Marketing has changed tremendously since the Mad-Men days of the 1960s, when advertising became big business. Thanks to the internet, marketing is woven into the day-to-day work of every industry, and seemingly every aspect of life. From small start-up entrepreneurs promoting themselves on Facebook and Twitter, to major cross-platform marketing campaigns from corporate giants that coordinate social media, Google advertising, video platforms like YouTube, music services like Spotify, and more conventional forms like radio and television – digital marketing just gets bigger.
Many working professionals are finding themselves at a loss when their job begins to require them to use Twitter or Instagram to help their company create an online persona. Others are seeing a new career opportunity emerging right in front of them, and wondering how to get in on it before it’s too late.
One of the wonderful things about social media and the digital world is how it has democratized education. For many career professionals, the only thing they need to develop and demonstrate proficiency is a reputable certification or diploma, and many of those are available online. These are the less-conventional, alternative ways to get a digital marketing credential – online certificates, weekend intensives, evening courses, and others. Some are offered by accredited, established colleges and universities; others come from dynamic entrepreneurial upstarts or for-profit institutions that have proven their value over the years.
The Value Colleges Top 30 Best Value Digital Marketing Certificates Ranking guides prospective students to the digital marketing certificate programs most likely to lead to job market visibility, career advancement, and financial rewards.
One of the most prestigious universities in the south, Duke University is also a national powerhouse research institution for business, medicine, and law. Founded by a group of Methodists and Quakers as an academy, Duke was transformed by James B. Duke’s enormous gift in 1923, bringing Duke University into the company of the Southern Ivies and setting them on the path of global renown.
With all that reputation, Duke Continuing Studies has been named the Value Colleges #1 Best Value for a Digital Marketing online certificate. Duke’s business acumen is well-known, as one of the colleges most successful at producing billionaire alumni, and their online Digital Media and Marketing Certificate Program through the Duke Continuing Studies office brings their expertise to the world in a convenient, rich format. With over 350 hours of combined instruction/study time, the non-degree/non-credit Online Digital Media and Marketing Certificate at Duke Continuing Studies offers the quality of any degree program in an innovative package that will more than return a student’s investment.
Total Certificate Cost: $2995
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of course, is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. One of the first polytechnic institutes in the US, MIT has been at the forefront of research and teaching in technology, engineering, computing, and other sciences for a century and a half. MIT’s Sloan School of Management is also one of the most respected in the nation, especially in integrating technology and business.
Sloan’s Executive Education program offers a 2-day intensive certification in Digital Marketing and Social Media Analytics. This Strategy and Innovation-track certification prepares executives and managers for guiding digital marketing campaigns and understanding the uses of social media. The cost includes accommodations in Cambridge, MA, and gives participants the incredible value of the MIT reputation on their resumes.
Total Certificate Cost: $3900
Baruch College (CUNY)
Part of the famed City University of New York, Baruch College, of the most esteemed business schools in the US. U.S. News & World Report has regularly ranked Baruch as the most diverse campus in America, reflecting the CUNY commitment to social mobility, community engagement, and giving the best students the best chance regardless of background.
Baruch College offers busy working professionals the opportunity to enhance their credentials and career prospects with Baruch’s trusted name and educational excellence through a graduate certificate program in Digital Marketing. Consisting of five weekend courses, plus a capstone project to put learning into action, Baruch’s certificate is convenient, affordable, and highly respected – a perfect Best Value combination.
Total Certificate Cost: $1790
University of Notre Dame
image source by Matt Cashore
The University of Notre Dame is one of the best-known names in higher education, a private Catholic research university with an endowment of over $10 billion and a globally-renowned faculty. Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business is equally respected, ranked the #1 undergraduate business school and a top 20 graduate business school by U.S. News & World Report.
The Mendoza school has collaborated with the Rutgers Business School for a unique, accelerated Digital Marketing Certificate Program. Held at Notre Dame’s Chicago campus, this week-long intensive course prepares professionals for the business of online marketing, combining the strengths and job market reputation of both Notre Dame and Rutgers for an elite credential that is well worth the investment.
Total Certificate Cost: $4995
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Recognized as one of the best business schools in the nation, the University of Illinois is globally respected as both a top-tier educator and top value. U.S. News & World Report ranks UI very highly for accountancy and MBA programs, and Businessweek has called it one of the best for return on investment and for student support, especially career development.
