Are you looking for a career with variety, excitement, and learning opportunities? If so, you may be wondering if digital marketing is a great career to pursue. You’re in luck because that’s exactly the question we’ll help you answer in this article.

Digital marketing is a great career. To think that it didn’t even exist until the 1990s, when the internet revolutionized the way we communicate. And, as a consequence, the way businesses sell their products and services. Today and in the foreseeable future, any marketing campaign worth its salt includes digital marketing.

digital marketing career

Launch your digital marketing career by getting real-world experience.

Digital marketing is a great career. This field never existed 60 years ago. The internet revolutionizes the way we communicate. But also how businesses can sell their products and services to the right people.

More businesses = more digital marketers… 

But how is this possible? Do they use traditional marketing

Yes, they do! But does Apple know if their billboard led to a woman named Ashley purchasing their iPhone 12 Pro? Of course not. digital marketers, however, can determine how people become customers. 

The internet is always growing, which means digital marketers are always relevant and in demand. 

Now to the good part. 

You don’t have to wait to become a digital marketer. You can begin learning the skills that make successful marketers today through a digital marketing apprenticeship on Acadium. Working on real marketing projects under the guidance of a mentor gives you the leg up on other job candidates.

Additionally, as a digital marketer, your career can take many different paths. You can become a digital nomad, work as a freelancer, start your own business, or work for a company. Whatever path you decide you can be sure that you’ll constantly be learning and growing as the internet changes and new opportunities and challenges emerge.

In this article, you’ll learn why digital marketing is a great career in 2021, and how to get a job in this exciting and fast-growing field. 

Let’s begin.

Tables of Contents

What Is Digital Marketing?

why digital marketing is a great career

Let me ask you! 

When you started scrolling your Instagram post, did you see a “sponsored” ad? Or, how about when you type “Kobe Bryant Shoes” (Rest in peace, Kobe 😔) on Google.

Did you see that Nike dominates that specific “keyword”? That is what businesses are doing today. They’re putting their product or service in front of people who are their potential customers.

That is digital marketing in a nutshell.

Now you may be wondering what skills you need to become a successful digital marketer?

Any successful marketer needs the following foundational skills:

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search engine optimization or SEO is structuring your content to show up on search engine websites (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Marketers will try to ‘rank’ a certain word or phrase relevant to their business so their potential customers will find them. This is called organic traffic. It’s free and essential to know if you want to become a successful digital marketer. 

Interesting right?

Now, what if I told you there’s more to it. You might enjoy many jobs in SEO, such as SEO specialist, SEO analyst, content writer, link builder, and SEO consultant

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Let’s say you typed “Shoes for sale.” What do you see? 

You probably found a pay-per-click sponsored ad with shoes on sale and, in most cases, are companies like Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour. Marketers will pay to have their products or services show up when searching for what they offer. Marketers will use platforms like Google, Adroll, or Bing to reach their potential customers. 

Or,

You’ll see a sponsored ad on social media, Youtube, or a random website. All of these are examples of paid ads. 

Pay-per-click advertising has many areas like search, display, social media, remarketing, sequential, and Google shopping.

Now, what jobs are there? 

PPC jobs include PPC specialist, PPC analyst, Google ads specialist, and social media marketer

Social Media Marketing

What is the first thing you do when you go to Instagram? You’ll scroll down and maybe “like” a post or maybe comment on it… then you encounter a brand that talks about skincare products.

Interesting! 

So, you’ll check them out and see what the fuss is about. That’s social media marketing. It introduces their brand to you on social media and tries to drive your traffic to their website, and turn you into a customer.

What types of social media jobs do businesses use?

Social media jobs include content marketer, social media specialist, social media analyst, public relations, brand managers, digital media manager, and social media strategist

Email Marketing

You probably signed up to get the latest updates, promotions, coupons, and so on through email. That’s one kind of email marketing. This is great for a business to continue building customer relationships and acquiring sales. According to econsultancy, email marketing contributes 23% of the company’s total sales. 

That is HUGE! And by the way, email marketing is the highest paying job. According to The Muse, the average salary is roughly around $102,588 a year.

Email marketing jobs include email marketing specialist, email marketing manager, and email marketing coordinator

More and more opportunities for jobs like these are becoming available as people spend more time online. And the internet is constantly evolving, presenting new challenges and opportunities to these marketers. Now, if that excites you, you’re on the right track. 

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What skills do you need to succeed as a digital marketer?

