Marketing YU’s Latest Graduate School Program
The Syms administration is constantly updating and reinvigorating the programs they offer. For example, over the past few years, the faculty has refocused the major concentrations, making the majors more distinct and focused. More recently came the creation of the Business Honors and Entrepreneurship Leadership Program along with the Kukin Lecture Series. Continuing in this trend of adapting to a changing business environment, The Sy Syms School of Business, with the support of The Mordecai D. and Monique C. Katz School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Yeshiva University, is launching a fully online M.S. in Marketing Program. This is the first offering from the Katz School, with the inaugural class beginning August 29th.
What is a M.S. in Marketing, you might ask? Speaking with Dr. Tamar Avnet, Chair of the Marketing Department, she explained that an M.S. in Marketing is a master’s degree that “Specializes in digital and social media, mainly in the application of projects done online with online tools.” This degree gives one the ability to strategize, create advertising campaigns, and fully utilize online tools to make a successful marketing scheme.
The year-long program is comprised of three semesters, adding up to a total of thirty credits. The first three core marketing courses in the first semester will be marketing management, buyer behavior, and applied research. Dr. Maria Blekher, Director of the Online M.S. in Marketing Program, explained that “Every person in marketing has to know this, whether in digital [marketing] or not. This is the basis.” The remaining courses will be divided up into data analysis and analytics, digital media, social media, advanced social media and advertising, business communications, and brand management. This will be a pyramid of advanced classes built on the three core basis classes students take in their first semester.
According to Professor Avnet, the program is unique in that “Unlike a regular brick and mortar [school], where there are three courses in the first semester with each professor providing their own assignments and projects, we designed the program in the way that the first three courses were created together in collaboration. Although students see separate modules in each course, we know what is being taught. There is no overlap in material. We know exactly what will be taught and when.” This helps provide similar casework and projects, but focused through the lens of each course respectively. Professor Avnet told me that “Students will be able to attack business cases from all different angles, which is what happens in the real world. So this program will be much more coherent and fun for students than having to take courses that were designed separately.”
The program is designed to meet the needs of early and mid-career marketers seeking new skills for career advancement, as well as for professionals working in related fields like graphic design, social media, journalism, photography and video, who want to pursue a career in marketing.
Dr. Blekher explained that “In order to step forward, to take the next job, to get to the C [corporate] level, marketing professionals have to be industry leaders. Taking a digital marketing course is an option, and you will get some tools, but if you get a degree you will get the science behind the strategy. A leader should be able to understand and analyze the “why” behind the “how”. We will provide our students with the tools, but we will also provide our students the background, the logic, and the theory behind how things are done – and this is very valuable.” She continued, “It is not just clicking on buttons, which we all can learn very fast, but actually understanding why you are clicking on this button and what will happen if you change something. Business environment and marketing environment are constantly changing, so our job is to create a graduate who can be able to think and make decisions based on the changing environment.”
The difference between The Katz School for Graduate and Professional Studies and Sy Syms School of Business master’s degree and the undergraduate marketing degree is that having a master’s degree can help propel your career to the managerial level. It will give you the knowledge and ability to get to the next level. Professor Avnet explained that “If you received a degree in marketing, it’s not like you can now be a brand manager; if you major in finance, it’s not like you can directly become a managing director. Obviously one way of getting the knowledge to become a brand manager or a managing director is by working for ten years. Another way is to work for three or four years and then get a graduate degree.”
This program is a great step into a bright future for YU. In a hopeful tone Professor Avnet said: “Online degrees are taking off, and this will be the pioneer program for Yeshiva University to start with. If we are good at it, if we attract many students, we can take off from there and develop more similar programs. We chose marketing because the online platform of digital media and social media fits so well as the students will be working online [in their professions]. These are people who shouldn’t be afraid of technology. It’s a great fit of what you will do with your life when you graduate and what the program can offer.”