Are design and marketing degrees worth it?

Design and marketing are among the most important areas for gaining a competitive advantage in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape. Together, these fields help brands understand client needs, identify ways to address them through the creation of innovative products and services, and communicate the value of these products and services in compelling ways.

London School of Design & Marketing (LSDM) Executive Director Carlos Sa describes design and marketing as “the most structured pillars for creativity and innovation that can build successful value propositions for customers.”

While it’s possible to learn design and marketing skills on the job, both are dynamic and evolving skills. Studies in these fields provide foundational knowledge across everything from core theories and principles, to best practices and strategies, to invaluable insights into the consumer mindset -- a critical consideration in today’s customer-centric market. Degree programs in the fields can also help students develop the critical thinking and problem-solving needs to adapt to changing consumer wants and needs. Additionally, most design and marketing degrees now incorporate technology components because of the increasingly digital nature of business.

Entrepreneur, marketer, and Fortune 500 brands advisor AJ Agrawal writes for Forbes, “Successful marketers are good at what they do because they understand what their customers want. The game is about matching up a suitable product or service with the pain points of the customer.” A degree is one of the best ways to learn how to identify those pain points before you find yourself doing so in the more high-pressure circumstances of a real-life client.

Programs in these areas also provide credible evidence to employers that you have the requisite training and practical skills as well as sought-after initiative. These hard and soft skills are transferable, meaning they are applicable across many fields and professions. “As it stands, a marketing degree is an example of someone who is ready and willing to learn about a target audience, has been taught by someone who is experienced, and who is ready to learn the specifics about marketing in your business,” adds Agrawal. The same applies to design degrees.

Furthermore, if you’re looking to level up your career and become a creative director, art director, marketing director, product designer, or work in another similar leadership-level position, a degree can offer a vital edge.

In addition to opening the door to enhanced job prospects, degrees in marketing and design also open the door to higher salaries. As with all fields, salaries in design and marketing are commensurate with experience, and education is an important factor. Typically, the more education you have, the higher salary you attract.

Lastly, keep in mind that a degree has many ancillary benefits, not the least of which the opportunity to build your network, a particularly beneficial activity in these fields. While in school you will be part of a robust community of classmates and faculty sharing the same interests as you.

Moreover, most programs are taught by people who have worked in these fields or even continue to do so. In addition to teaching you the basics, they can offer industry-specific experience. Students graduate with these connections, as well as with an alumni network which can mean a foot in the door for career opportunities all over the world.

Why study design and marketing online?

An online degree in these areas may be especially advantageous as it will allow you to access content according to what works best for you at the same time as giving you the flexibility to gain real-world work experience and make contacts.

In fact, online degrees are regarded by many experts to be the future of higher education. As the world moves more in the direction of digital, 100 percent online degrees are not only increasingly well-regarded but speak to a candidate’s digital proficiency, which is viewed favourably by employers in these creative, tech-based industries.

In these unprecedented pandemic times,  it’s natural to wonder what impact COVID might have on your chances of graduating. Again, online studies take the risk out of the equation. So even if in-person studies are curtailed by the pandemic (or another emergency situation), your program will continue without interruption.

Level up with a degree in design or marketing

So which design or marketing degree should you choose? One of the world’s leading digital schools for design and marketing professionals offering 100 percent online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, London School of Design & Marketing (LSDM) is a very smart choice.

While London is home to some of the world’s top design and marketing talent, LSDM students have the best-of-both-worlds option to study from the location of their choice. Offering BA and MA degrees in Design and Marketing, as well as certificates in design innovation and forecasting & analytics, LDSM is fully accredited by University for the Creative Arts -- the UK’s top creative specialist university.

While traditional universities try to replicate the classroom experience, LSDM redesigns the student learning journey to offer true e-learning. Not only are LSDM’s programs entirely online, but they are also designed without a fixed timetable allowing students to completely determine their schedules -- thereby making it suitable for students juggling professional and personal commitments.

LSDM MA Marketing student Gilberto Pereira says, “When I became aware that I could get a Master’s 100 percent online, I didn’t hesitate and enrolled. This way, I can focus on my professional activity and study at my own pace.”

London School of Design & Marketing programs also allow participants to study in one of three preferred languages: English, Spanish or Portuguese. This creates a trilingual learning environment in which students have the unique opportunity to collaborate and communicate across borders. With a student population representing more than 60 countries, the spirit of collaboration is very much alive and well at LSDM.

“The experience is like no other, the topics addressed are debated by students from other countries who live different realities. Such cultural diversity is shared online and results in incomparable knowledge degree,” MA Marketing student Eduardo Loyo explains.

Another factor that differentiates LSDM from its competitors is its commitment to critical thinking with problem-solving and adding value built into the DNA of its programs.

“In these turbulent times we know the future of business models will change. It’s time to reflect and improve our critical analysis skills and our search for new solutions. That only can be achieved properly within a Master’s degree designed exactly for this purpose,” says LSDM Executive Director Carlos Sa.

A master’s from LSDM is especially suitable for “those who believe that the new way to learn is a combination between the quality standards of higher education frameworks, creative experiences, and digital tools,” adds Sa.

Other hallmarks of LSDM include active learning through autonomy, flexibility, experimentation and collaboration. MA Design Student Marina Santo asserts, “With this master’s, I’m sure that, besides defining myself in the market, as a visual designer and web designer, I’ll be able to have a much more defined and accurate sensibility and visual culture than [others].”

If return on investment is a concern, LSDM also shines in this area. In fact, a degree from LSDM is ten times cheaper than most of its competitors for international students looking to earn a prestigious UK degree.

The future of design and marketing is both challenging and exciting. Created for the “learners of the future,” LSDM represents a unique opportunity for aspiring leaders in these fields to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills they need both to get hired and to thrive in their jobs.

Article written in association with London School of Design & Marketing (LSDM).