What skill do you need to succeed as a digital marketer

Now there are two different components you need to be successful as a digital marketer. There are technical skills and soft skills in digital marketing. Both are very crucial. 

But don’t be anxious…

Let’s look at what these skills are and how to get them. 

It is important to develop these technical skills. 

  1. SEO and SEMBoth search engine optimization and search engine marketing are crucial to understand. Any successful digital marketer must understand what these are and how to use them.
  2. VideoTo Increase your website retention and boost your ranking online, you need to know how to create videos or get them created.
  3. Inbound MarketingInbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content.
  4. Understand some code and content management systems (websites) – Having a basic understanding of HTML and CSS will give you an edge when working with websites. Common CMS platforms for websites are WordPress, Magento, and Shopify.
  5. Data AnalyticsYou must know how to use and understand Google Analytics. Monitoring and reporting can be tricky, but it helps to understand your customer behavior. With this knowledge, you can apply it to new solutions that boost traffic and conversions.

“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” – Karl Pearson

Now that you have an idea of the technical skills, you should have some experience in, here are some soft skills you need to become a successful digital marketer. 

  1. Social skillsCommunicating well with others will lead to the best results for you and your company. Lack of communication will be a disaster. Trust me! 
  2. Persuasion skills Yes, you need to be persuasive to sell a product or service. Also, everything you do is an experiment. You won’t get it right the first time. 
  3. Analytical skillsNow, this works well with persuasion. If you can back up your claim, you’ll have a higher chance of getting what you want. You have to understand how numbers work and how they can benefit the company. 
  4. Adapt to changeTechnology will change. It would be best if you kept yourself up-to-date. If not, you’ll be left behind. For example, in 2011, Google decided to update its algorithm called “SEO panda.” These algorithm changes meant that the strategies that marketers used in the past wouldn’t perform as well today.
  5. Multitasking skillsManagers have to have a broad knowledge of many different topics. They also have to manage a lot of different projects. One recommendation will be to start projects that’ll bring more value and results first. 
  6. Listening skillsIt is important to listen to your client and your customers. You must understand why they’re not buying and find a better solution. 
  7. Goal-orientedIt is important to set goals, short term or long term. A helpful activity is to make sure your goals are SMART: smart, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based.  
  8. Passionate / CuriosityVery important! You need to love what you’re doing. Digital marketing is always evolving, and if you don’t like it, this is not the career for you. It would help if you enjoyed learning every single day.

You can develop both the hard and soft skills for a marketing career through apprenticeships. That’s why Acadium students who’ve completed at least four apprenticeships are more likely to get a marketing job.

What are the pros and cons of a digital marketer?

What are the pros and cons of a digital marketer - Marketing career path

Who doesn’t want to work remotely or have more flexibility and get paid well?

Even so, there are pros and cons to everything, including digital marketing.

The pros of becoming a digital marketer

  1. Youthful career – digital marketing is still relatively new. According to Linkedin, the industry is growing every year, paying a living wage, and has the greatest number of job openings
  2. Businesses need digital marketersEvery business needs digital marketers to attract and retain customers. You know what that means! digital marketing is the most in-demand career in 2021. 
  3. RemoteYes, that is correct! You can become a digital nomad. You can literally work from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. 
  4. FlexibilityYou can work depending on projects or hours. It comes down to what you want. 
  5. Pay gradeSo, you want to know how much you’ll get paid as a professional digital marketer or what the typical web marketing salary is. According to Glassdoor, as a digital marketing manager, you can make roughly $72,015 a year.

Now that you know the benefits of becoming a digital marketer, you should know…

The cons of becoming a digital marketer

  1. Systems are crucialYou need structure. Many digital marketers with no structure eventually fail. What do you mean by structure? You must have actionable goals. And with actionable goals, you need to know that results don’t show up immediately. For example, when optimizing the SEO of a website, results may take three to six months to take place.
  2. Technologies always updateIf you’re comfortable using a tool and it becomes out of date, don’t be surprised. Technology evolves and changes. Regardless, adapting to change is crucial to becoming a successful digital marketer.
  3. Always learningLearning doesn’t stop when you graduate college; it’s just beginning for digital marketers. You have to keep learning every single day. New technology, new strategies, and new industries will break you or make you better.

Now that you know the pros and cons of digital marketing, how do you know if it’s right for you?

Is digital marketing right for me?

Why digital marketing

Are you the type of person who can adapt to change, is passionate about learning, communicates well with people, and loves to help others? 

