Digital marketers can make around $71,000 per year1 and can find employment in just about any industry needing marketing. The digital world gets bigger every year, and companies need help to get their messages out over the noise.
This guide explores what digital marketing courses can offer students, how they can use the skills learned in the job market, and where students may consider specializing their skills.
What Is a Digital Marketing Course?
Digital marketing leverages the online space and new technologies to reach online customers and audiences. Companies must possess an online presence to exist in the world today, and digital marketing ensures that they can reach their target audience no matter where they are. Digital marketing offers a career in business with a modern twist.
Digital marketing courses help anyone with an online presence make themselves heard. The internet grows more every day with more sites and more voices on social media. Digital marketing requires new disciplines and skills to break through that noise and help engage a target audience to convince them to join, purchase, or participate in something.
Digital marketing courses train students for an array of marketing positions. Marketers should possess knowledge of the digital technologies that drive an online presence and must possess the people skills to wrangle marketing teams. Courses also teach marketers vital knowledge of data, a significant skill required to measure marketing initiatives.
Digital marketing courses build those vital skills to help companies survive in the online space. Whether students take single skills courses or complete a full degree, digital marketing offers the opportunity for a thriving career.
How Can I Use a Digital Marketing Degree?
Digital marketers can make an average of over $70,000 per year1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall marketing managers can make well over six figures2 and employ about 270,000 people per year2. Those with well-rounded skills can find employment in nearly any field. Any company with a product or service to offer can use digital marketers to find new customers and nurture returning ones.
Some of the highest-paying digital marketing fields according to the BLS include2:
- Cable and subscription planning: Marketing managers here can make an average salary of over $200,000 per year.
- Other information services: Information systems offers marketing managers over $185,000 per year on average.
- Aerospace products and parts: The aerospace industry makes big sales and needs marketing managers to help. It offers an annual salary of over $185,000 per year.
- Scientific research and development: Marketing managers make just over $184,000 per year, helping to get products and services to market.
- Oil and gas extraction: Marketing managers in this field make just over $183,000 per year.
Students can niche further from digital marketing into positions like social media managers, content strategists, or email marketers. Alternately, students can gain management skills and work with marketing teams to plan entire marketing efforts.
Digital Marketing Courses
Digital marketing courses include more than just marketing principles. They examine each section of the online space and ensure that customers can connect with a company in a variety of ways, including:
- Website planning: Ground zero for an online presence.
- Search engine optimization: The methods for helping search engines recommend something to users.
- Social media marketing: How to move the needle for audience engagement and what platform performs best for a particular organization.
- Web analytics: How to measure performance, track activity, and plan next steps using data.
- Digital media and planning: Taking charge of a digital media plan.
- Content marketing and strategy: Writing valuable content for an engaged audience on a blog or guest post
- Email marketing: Reaching an audience right in their inboxes.
While not an exhaustive list, it does outline the complexity of marketing in the digital age. Students need a well-rounded set of skills to navigate this new world.
Digital marketing managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in marketing to achieve manager positions, but some digital marketing niches don’t require a degree. Students can take single courses for email marketing or content writing or just show a portfolio of skills through social media accounts they manage.
Digital Marketing Course Concentrations
Digital marketing offers niche concentrations for students that want to work in specific areas. Students can choose to work explicitly in one of the following niches:
Content marketers can make an average of $68,996 per year3. Content marketing focuses on creating written content such as blog content, articles, and guests posts. They create a strategy and editorial calendars to ensure a cohesive message from the company to its target audience.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) managers leverage search engine principles to help companies get their message out there and make $72,062 per year4. SEM includes both search engine optimization (SEO), an organic marketing tool, and pay per click (PPC) or paid search. SEM managers leverage both these marketing tools to increase traffic and visibility for online content.
Marketing managers that focus on mobile marketing can make $74,874 per year5 helping companies build marketing experiences optimized for mobile. Considering that over half of web traffic comes from mobile devices6, this position remains vital for companies.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketers make an average of $55,314 per year7 and help companies manage their social media presence. It’s more than posting pretty pictures. It includes a deep understanding of a company’s brand and audience and deciding where that target audience spends time.
Email marketers make $74,137 per year8 on average because email remains one of the closest links to a target audience. Email marketers pay attention to analytics and strategy to help get messages through spam filters and opened by the right people.
A relatively new niche, influencer marketers make an average of $57,964 per year9. Influencer marketing works by finding people who already have a social media following and partnering with them to offer product and service advertising. They create posts on their social feeds in agreement with the company, bringing in potential new followers.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Digital Marketing Degree?
Data marketers often finish bachelor’s degrees, either specifically in digital marketing or in general marketing with a digital marketing concentration. Bachelor’s degrees typically take four years of full-time study to complete, including state-required core requirements.
Digital marketing certificates can take three to six months, typically the equivalent of a single quarter or semester. These choices work for those already in marketing or with a general marketing degree and need to upskill to pursue new employment.
Digital marketing online options do exist and can provide convenient options for participants who need flexibility with their studies. Online degrees take the same amount of time as an in-person course on average.
Discover More About Digital Marketing Programs
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing helps businesses leverage the online and digital space to nurture returning customers, find new ones, and advance business goals.
What is the application process for digital marketing?
Potential students should apply to their school and declare their major. Certificate programs possess different requirements depending on the certificate, so students should check with the program.
Are digital marketing scholarships available?
Scholarships may be available from the school of choice. Participants may also find scholarships at their current place of employment for professional growth and development education.
Is digital marketing worth it?
Marketing, in general, should grow at the same rate as the industry average9. The industry is expected to employ around 31,000 people per year between 2020 to 2030, so potential digital marketers should find plenty of chances to work in the field in a variety of industries.
Does location matter for digital marketing degrees?
Digital marketing degrees can happen solely online, so location remains less of a concern. However, the top five paying states according to the BLS2 are:
- New York: $194,940 annual salary
- New Jersey: $180,250 annual salary
- California: $176,940 annual salary
- Virginia: $176,640 annual salary
- Colorado: $172,140 annual salary
Students can also find positions in the top hiring states, including California, New York, and Illinois2.
Is online an option for digital marketing?
Digital courses happen online all the time. Digital marketing also turned remote during the pandemic and still remains easily completed through remote work. Students looking for flexible positions might find them in this industry.
What are the advantages of digital marketing?
Digital marketing offers a lower-cost alternative to traditional marketing initiatives and more analytics to drive decision-making. It helps bring a larger audience to the brand and can provide a significant return on investment.
How can I get a job in digital marketing?
After graduation, students can take on internships to gain valuable experience. Digital marketers can work as freelancers or join an agency to work for third-party clients. Other options to help find employment include making a portfolio, taking on small local projects for experience, and working with companies on limited projects to gain essential skills.
 PayScale. (2021). Salary for Skill: Digital Marketing. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Skill=Digital_Marketing/Salary
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Occupational Employment and Wages, Marketing Managers. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm
 PayScale. (2021). Average Content Marketing Manager Salary. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Content_Marketing_Manager/Salary
 PayScale. (2021). Average Search Engine Optimization Manager Salary. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Search_Engine_Optimization_(SEO)_Manager/Salary
 PayScale. (2021). Average Mobile Marketing Manager Salary. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Mobile_Marketing_Manager/Salary
 Statistica. (2021). Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 1st quarter 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/
 PayScale. (2021). Average Social Media Marketing Manager Salary. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Social_Media_Marketing_Manager/Salary
 PayScale. (2021). Average Email Marketing Manager Salary. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=E-Mail_Marketing_Manager/Salary
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021) Occupational Outlook Handbook: Advertising, Promotions and Marketing. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm