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What Master’s Program Is Best for Me: Marketing or Management?

It can be difficult to decide between a marketing Master’s course and a more general focus on management. That’s because it’s not always immediately clear what the differences between the two study courses really are.

After gaining a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, it is not always easy to choose the right Master’s course for you. Many students find it hard to decide on a specialization. This is certainly the case when trying to choose between a Master’s in marketing and a Master in Management. That’s because it’s not always immediately clear what the differences between the two study courses really are.
Three female students researching the choice between a Master's degree in marketing or a more general Business Administration Master's degree.

What is a Master in marketing?

The core difference between a specialized Master in marketing (which is not offered by WHU) and one in management lies in the focus of the course contents. Although you will encounter the fundamentals of business administration and economics as part of the marketing course, the focus is very much on topics such as market research, marketing communication and online marketing. Fields such as sales management, strategic management, controlling, and accounting can also be on the curriculum. You will become familiar with methods of qualitative and quantitative data gathering and data analysis.

The admission requirements for a marketing Master’s are usually flexible. For example, graduates in subjects other than business administration are welcome to apply. However, basic knowledge of business administration is often required. You will also usually need to demonstrate a good command of English because a number of English terms are commonly used in the world of marketing, and international exchange is a key characteristic of the industry. On some degree programs, certain modules or even the entire course is taught through the medium of English.

With a Master in marketing you will be ready to embark on a career as a subject-matter expert or manager in a number of different industries. Some of the roles for which the Master’s degree prepares you include marketing manager, PR or product manager, and sales manager. With this qualification you can work in advertising agencies, PR agencies, market research institutes, and consulting companies.

What does a Master in Management give you?

With a WHU Master in Management, you develop a broad base of skills and knowledge from the very beginning, encountering a diverse spectrum of topics as part of your course. As the demands of the business world become increasingly complex, with a traditional Master in Management you will be optimally prepared for the challenges of company management. The curriculum normally includes topics such as information systems, accounting, controlling, and HR management. International management and elements of marketing also often make up part of the course. The study path is interdisciplinary in nature and requires a certain skill with numbers.

As a rule, an initial degree in business is required for admission onto management courses, and a good command of English is a prerequisite. The aim is to develop the knowledge and methods you acquired during your Bachelor’s course, and to place a special focus on one sub discipline, for example controlling.

Armed with a Master in Management you will have a number of doors open to you in the world of work. Unlike with the Master in marketing, you acquire a broad spectrum of knowledge in different areas, and you do not commit to a specialty field. As a result, your versatility will allow you to fulfil a variety of functions, and you will have a greater choice of positions you can apply to. For example, you can start your career in business and HR consulting, HR management, or traditional controlling. You will also be prepared for marketing roles, but without being limited exclusively to those.

Combining marketing and business administration in one Master?

WHU’s Master in Management (MiM) Program allows you to get to know both marketing and business administration better during your Master’s degree. This means you needn’t decide between the two for the time being – with this versatility, you can prepare for career opportunities in various different industries.

As part of the curriculum you will find modules from the field of marketing and sales, as well as traditional business administration components. Why not learn about B2C price management and blockchain programming in parallel as part of one Master’s degree? With this Master in Management, you get the chance to adapt your course to your career goals. As soon as you have gained an overview of the basic methods and knowledge of management, you can concentrate on one of the specialist fields. You are then still free to decide whether you want to focus on marketing and sales, or on financial accounting.

Applied learning and practical application are core elements in your education. After successfully completing your first two semesters at WHU, you can gain valuable hands-on experience through an internship. All kinds of possibilities are open to you – whether in Germany or further afield. In addition to that, all courses of study also include a semester abroad, which you can complete at one of 200 partner universities around the world. This helps you to develop a global understanding of intercultural topics.

Would you prefer to acquire a deeper understanding in financial management or do you plan to establish your own company? If so, you could opt for one of WHU's other Master programs. The Master of Finance (MiF) prepares you for a career in all areas of finance. The Master of Entrepreneurship (MiE) gives you an understanding of business models, innovative thinking, product development, and everything else you need to know about founding a business.