If your answer is yes, this is the right career for you. 

Starting your career in digital marketing can be a daunting and overwhelming journey. Don’t let that stop you from joining an industry that offers variety, excitement, and endless growth opportunities. Check out The complete guide to starting a career in digital marketing if you want to get everything you’ll need for your journey. 

How to get a job in digital marketing: Top 5 tips to get hired

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably convinced that digital marketing is a great career in 2021 and beyond. Now you may be wondering how to get a job in digital marketing, especially if you don’t have the skills or experience that various digital marketing jobs require.

You’re in luck, because we’ve helped hundreds of people get digital marketing jobs. They include fresh college graduates as well as adults switching from different fields.

Based on our experience, here are our top tips for how to get a job in digital marketing:

1. Gain digital marketing experience

The best way to get a job in digital marketing is to show that you’ve gotten concrete, measurable results in real-world marketing campaigns. How do you do this if you’ve never had a marketing job before?

One way is by becoming an apprentice for a business owner who’s willing to be your mentor. We’ve matched thousands of students with businesses for apprenticeship programs. Mentors get marketing help, while apprentices build more impressive resumes—not to mention their confidence when they get in the trenches of real digital marketing campaigns.

Another benefit of completing apprenticeships is the experience helps you choose your digital marketing career path. Since the marketing field is so varied, you won’t know which specific aspect you’d like to specialize in until you have hands-on experience. At the same time, you’re expected to be a T-shaped marketer: someone with knowledge of a broad spectrum of marketing streams but specializing in a specific marketing domain.

2. Publish an online portfolio

Another way to stand out from other candidates is by having your very own online portfolio. It’s a great way for you to showcase your skills and experience beyond what you can include in a one- or two-page resume.

Don’t just post your work samples. Include a brief description of the project, the challenges you had to overcome, and the results you achieved. For example, if you wrote a blog post, say how much organic traffic and backlinks it generated.

There are various tools you can use to create an online profile, both free and paid. But if you’re already signed up in the Acadium marketplace then your Acadium profile can serve as your online portfolio.

Did you know that your Acadium profile ranks on Google’s search results? This means potential employers can easily see it when they Google you. Your Acadium profile also displays the courses you’ve completed and mentors’ ratings on apprenticeships you’ve done.

And if you’ve submitted Tasks in Acadium, you can choose to display those and their star ratings on your Acadium profile as well. All this adds up to a profile that makes employers want to hire you.

3. Create an impressive personal brand

As a digital marketer, you’re expected to have an above-average knowledge of web-based assets. At the minimum, you’re expected to know how to create your own personal brand. A personal brand is defined as:

“a widely-recognized and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.” – Personalbrand.com

This means all your online assets—personal website, social media accounts, online portfolio, and so on—must portray a consistent image or character for you. Learn more about how to build your personal brand.

4. Get published

You’ll leave other job candidates in the dust if you have published works with your byline on them. Especially if you’re looking for a job as a copywriter or content creator, then you can expect recruiters to ask for writing samples.

This is a good reason to start your own blog. Barring that, you can publish articles on Medium or your LinkedIn account. You can even self-publish a book through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. How many other job candidates can say they’ve written a book?

You can also guest post on other people’s blogs. Aside from having more published writing samples, it has another benefit: the relationships you build with the blog owners and editors. If you nurture a strong relationship with any of them, they may even be willing to be a reference during your job hunt.

5. Master the art of giving great interviews

All things being equal, recruiters will hire the most personable candidate with a culture fit. How do they assess this? Through the job interview.

If you get a lot of interviews but no offers, then it’s possible that you need to hone your interviewing skills. This is why in our flagship employment program, Acadium Plus, we conduct practice interviews with students. This helps them prepare for common interview questions and increases their confidence, so that they’re more relaxed and natural during the actual interview.

3 ways to launch your digital marketing career—for free—on Acadium

Digital marketing is a great career and it’s exploding with opportunities. But you do need to set yourself apart from other candidates in order to land your dream job. Watch this video where our CEO explains the three ways you can launch your digital marketing career—for free:


Take the Next Step to Get a Job in Digital Marketing

Marketing career path

Are you ready to jumpstart your career in digital marketing? If you need real world experience to become a digital marketer find mentors who will give you hands-on training on Acadium for free.

Build the in-demand skills necessary for today’s market. Learn more about Acadium digital apprenticeships.

This post was first published in January 2021. We’ve updated it with the help of Lexi Rodrigo.