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What’s the Trajectory of a Typical Digital Marketing Career Path?

Interested in digital marketing but need information before pursuing it? Here’s the trajectory of a typical digital marketing career path

digital marketing career path

There’s never been a better time to get into digital marketing. According to eMarketer companies in the US spent over $100 billion on digital advertising (£77 billion) in 2018. That, of course, doesn’t include the billions spent by businesses in the UK and internationally.

As organisations continue to spend more on digital marketing, the need for workers to fill the many roles this medium includes will only increase.

Thinking about pursuing a career in this exciting industry? keep reading for a closer look at the typical digital marketing career path. We’ll also look at some of the areas you may want to work in and how to get started.

What is Digital Marketing and Where Do Digital Marketers Work?

Digital marketing is a very broad industry that essentially covers all marketing activities in the digital space. This includes websites, social media, pay per click advertising, and just about any other marketing that takes place online.

It’s safe to say that digital marketing is a very broad industry with lots of job opportunities. From major for-profit companies to tiny non-profits, organisations of all shapes and sizes need marketers.

Here are just a few of the many types of organisations that employ digital marketers:

  • Businesses: both large and small
  • Marketing and advertising agencies
  • Non-profits
  • Some governmental or para-governmental organisations

The Digital Marketing Career Path

For better or worse, there is no linear career path for most digital marketing jobs. Many digital marketers come from other professions or work into the field because of related skills or experience.

Whether you have experience in an area of digital marketing or not, let’s look a little closer at some of the different specialities you’ll find in this field.


Search engine optimisation or SEO is one of the most important specialities in digital marketing. With over 80% of local businesses now found through internet searches, knowing how to help organisations find their way to the top of search results is a powerful skill.

While some bigger businesses do employ search experts, most SEOs work for agencies or independently.

If you think this might be the path for you, you’ll want to begin learning how to optimise a site for search and try to get some projects under your belt.

Web Design and Development

Two other key positions in the digital marketing field are web design and development.

While these two fields really could be considered separately, web developers are increasingly drawn into the design elements of websites. The inverse is also true of designers taking on more development tasks.

Web designers and developers are working to build the web, putting together websites that encourage visitors to take action.

Development positions are some of the most technically demanding jobs out there but are also some of the most highly paid.

Copywriting and Content Creation

Websites, social media, and the internet as a whole are built on words. Video and images really help tie everything together but words are the backbone, connecting everything in an easy to understand manner.

If you like writing, copywriting and content writing are other in-demand digital marketing jobs. From writing web pages to blog posts, these skills really cover a lot of ground and offer plenty of room for specialisation.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketers are another in-demand marketing position right now.

But, just because you’re a heavy social media user doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be a social media manager. There’s a big difference between using Facebook and getting Facebook users to buy something.

Work on getting a better understanding of social media advertising and some experience with simple projects to better understand this medium.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay per click advertising has been around for quite some time now but is still a very effective medium. While PPC may not be the sexiest digital marketing medium today, it’s still a skill that’s highly sought after.

PPC marketers implement and oversee paid advertising and search campaigns. You’ll need to understand how search engines work and advertising dynamics to master this field.

Account Management

While this position doesn’t involve a specific digital marketing skill, account managers need to broadly understand many aspects of marketing.

In an agency setting, account managers handle client relationships and often take on a project management role. Since agencies handle so much digital marketing work, it’s important to understand this role and its place in the industry. Once you have some experience it might even be a good fit for you!

getting started in digital marketing

How to Get Started in Digital Marketing

If you don’t have much — or any — experience in digital marketing, it can be tough to find a job. Most hiring managers for digital marketing positions will be more interested in experience and performance than education or training.

There are few university degrees or certifications that will help you get a job in this field. For most digital marketing gigs, experience is key to getting the job.

But getting the right experience can be a challenge if you’re just starting out.

To break into digital marketing, it’s important to get a firm grasp of the skills required through an applicable training or educational program.

Then you can work on getting experience by looking for entry level jobs that will help you move into the field you want to work in. You can also try building a portfolio by doing some projects for friends, family, or anyone who could use help with a project.

Your Turn

If you think the digital marketing career path might be right for you, there’s never been a better time to get started! There are a few career paths that offer the same sort of opportunity and flexibility right now.

You can start learning the skills you need for this exciting career today and begin picking up experience as you go.

You might like: Choosing Your Digital Marketing Career Niche – Top Tips From the Industry Professionals

Looking for a job in digital marketing? Take a look at our job postings and find your next position now.

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