The University of Illinois College of Business offers a fully online certificate program in Digital Marketing that offers the quality of a business degree with the convenience and concentration of a specialized certificate. Students work through three courses and a capstone project that puts what they have learned into practice, earning a credential that carries the UI reputation into the job market.
Total Certificate Cost: $2500
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is possibly the most respected public university in the US – an original Public Ivy (a public university with Ivy League reputation) and the flagship of the University of California system, the most decorated public university system in the nation. UC Berkeley has long defined the possibilities of public higher education in every field from humanities to engineering – and of course that includes business.
Working professionals and other students can earn a fully online certificate in Marketing from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Students work through four required 2-credit courses, along with another 4 credits in electives (though note that not all electives are available online – for a fully online program, students will have to choose online electives). With a deep grounding in marketing principles, and specialized courses on social media and digital marketing, UC Berkeley gives students a credential that is worth its price and then some.
Total Certificate Cost: $5100
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco, a private, Catholic institution overlooking the city, was a major force in turning San Francisco from a scruffy port town to a major metropolitan city and business hub. The USF School of Management is a significant presence in the San Francisco community, with highly-ranked programs and a commitment to the business leadership of the city and region. Students benefit greatly from USF’s deep connections to one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world.
Students need not live in San Francisco, though, to earn market-proven credentials from USF. USF’s online programs include several options for students to earn certificates in Internet Marketing, tailored for different students’ individual level of expertise – from novice to professional. Options include Professional, Advanced Professional, Advanced Specialized, and for experienced professionals who just want to update some specific skills, the Specialized Mini Courses. Convenient, flexible, and adaptable, USF’s online certificates are designed for professional success.
Total Certificate Cost: $2500 and up
George Mason University
With deep connections to the government, business, and non-profits of Washington, DC, and an exceptional faculty including Nobel Prize winners, George Mason University has given the renowned University of Virginia – which founded GMU as an extension campus – more competition than any other institution for the title of Virginia’s leading university.
George Mason University has partnered with Dalton Education to provide an online alternative for busy working professionals to earn credentials in digital marketing. GMU’s fully online Social Media Professional Certificate program includes two courses (6 credit hours) guiding students through the basics of social media marketing, law and ethics, and audience engagement, with material suited for beginners and experienced professionals. A self-paced program at a low price, George Mason gives students a window into a new world of marketing options.
Total Certificate Cost: $1499
University of Georgia
One of the oldest public universities in the US, and the center of cultural and academic life in Georgia for over two centuries, the University of Georgia is one of the most respected public research universities in the South. The Terry College of Business, a top 25 public business school according to U.S. News & World Report, has been recognized for their innovative work in the music industry, entrepreneurship, and business technology.
With their history, it should come as no surprise that UGA has developed some top-tier online programs, including an online graduate certificate in Digital Marketing. The Online Marketing Certified Professional program is designed for highly experienced professionals (at least 5,000 hours of experience) and provides a convenient way to increase experience and credentials in digital marketing for a low, bargain price.
Total Certificate Cost: $1895
Like its sister institution, UC Berkeley, UCLA is an original Public Ivy and one of the most influential research universities on the west coast. As a center of engineering and computing, UCLA has been a pioneer in technology, while its proximity and close relationships in Hollywood have made it a titan in film, business, and marketing. The UCLA School of Management is recognized as one of the top business schools in the world.
UCLA Extension’s Social Media and Web Analytics Marketing certificate offers and in-depth, rigorous program for experienced professionals and working adults. With 7 required courses, and 4 elective courses, UCLA’s marketing certificate prepares students for digital marketing careers as adaptable experts, with UCLA’s global reputation backing it.
Total Certificate Cost: $6900
University of Vermont
One of the nation’s oldest universities, the University of Vermont was originally a private college before becoming Vermont’s only land-grant university. As a land-grant institution, UVM has a strong commitment to technical and professional education, including agriculture, engineering, and business. UVM is a U.S. News & World Report top 40 public university, and the Grossman School of Business Administration is one of the most respected in New England.
UVM’s Continuing and Distance Education program offers a fully online Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate, designed for experienced professionals to learn the basic concepts of digital marketing and prepare for the rapid changes in the field. With a holistic view of marketing, the Digital Marketing Fundamentals program focuses on using the available channels to their highest potential, and adapting to change, to make a credential that grows in value.
