With the right credentials, you can advance your career in the marketing industry. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications for marketing professionals. We compiled this guide of reputable marketing certifications to make it easier for you to improve your skills and advance your career. We’ll explore the highest-regarded universities offering marketing certificates, free paths for learning how to obtain today’s critical digital marketing skills and the most-trusted professional marketing organizations.
A marketing certificate can be valuable if you feel you need more formal training in marketing skills, including:
Marketing certificate courses can also help you understand marketing tools, including social media platforms, Google Ads, Hootsuite, HubSpot and other web analytics tools. Certificate courses cater to longtime professional marketers and total newcomers alike. You can take marketing certificate courses through:
The most in-demand certifications are in digital marketing and include the following:
We’ll discuss these certifications in more detail below.
To develop specific skills to become a digital marketing expert, consider focused training on individual tools. Consider a more comprehensive certificate program if you’re building your skill set as a new college graduate.
Consider the following when deciding whether to obtain a digital marketing certification:
However, if your business requires minimal or just basic use of internet platforms for marketing purposes, a certification in digital marketing might not be for you.
You don’t need a certification to work in marketing. However, if you want one, there are many ways to become a certified marketing professional. You can:
Learn more about each of these certification types below.
Marketing certifications are in high demand, and many accredited universities and colleges are responding to that demand. Some university certifications are intended for seasoned marketing professionals, while others are meant for recent college graduates entering the workforce or as a stepping stone for people changing careers.
Whether you’re a longtime marketer or transitioning into the field, a well-regarded university’s name on your resume can boost your professional standing. Here are some universities that offer marketing certifications:
Other colleges with reputable marketing certifications include:
Programs vary widely in price, duration, medium (online or in person) and focus. Most certification programs cost $2,000 to $5,000, but some go up to $15,000.
Before enrolling in a certification program at an accredited university, ensure you understand what you’re purchasing. Some programs are a week or less long and don’t offer college credits, while others in the same price range span months and do count for college credit.
Certifications for specific programs or services can bolster your resume and help keep you current in the constantly evolving world of digital marketing. Many specific-skill certificates are free or low cost. Some are through the company that created the tool, such as Google or HubSpot, while others are through third-party online training companies.
The certification that will be most valuable for your career depends largely on your agency or company’s marketing niche. Here are some of the most popular and reputable skill-based certifications for marketing professionals:
It pays to be discerning about certifications from independent marketing associations. Many organizations that offer certificates are for-profit education companies that don’t operate as industry touchstones. Others are legitimate professional organizations that offer valuable certifications.
Marketers who keep up with industry affairs will take note if you’ve obtained a certification from the below organizations.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) is one of the country’s most established professional marketing organizations. In addition to hosting educational networking events and disseminating industry information through its publications and partnerships, it offers the American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer program.
The AMA’s certification program has four tracks: Digital Marketing, Marketing Management, Sales Management and Content Marketing. All programs begin with an overview of the skills required for the certification and a free practice exam.
To maintain your certification in any area of study, the AMA requires you to earn 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every three years, with a minimum of 10 units per year, and to recertify every three years. CEUs are determined by the AMA and may include attending events, webcasts, virtual conferences or training sessions.
According to Robert Half’s 2023 Salary Guide, an entry-level marketing manager with no certifications earns, on average, $72,250, while an experienced marketing manager earns around $92,250. Location factors into salary as well.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) counts more than 650 media and technology companies among its members and offers four certification programs:
Members and nonmembers may pursue certification through IAB, but fees are higher for nonmembers.
IAB requires certified marketing professionals to recertify within nine to 24 months of their initial certification. Staying certified may entail logging CEUs or retaking the certification exam. Most of IAB’s exam and training packages cost $299 for members and $399 for nonmembers. However, some have specific eligibility requirements, so read the guidelines carefully before choosing a program.
Founded in 1917, 4A’s is one of the oldest and largest professional marketing organizations in the U.S. It serves 740 member agencies across 1,400 offices, and its Benefits division insures more than 164,000 marketing agency professionals. 4A’s offers various learning and development programs, including webinars, workshops, lectures and multiday networking events.
4A’s offers four certification trainings:
4A members get a 20 percent discount on these prices.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.