NIU’s Department of Marketing for being out in front with this,” says Bethany Harrington, associate vice president of Digital Marketing and Customer Experience at American Family Insurance. “Many organizations lack a clear digital marketing strategy precisely because they lack the professionals who can help develop one.”
In fact, the demand is so great that digital marketing and creative services have become top requirements for new marketing hires, a finding borne out in a number of studies conducted by organizations ranging from Nanji to McKinley Marketing Partners.
“The Department of Marketing has long recognized how significant the need is. As they developed the M.S.D.M., marketing faculty sought out executives on the Marketing Advisory Board and engaged them throughout the development process,” says Balaji Rajagopalan, dean of the NIU College of Business.
NIU’s Department of Marketing knows more than a few things about meeting and even anticipating marketplace needs. Much like the college, the department enjoys a long tradition of crossing classroom and industry boundaries to create outstanding programs that lead to successful careers.
“As the first fully online graduate degree in the College of Business, we recognize the importance for industry and academia alike, the change in how people are engaging on digital platforms,” says Mya Pronschinske Groza, assistant marketing professor and director of the M.S.D.M. program. “Our program allows students to learn how to achieve maximum reach and measurable results utilizing the latest digital marketing tools.”
Geoff Gordon, chair of the Department of Marketing, couldn’t be happier with the level of value-added the M.S.D.M. provides – both in terms of content that makes for successful futures and in terms of how the program’s flexibility accommodates the reality of busy lives. “Our faculty are award-winning across the board,” Gordon elaborates. “They are highly respected in research, teaching, and industry, and they bring that robust level of faculty expertise to every part of our online M.S.D.M. program. We take to heart our daily mission: to provide students with the highest quality faculty expertise and a solid pathway for productive careers over the long haul.”
The Department of Marketing’s approach to online learning intentionally combines high tech with high touch, ensuring that the M.S.D.M. program includes personalized attention along with academic and professional benefits. M.S.D.M. students receive one-on-one admission and advising guidance, and when needed, technology support. They can access course materials, participate in discussions with professors and fellow students, and complete and submit assignments anywhere at any time. By graduation, M.S.D.M. students will possess the knowledge they need to earn certifications in the latest digital marketing technologies – from Google AdWords and Analytics, HubSpot, Qualtrics to Salesforce, Tableau and more.
“Individuals who can demonstrate their digital marketing skills tend to command salary premiums,” Groza says. “As importantly, their careers are beautifully positioned for growth.”
Mark McDonald, digital strategist and author of The Social Organization and The Digital Edge agrees, “Your future success rests in how you and your company capture customers in a digital world. Digital marketing skills are essential for how to lead and achieve in the future. The NIU M.S.D.M. degree will equip you with skills that will serve you well throughout your career.”
NIU’s M.S.D.M. is offered out of the nationally recognized Department of Marketing, housed in the NIU College of Business. The college has held full AACSB International accreditation since 1969, just eight years after its founding. Programs in both NIU Marketing and the NIU College of Business have been ranked nationally over the years, with the college enjoying a national ranking for more than 30 consecutive years. The Department of Marketing and the College of Business both have a distinguished tradition of crossing the boundaries of knowledge generation and learning by creating innovative programs that prepare graduates for long-term success in their careers and their communities.
“Marketing is about creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and society at large,” says Gordon. “This is NIU Marketing’s bread and butter. Our faculty is recognized as experts in their field. Our curriculum remains innovative and cutting edge in large measure because we continually build upon a long legacy of collaboration within our department, college and with a variety of firms in a variety of industries. This approach helps create outstanding futures for our students.”
NIU’s College of Business proudly counts more than 60,000 of its graduates as alumni. Many hold C-suite executive positions in companies of all sizes, located in the Chicago metropolitan area and around the world.