Total Certificate Cost: $1695
Southern Methodist University - Continuing and Professional Education
A private research institution in Dallas, TX, Southern Methodist University has made the most of their location and the opportunities it provides, building one of the strongest research universities, with one of the largest endowments, in the southwest. Because of its intricate networks in Dallas, a financial and industry center, SMU’s Cox School of Business is one of the most respected and best-ranked in the nation.
SMU Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) has a variety of marketing programs available, including the Digital Marketing certificate program. SMU’s continuing education certificate is not available online, but for students in the Dallas metropolitan region, it is offered in a convenient once-per-week evening course with two concentrations: Marketing Strategy and Analysis, or Digital Branding and Communications. The full certificate can be completed in only one semester, with a discounted price for students signing up for the full program at once. A continuing education opportunity for students to complete a more specialized Digital Analytics Certificate program is launching in the spring. SMU’s has other opportunities available for online students, including the Graduate Marketing Certificate Program (through Cox).
Total Certificate Cost: $3495
One of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution, Rutgers University is one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed institutions. Today, Rutgers is a unique public/private hybrid, combining the independence of a private university with the stability and affordability of a public university. The Rutgers Business School, with campuses in Newark and New Brunswick, NJ, is one of the highest-ranked in the northeast.
For busy working adults who are increasing their credentials and seeking to advance their careers, Rutgers Business has developed their innovative Mini-MBA online programs. The Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing is available in two formats: Rutgers’ 5-day accelerated in-person course is held at the New Brunswick campus; and a 12-week, self-paced online format. The Mini-MBA allows students to develop the skills and turn their digital marketing knowledge into a rewarding career, with a certificate from a globally-recognized university.
Total Certificate Cost: $4995 (in-person)/$3495 (online)
A small, Catholic liberal arts college in Worcester, MA, Assumption College is highly regarded as one of the top regional colleges in New England by U.S. News & World Report. Originally a French-language seminary for French-Canadian students, Assumption began providing adult education and distance education in 1979; that experience prepared Assumption for online education, which has helped spread their reach and name farther than ever before.
Assumption offers a fully online Digital Marketing certificate program. Assumption’s curriculum is designed to fill the skills gap and meet the urgent needs of companies by giving students a deep, thorough knowledge of marketing in new media in only 16 months. Students complete an 8-course program, focusing on marketing, analytics, and social media, with experienced instructors and a strong reputation to carry them into a rewarding career.
Total Certificate Cost: $8640
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is one of the busiest and most productive public research universities in the US, with federal land, sea, space, and sun grants. As a land-grant university, OSU’s focus has been on practical, technical education, including engineering and agriculture, as well as highly-ranked programs in professional fields like business and medicine. OSU’s College of Business is well-regarded throughout the Pacific Northwest and the west coast.
OSU offers a fully online certificate program in Digital Brand Management designed for industry professionals to step up their digital marketing skills. With 4 short, 7-week courses, students are prepared for real-world application of their learning right way. One of the most affordable online certificate programs available from an accredited public research university, OSU’s Digital Brand Management certificate is an obvious best value.
Total Certificate Cost: $1900
Rochester Institute of Technology
One of the foremost polytechnic institutes in America, the Rochester Institute of Technology is regularly ranked as a top 10 regional institution by U.S. News & World Report, with many individual programs recognized as the best in the nation. In addition to excellence in career-centered education, RIT’s cooperative education program has allowed them to develop strong partnerships with business to provide their graduates with a 99% success rate on the job market.
RIT offers an advanced graduate certificate program in Communication and Digital Media. A 4-course, 12-credit program, the RIT certificate is taught by RIT faculty and built on the real-world instructions of their many corporate and industry partners, giving students the most current information and preparing them for the complexities and changes of the field. With a high ROI and strong job market performance, a certificate from RIT is a solid investment.
Total Certificate Cost: $11,916
California State University, Fullerton
Ranked as a top 10 regional university for the west by U.S. News & World Report, CSU Fullerton is one of the largest and most diverse institutions in the state. Fullerton is known for their excellent, and wildly successful, work increasing social mobility and bringing underrepresented populations into the student body, and is one of the biggest Hispanic-serving universities in the nation.
