So you want to be a digital marketer.
Whether you aspire to start a career in digital marketing or want to change your current career trajectory, your new career path requires training and experience.
What level of education is needed to get ahead in the marketing industry?
And is it worth investing in a digital marketing degree to boost your career?
It’s essential to understand what employers are looking for now and how to chart the best path from where you start.
In this column, we will explore the pros and cons of getting an official degree in digital marketing.
The Case for a Digital Marketing Degree
Since 1960, college enrollment among high school graduates has increased substantially 46.8%.
Additionally, 19.1% of bachelor’s degrees and 11.6% of associate’s degrees are in business (the field that digital marketing degrees tend to be associated with).
It is clear that undergraduate degrees continue to grow in popularity and business degrees are one of the most sought after by students.
Increase your career opportunities
An undergraduate degree in marketing remains the traditional approach to launching a student’s career.
It serves as a basis for building a solid educational base while having the references to back it up.
Your degree also serves as a notable addition to your CV to back up your previous work experience.
In fact, in today’s job market and job interviews, some employers require you to have a degree to even apply for a position.
Develop your skills
Having a four-year digital marketing degree opens the door to more potential job opportunities for employers who require a formal degree.
Employers also recognize that while your degree may specialize in digital marketing, you likely also have extensive business knowledge in different functional areas such as finance, accounting, search engine optimization, social media and public relations.
Whereas having only a digital marketing certificate shows that you are specialized in one area.
Develops communication and analytical skills
Your educational experience in digital marketing will lead you to develop skills to understand consumer behavior and tools to attract, convert and retain customers.
It will also teach you to think critically about what motivates and drives customers to action.
These demonstrable skills will be attractive to employers and can replace equivalent formal work experience in marketing.
Increases your earning potential
A bachelor’s degree holder earns a median income of $2.8 million – 75% more than if they only had a high school diploma.
A master’s degree gives you even more competitive advantages, earning an average of $3.2 million over their lifetime, while PhDs earn $4 million and professional degree holders earn $4 million. $7 million.
Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average expected weekly salary for an employee with a bachelor’s degree on their resume is $1,173, which significantly improves the average salary for those with a bachelor’s degree. associate.
Their unemployment rate is also significantly lower, 2.5%.
Based on these results, the correlation between education and average wage earning potential is evident.
The Case Against a Digital Marketing Degree
The pandemic has altered many economic and operational factors for many industries, including education.
Accelerated digital adoption and required virtual learning have taught students that they can and should learn online.
A recent survey of high school students found the likelihood of attending a four-year college dropped almost 20% in less than a year – down to 53% from 71%.
A third of respondents in the same survey said the financial impact of the pandemic had made them less likely to attend four-year college, and they focused more on vocational training and post-graduate employment.
Access to online education has increased
While degrees were once a requirement for aspiring digital marketers, the pandemic has derailed that way of thinking.
Digital marketing courses and getting a digital marketing certification are literally at your fingertips.
Additionally, certificate courses provide a hands-on learning program option for students who do not have the time to attend in-person classes.
Aspiring digital marketing professionals are now looking for online options to reduce costs and save time while still receiving training.
Four-year degrees are not required for entrepreneurs
When you’re wondering if a college degree is worth it, think about your long-term plan.
Breaking into the digital marketing industry as an entrepreneur wouldn’t require a college degree.
Instead, self-taught digital marketing training, mentoring, or other online digital marketing programs might be enough to start your own business.
Running your own digital marketing business can also be lucrative.
In search, for example, founders are more likely to earn more than $200,000 a year, according to the latest report from Search Engine Journal. SEO status report.
However, if you dream of working 9am to 5pm for a large company, many require a formal degree in marketing.
Without a degree, digital marketing talent recruiters at large corporations may not even see your resume.
Whether you prefer to take the online digital marketing certificate route or the college degree route, neither is wrong.
It’s more affordable
Compared to attending a top school, learning digital marketing with non-accredited digital marketing courses and starting a website is 10 times more profitable, with a return on investment of 521% three years after the start of your career in digital marketing compared to a return of 53% of a digital marketing degree.
Additionally, programs such as Google Digital Marketing Certification are free.
When looking for credible marketing and SEO certification programs, look for:
- Industry Recognized Digital Marketing Certification (ex: HubSpot content marketing certification).
- Positioning aid with potential employers after the course.
- Well-run lessons (ex: courses that cover inbound marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, mobile marketing, online advertising, etc.).
- Hands-on experience with platforms and the technology you would use in a marketing role.
Sets you apart from other non-graduates
When competing for a job in the marketing field, having a certification sets you apart from others applying for the same job.
This designation will appear prominently on your resume and show that you have taken an extra step towards achieving your career aspirations.
Indeed, according to Robert Half Technologies 2021 Salary Guidean entry-level marketing manager without certification can expect to earn $67,000 per year.
On the other hand, a certified marketing manager earns around $116,500. The difference in income between the two is $43,000 per year.
So what’s better? Marketing degree or no marketing degree?
There are arguments to be made for pursuing a formal college education instead of exploring certification options.
It comes down to your own preferences, which learning format works best for you, cost, and goals.
If you excel in in-person learning and in a more structured academic environment, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing may be your best option.
Alternatively, if you prefer to go at your own pace and have more hands-on marketing experience, pursuing a certificate may be in your best interest.
You can then build your portfolio with this hands-on experience to prove you’re a strong candidate.
Whether you prefer to hone your digital marketing skills through a four-year college or want to start your marketing career without formal training depends on your personality and what works best for you personally.
There is no right or wrong way to approach getting a job in digital marketing and what works best for one person may not work for another.
Stick to the style of education you prefer and learn the necessary skills. You’ll be well on your way to becoming a self-paced marketer.
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