Do I need formal education to get a digital marketing job?

Technology has changed the way organisations sell a product, service or an idea. Ongoing digital transformation delivered through Big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smartphones residing in the pockets of over 2 billion people worldwide, has completely reshaped the marketing industry

This drift towards embracing the digital frontier has meant that every business now needs to have a digital marketing plan. It’s a matter of survival. To stay competitive within their industry, companies need to not only connect with consumers but also to compose and configure those interactions

Leaning on technology in marketing has also created an increased demand for digital marketing experts. According to the 2019 Marketing Hiring Trends Report, digital marketing jobs are soaring, with 61 per cent of marketing leaders reporting that they plan to add digital marketers to their team.  

So, how do you become a digital marketing specialist? Here’s what you have to consider.

What skills are in demand?

Typically, digital marketing jobs require the ability to research, analyse, plan, execute and measure multi-channel campaigns to build brand awareness and maintain customer loyalty. It’s a role that requires a deep understanding of consumer habits and motivations and the ability to communicate effectively with customers through digital means.   

With technology continually evolving, the goalposts for digital marketing experts are continually shifting as well. To survive competition in this field, digital marketers are expected to keep up with emerging trends – from chatbots, AI and social messaging apps to content personalisation, engagement-based email marketing and micro-moments.

Key digital marketing skills that are sought-after by employers right now include:   

  • Customer experience design
  • Data analytics
  • Responsive design
  • Copywriting
  • Contextual marketing
  • Search engine optimisation

For any digital marketer, it's critical to keep up to date on the top marketing skills you need to succeed.

Self-made vs formal qualifications

There are several pathways you can take to pursue a career in digital marketing – starting with teaching yourself the basics, taking a short certification course or completing a formal qualification, like a Master of Marketing. 

It’s important to note, though, the candidates who are getting the most lucrative positions are those completing reputable degrees with effective learning outcomes. McKinley Marketing Partners report that marketers with a Master of Marketing earn significantly higher salaries than those with undergraduate degrees and even more so than those without a university qualification. 

In Australia, Deloitte Access Economics forecasts that marketers with postgraduate qualifications can expect to earn around AU$150,000 between 2021-2022. So, a degree in marketing is really an investment in your future.  

When it comes to the level of education required for digital marketing jobs, there are additional benefits to studying a formal qualification. The Deloitte Access Economics research also found that postgraduate study in marketing “can enable workers to hone the skills needed to be highly sought after as a marketer, as well as opening up a new and diverse range of career pathways.” 

The report went on to add that formal qualifications can build core competencies in “technical expertise in order to conduct evidence-based marketing analysis, and creative thinking in order to differentiate a product or brand from competitors.”

A Master of Marketing goes beyond the basic concepts of consumer behaviour and research and delves into a number of different areas across the value chain.  

Build your brand with a degree

Given that the best digital marketers help brands and organisations tower over their competitors, likewise, aspiring digital marketers need to think of themselves as a brand. By completing a Master of Marketing, you’ll be communicating to potential employees that you have not only the specific skills to excel in your chosen job, but also the discipline and dedication to reach outcomes. 

Companies regularly set standards and measure success – looking at where the organisation is now, and where it wants to head in the future. By applying this thinking to the education required in pursuit of digital marketing jobs, you’re likely to succeed in your chosen career path.       

Learn more about RMIT Online's Master of Marketing and Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing Leadership. Get in touch with our Enrolment team on 1300 701 171.