Fullerton’s business and management programs are well-known throughout the west, and the Extended Education department of CSU has developed a fully online Digital Marketing certificate program. With 6 courses lasting 4-6 weeks each, working professional can complete their certificate and add to their credentials in less than 10 months. At a reasonable price, and with a proven reputation, CSU Fullerton is one of the best deals in California.
Total Certificate Cost: $2700
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is one of the most prestigious private Catholic research universities in the world. As a Jesuit institution, Loyola emphasizes intellectual and academic rigor, ethical action, and community engagement. Loyola has long been at the center of civic and community life in Chicago, building one of the most respected business schools in America along the way, and as a result offers graduates a strong name recognition in the region.
Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers a fully online graduate certificate program titled Public Relations in a Digital World. This 6-course, 18-credit certificate program can be completed in as little as 10 months, providing experienced professionals with the knowledge they need to put digital marketing to use in their careers. The Loyola reputation makes it a secure investment and a top value.
Total Certificate Cost: $11,790
A mid-sized, private research institution in New Castle, DE, Wilmington University was founded in 1969, but in less than 50 years WU has made great strides. With their focus on professional education – especially business, health professions, and technology – Wilmington has grown quickly in reputation and size, and an investment in online education has grown to nearly 100 fully online degree and certificate programs.
Wilmington’s well-respected College of Business offers a fully online graduate certificate in Digital Marketing. In a 5-course program, students learn the basics of digital marketing, with a special emphasis on social media marketing, from the fundamentals of marketing to images and web design. A low price keeps WU’s online certificate a safe investment with solid returns.
Total Certificate Cost: $5310
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
One of the largest Hispanic-serving universities in the nation – with a 90% Hispanic student body – the University of Texas Rio Grande valley is a brand-new school formed by the merger of three UT institutions: Brownsville, Pan-American, and the Regional Academic Health Center. By bringing together these campuses, UT is set to make Rio Grande Valley the leading public research university in South Texas.
UTRGV Continuing Education offers many fully online degree and certificate programs to meet the needs of a region with many rural students, including a graduate certificate in Digital Marketing. This one-week intensive course covers 5 units focuses on building social media followers, using digital advertising, and creating effective websites. At one of the lowest prices around, the Digital Marketing certificate is sure to be a value.
Total Certificate Cost: $599
Ferris State University
Founded by education reformer Woodbridge Nathan Ferris, Ferris State University was built on experiential education and inclusion, accepting women on equal terms from its inception in 1884. Ferris State largely focuses on professional and technical education, including medicine, nursing, technology, and design, and their many online programs have been ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
Ferris State offers a fully online graduate certificate in Digital Marketing designed for working professionals. With three required courses, and one elective course, the Digital Marketing certificate prepares students for the full range of online marketing, including integrating marketing campaigns, handling and analyzing data, and optimizing business to business marketing. For a low tuition rate, the Ferris State Digital Marketing certificate is a sound investment in the future of business.
Total Certificate Cost: $4824
Guilford Technical Community College
Part of the wide-ranging and highly respected North Carolina Community College System – a collection of 58 regional community colleges – Guilford Technical Community College is known throughout the state for leadership in professional and technical education. Guilford Tech has especially surged forward with online education, offering more than 30 fully online degree programs.
GTCC offers a 12-credit hour certificate program in Internet Marketing that provides students with all the fundamentals of social media, digital strategy, and branding. A certificate from GTCC gives working professionals a leg up on the job market at an attractively low cost, without sacrificing quality or applicability.
Total Certificate Cost: $912
A small, private Catholic liberal arts institution, Benedictine University has a long, distinguished reputation in the Chicago area. Benedictine is well-known in the region for its business, health, and nursing programs, and regularly scores strongly in U.S. News & World Report and other rankings of regional institutions. As a Benedictine school, BU has strong reputation for ethics and social engagement.
Benedictine University has also been recognized for its excellent online degree programs. An early adopter of online education, Benedictine began offering fully online programs before many other Catholic institutions, giving them ample time to make them top-ranked. Benedictine offers a fully online graduate certificate in Internet Marketing, a four-course program that can also be added to an MBA degree for further specialization. It’s a highly reputable certificate for a name that is synonymous with excellence in the Midwest.
