Degrees That Lead To Digital Marketing Careers
For many traditional jobs, like lawyers, doctors or teachers, most people know the step-by-step process to get one. Study to obtain a certain qualification, get into a practice for continued training and you’re in! Whilst that may not be easy, it’s at least simple.
But with an industry like Digital Marketing, career pathways aren’t so obvious. That may be because many Digital Marketing jobs, didn’t even exist 10 years ago. In fact, very few in the industry studied their chosen marketing channel.
There is today, a few specialist digital marketing degrees, but the majority of graduates would never have heard of SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and so on. Yet, the industry represents the largest growth area for businesses and agencies alike and now dominates in terms of marketing spends.
With little role or channel-specific education to hand, the industry came to be because of a surprising range of transferable skills offered by both industry veterans and newcomers. Those in the industry blogged, shared ideas and hosted conferences until it evolved into the hugely revered industry (and tangible career path) it is today.
Now with 8 of the top 20 most common jobs advertised falling within Digital Marketing, there are plenty of opportunities for job seekers. If you thought only those with a degree in Marketing could end up working on the digital side of the industry, think again:
Traditional Marketing has always incorporated written creativity from catchy one-liners to advertorial copy, from commercial ad scripting to press release. The same is true for digital, only amplified ten times. After all, the internet is a massive creative content machine (ever heard the phrase “content is king”?).
This means that there’s loads of opportunity for graduates with writing degrees – such as English Literature, Journalism or Creative Writing. Typically, such qualifications lend themselves to areas like content marketing, copywriting and social media management.
Visual content such as infographics, how-to videos, moving banners, captioned images, inspiring photography and so on, have become commonplace in digital and are in constant demand of innovation. Therefore, those with qualifications in graphic design, multimedia, video editing and illustration can all find a place for themselves in Digital Marketing creating social content and digital campaign artwork.
Social Science Degrees
Successful creative marketing campaigns rely on human psychology. They are based on the fundamentals of behavioural sciences, understanding what motivates people and how to make people think or feel about a given product or topic.
Social Media Marketers, for example, need to engage with different audiences, speak for brands through a crafted tone of voice, and build brand advocacy through human connection.
Pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO Managers have to understand consumer intent. They must be able to analyse potential customers search behaviour (i.e. the phrases people search for on Google) and ensure that their website content meets the criteria, attracting a “call to action” – usually a click-through, leading to a purchase.
Digital PR is another relatively-new industry specialism that requires high levels of interpersonal communication. The role requires you to build relationships with relative strangers and “sell-in” ideas for online coverage.
That all means that there is not only space for, but a need for, professionals in the industry who specialise in psychology, sociology or behavioural sciences.
From mathematics to economics, statistics to physics, the data geeks shall inherit the Earth… and lucrative careers in Digital Marketing!
Analytical minds are extremely important in the digital landscape because everything online is trackable, measurable, comparable and reportable. eCommerce websites, in particular, rely heavily on the ability to interpret large volumes of data and inform decision-making to ensure profitability.
Presenting raw data is just the tip of the iceberg. Digital Analysts have to interpret the numbers to weave stories and deliver insight. They can pull meaning from the research beforehand, monitor the impact of a campaign during, then evaluate results after. These are very important roles in digital teams.
Due to the importance of the role, Data Analysts were regularly listed as one of the top paying digital industry roles in 2017.
Another role which relies on analytics, as well as strong interpersonal skills, meticulous attention to detail and personal organisation is an Account Manager. These, all-important members of the team look after business development and client retention. Their duties are among the most varied found in an agency too and consist of: conducting meetings, mapping timelines, planning budgets, managing stakeholders, interpreting briefs, providing solutions, reporting on performance to name a few.
Computer Science Degrees
Web Development and Computer Engineering is another key element of the digital landscape, with agencies hiring front-end, back-end, full-stack and mobile engineers to deliver various online projects for their clients. There’s a lot of opportunity for anyone technically minded.
Degrees in geography, surveying or cartography can all find their way into big digital projects. From apps that help us find the nearest ATM to Pet GPS systems on our smartphones, there is a need for people who can collect, measure and interpret geographical data. In fact, 11% of Geography students find themselves in a marketing career, the fourth most popular industry destination for Geography graduates.
The digital revolution made the world smaller. Our online marketplace is now a global one. While that has opened a wealth of opportunity for businesses to export their products and services overseas, it poses a challenge too. The internet has massively increased the need for international communications and anyone competent with additional language will find themselves to be indispensable.
Linguists are not merely translators nor copywriters. Take most specialist areas and apply a global lens and you can create a unique roll that only a few to do. For example:
• International SEO/PPC – You can’t just take a keyword and translate it verbatim. It has to be adapted correctly to fit the customers intent.
• International Account Management – The ability to coordinate efforts across countries is the kind of USP that wins agencies the biggest clients in the world.
• International Campaign Management – International rollout of any online campaign is more than just a translation. It has to fit the intended audiences, culturally.
Overall, a Digital Marketing team comprises of some of the most diverse skill sets imaginable and contains those from all academic backgrounds. These elements are brought together to deliver something as creatively impressive as it is statistically successful. That means there’s room for everyone on the team!
About the author: Dave Clough heads up the Digital PR team at Belfast-based consultancy Glaze Digital. His background includes Marketing Management at Argos and senior positions for numerous leading digital agencies in London.