In the U.S., the average person spends around 4 hours online per day. This increased by 20 minutes from the previous year. The world is becoming more connected than ever before. The recent boom in smart devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs, and tablets has increased the reach of digital marketing departments and solidified their importance within a company.
Due to this growing demand, digital marketing professionals are well-paid, enjoy job security, and have excellent career prospects.
Fortunately, you now have a wide variety of paths you can take to land that enviable digital marketing job. We’ll break down the benefits of a marketing degree, and introduce you to some alternative, more direct routes to getting hired as a professional marketer.
What Is Digital Marketing?
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
“the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Building on this definition, any form of marketing that uses the Internet or an electronic device is known as digital marketing.
Sales and marketing departments have continually evolved over the years. It all started with the invention of the telephone. This created a huge opportunity for sales and introduced new concepts like telesales and telemarketing.
The next major technological breakthrough came in the form of personal computers and the Internet. Businesses were quick to take advantage of this new opportunity and the field of digital marketing (also known as online marketing or Internet marketing) was born.
It’s a broad field that requires many different skills. Some specializations include digital marketing managers, data analysts, UX designers, inbound or outbound marketers, SEO/SEM editors or managers, and social media managers.
If you’re creative, have a passion for tech, and want to get started in digital marketing this article should help you achieve your goals. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of digital marketing degrees, and look at more focused education programs like online digital marketing bootcamps.
Digital Marketing Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor's degree in digital marketing is the traditional way to get started in this space. It helps lay the foundation for securing a job or pursuing further education. You can study full time or take the summer off to work part-time during your course.
Some popular bachelor’s degrees in digital marketing include:
- Bachelor of Arts in Social Media Marketing.
- Bachelor of Commerce (Digital Marketing).
- Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing).
- Bachelor of Business Administration (Digital Marketing and Advertising).
Digital marketing bachelor’s degrees teach students concepts like marketing management, promotions, fundraising, public relations, market research, SEO (search engine optimization), online advertising, and social media management. Students develop skills for understanding the preferences and demands of consumers and learn techniques to attract, convert, and retain customers. Note that the degree curriculum will vary depending on the specific program you choose.
It takes 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing and can cost up to $40,000. This is a significant investment of time and money for any aspiring digital marketer. The good news is, you don’t actually need a full bachelor’s degree to kickstart your career in digital marketing. There are more specialized alternative learning programs that might suit you better.
Digital Marketing Master’s Degree
Marketing approaches, tools, and techniques change rapidly. This often leaves degree programs scrambling to keep up. Several colleges and universities have an intensive digital marketing master's degree program to help solve this problem. The field of digital marketing is relatively new, and this is reflected in the curriculum of the programs.
Students of a digital marketing master’s degree study sales research, consumer psychology, and several other core concepts of traditional marketing. They are also trained in digital marketing strategy, writing for digital media, brand strategy, paid ads, content marketing, UX design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, sponsored content, web analytics, data visualization, integrated marketing communications, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and influencer marketing.
Since the field is changing so rapidly, the master's degree programs in digital marketing have a lot of variation among their curriculums. Some of degree programs that you can pursue include:
- Master of Business Administration in Digital Marketing.
- Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication.
- Master of Science in Digital Innovation in Marketing.
- Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design.
- Master of Science in Social Media Marketing.
- Master of Science in Mass Communications with Digital Strategy.
- Master of Arts in Marketing and Digital Media.
While some of the above programs have a broader focus, others are more focused on specific areas, such as analytics and social media.
When choosing a degree subject, consider what type of career you are most interested in. Master of Arts (MA) programs are more focused on the creative, aesthetic, and artistic side of digital marketing. Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are more concerned with the business side of digital marketing. Master of Science (MS) programs are technical and involve coding, mathematics, and statistics.
It typically takes 2 years to complete a master's degree. This can vary depending on your progression and the format of the program you’re pursuing. If you want to accelerate your degree completion, you can opt for an intensive course. Some accelerated degree plans can get you a master’s degree in 12 months. However, these plans are intense and require applicants to have prior experience in marketing.
If you’re working or have other personal obligations, you can opt for a minimum number of classes each semester. Some colleges allow students five to six years to complete the program. Financial support in the case of part-time courses is limited, and the tuition fees can be substantial.
A master's degree in digital marketing can cost an in-state student over $10,100, while an out-of-state student has to shell out more than $22,500. Charges at private universities and colleges can go as high as $26,000. However, tuition fees vary with the program and institution.
Certifications and Bootcamps in Digital Marketing
Degrees are great for learning a broad range of digital marketing skills over a long period of time. But if you want a more focused, more affordable, and more convenient learning program, consider online certifications and bootcamps.
There are several certification courses offered online by premium colleges, universities, and professional learning platforms. Some highly-rated certification courses include:
- Google Digital Garage
- Thinkful’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp
- HubSpot Content Marketing Certification
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification
- Digital Marketing courses from Udemy
- Free Digital Marketing Certification Course from LinkedIn Learning
- Digital marketing Courses from Coursera
- Digital Marketing Strategies by Kellogg School of Management
- Master Digital Marketing by London School of Business
- Facebook Blueprint
Digital marketing bootcamps are intense learning programs designed by experts to teach students everything they need to get hired in well-paid marketing roles. They exclude non-essential concepts from their curriculum and focus on the necessary skills required by employers.
How Much Do Digital Marketers Earn?
According to Indeed.com, digital marketers in the United States earn around $61,027 a year. Most of them have flexible work schedules and enjoy the privilege of working from home. This provides an excellent work-life balance.
Since the industry is relatively new, even the most established digital marketers never have more than 10 years of experience. This means that the level of experience doesn’t significantly affect compensation packages. If you learn all the latest on-trend digital marketing skills, you have a great chance to compete with existing professionals in the space.
How to Get Started in Digital Marketing
Apart from above-average earnings, job security, and excellent work-life balance, one of the best things about a career in digital marketing is that there’s no fixed entry path to get started. Digital marketing degrees are the most common route taken, but a formal degree is by no means necessary for landing yourself a job in this field.
Due to the cost, time, and broad nature of degrees, new alternative education programs are becoming popular. Enroll in our digital marketing bootcamp for a laser-focused approach to learning. Our expert curriculum teaches you everything you need to know to get hired as a digital marketer in just 6 weeks.