Total Certificate Cost: $10,400
Portland State University
Portland State University is the only public, urban research university in the state of Oregon, a unique status that has given it a lot of room to experiment. Originally founded to meet the educational demand of returning WWII veterans, PSU has focused on professional and technical education. PSU has been recognized as one of the best regional universities in the west, as well as one of the most innovative in the nation for their interdisciplinary, cross-curriculum programs.
PSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Education offers a Digital Marketing Strategies certificate, a 4-course program designed to increase and develop students’ knowledge of effective use and best practices in social media, internet, and multimedia marketing. This in-person program can be completed in only one semester, with courses presented as 3-day intensives. PSU’s low price and trusted name makes the Digital Marketing Strategies certificate a solid value.
Total Certificate Cost: $2796
Florida International University
Founded in 1965 to address the lack of a major public university in Miami, which was growing into a metropolitan city, Florida International University took its mission and ran with it, becoming the fourth-largest university in the US. FIU has been recognized as one of the dominant universities in the South, with the College of Business especially singled out for excellence, while also earning praise for their impact on social mobility in the region.
FIU Online offers a fully online certificate in Social Media and E-Marketing Analytics from the Landon Undergraduate School of Business. This certificate can be earned by any undergraduate major to add a business specialization to their degree, or earned alone for further credentialing by college graduates. This affordable six-course program helps open a door for students and working professionals alike.
Total Certificate Cost: $3870
Saint Leo University
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the South, Saint Leo University is the oldest private Catholic university in Florida. Long associated with the military (spending several periods as a military college), Saint Leo pioneered distance education for active-duty personnel during the Vietnam War, and was an early adopter of online education to maintain their distance programs, launching fully online degrees in 1998 with the Center for Online Learning.
Saint Leo Online offers a distance-learning Marketing Research and Social Media Analytics certificate. This 18- credit hour online program carries students through all aspects of digital marketing, from social media, data analysis, and marketing, to gamification. It is a thorough study that qualifies master’s holders to teach digital marketing as well. Saint Leo’s reputation is a value in itself.
Total Certificate Cost: $14,595
Digital Marketing Institute
A non-traditional educational choice, the Digital Marketing Institute is an example of how digital technology and new media are turning education on its head. Founded in Ireland in 2008 by tech entrepreneurs, DMI has spread to more than 80 nations in the world and awarded more than 17 thousand diplomas and degrees.
DMI offers a fully online Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, a 30-hour program that DMI calls their cornerstone. Students learn the whole range of digital tools and techniques, including social media, analytics, and strategy. With DMI’s large list of corporate partners and a strong reputation for quality, graduates find a DMI Professional certificate a solid investment.
Total Certificate Cost: $1965
Ranked among the best regional colleges in the North, and an up-and-coming institution, by U.S. News & World Report, Champlain College was founded as a business school in 1878 and has continued to innovate and lead in business education ever since. In addition to experimenting with curriculum, Champlain has also made significant inroads in online education.
Champlain College Online offers a fully online Digital Marketing Certificate designed for undergraduate students and working professionals who want a stronger credential in online marketing. Champlain’s 15-credit hour program includes courses in strategy, web development, Google advertising, and more. The Champlain reputation is respected throughout the North, making an online certificate a trustworthy value.
Total Certificate Cost: $9615
Columbia Southern University
A for-profit online university focusing on professional and technical education, Columbia Southern University was founded in 1993 in Orange Beach, AL. As a distance educator, CSU has designed programs for working adult professionals and active-duty veterans, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing, business, and much more.
Columbia Southern offers both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in Marketing. For each, a 4-course, 12-hour series of classes steeps students in digital marketing, strategy, social media, and all of the areas associated with marketing in the 21st century. For a low price, students can earn a credential for advancement or to carry out on the job market.
Total Certificate Cost: $2520
Full Sail University
Originally founded as an audio-visual production tech school in 1979, Full Sail University gradually expanded to focus on many other aspects of the entertainment industry. That, of course, includes business, marketing, and technology. As a for-profit university, Full Sail is not regionally accredited, but is nationally accredited and has a long reputation in Florida and across the US.
Full Sail’s fully online Internet Marketing certificate is built on four courses in new media, web analytics, strategy, and more. The online program can be completed in as little as 5 months, but because the four courses are part of the Internet Marketing master’s degree program, students can choose to transfer them for degree credit and complete a full master’s, giving students the added convenience that makes Full Sail a best value.
Total Certificate Cost: $7500