Top Digital Marketing Careers + How to Land One

Young people in co-working in a creative space

If you’ve always wanted to break into the digital marketing field, there’s never been a better time. Not only is there lots of opportunity, both to enter the field and to grow within it, but there is such variety in the careers themselves. So no matter what your skill set is or what your interests may be, there is likely an exciting and rewarding role for you. 

Not sure where to start? Here is a quick guide to the top digital marketing careers to have on your radar.

Why Consider a Job in Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing Career Outlook

Top 8 Jobs in Digital Marketing

Required Skills for Digital Marketers

How to Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills

How to Start Your Digital Marketing Career

Why Consider a Job in Digital Marketing?

Beyond your own passion and career goals, there are a handful of solid reasons to consider a digital marketing career.

  1. Demand is high

According to LinkedIn, the “Digital Marketing Specialist” role is among the top 10 most in-demand jobs, with approximately 860,000 job openings. While that is just one role within the industry, this type of opportunity is abound for other roles in digital marketing. 

  1. It’s generally well paid

“Digital marketer” is an incredibly broad category, with many different types and levels of jobs falling within it. But generally speaking, the average salary for a digital marketer is approximately $58,000, with lots of room for upward mobility and higher earnings.

Digital Marketing Career Outlook

When looking at the job market as a whole, digital marketing professionals have a “slightly better than average” outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that career opportunities in the marketing field are anticipated to increase 10% by 2031, which equates to 33,700 new jobs.
When you drill down into the digital marketing field, certain jobs have more demand than others. According to online career aggregator ZipRecruiter, marketing departments are most in need of experts in internet and website marketing, search engine marketing, and social media marketing and engagement. More specifically, employers have the most need for the following roles:

  • Marketing analytics specialists
  • Mobile marketing professionals
  • Content marketing experts
  • Social media marketers

Top 8 Jobs in Digital Marketing

Social Media Specialist
National average salary:
$56,057 per year
Primary duties: Manages all social media accounts for their employer/client. In a digital marketing agency, where you would most likely find this position, they will juggle multiple social accounts across a number of clients and industries. Social media specialists will also help strategize and create content for social, based on social media best practices and overall client marketing goals.

Graphic Designer
National average salary: $58,355 per year
Primary duties: Creates graphics and visual content for a client’s digital platforms, which can include their website and social channels. Graphic designers typically combine varying visual and textual elements in their work, which can also include branding and logo work. They use digital solutions such as Illustrator and InDesign to complete their work.

SEO Specialist
National average salary: $55,398 per year
Primary duties: Strategizes ways to optimize a client’s website for search engines. This involves keyword research, analytics and using other digital solutions to identify opportunities for clients to rank higher on search engine results pages. Ultimately, an SEO specialist is trying to create more traffic for their clients that results in sales conversions.

Email Marketing Specialist
National average salary: $59,561 per year
Primary duties: Creates compelling email copy and email marketing campaigns to help clients reach their audience and increase sales/conversions. Email specialists likely have a background in writing, but also are adept at effective email marketing tactics. Working in tandem with the overall marketing strategy, email marketers also work to help grow and retain a client’s contact database through targeted campaigns.

Content Strategist
National average salary: $65,617 per year
Primary duties: Researches, creates and analyzes digital content for a client’s target demographic. Content strategists use their knowledge of marketing tactics and client-specific needs to create a content calendar. They may or may not participate in the content creation itself, but they ultimately analyze the performance of said content and come up with ways to improve or build upon it.

UX Designer
National average salary: $95,195 per year
Primary duties: Oversees end-to-end development of websites and digital marketing applications. UX designers usually have a background in development, coding and higher-end design. They must design with a client’s specific goals in mind, and work closely with strategists to ensure the design can satisfy the marketing demands for the site, while focusing on the user experience it will deliver.

Project Manager
National average salary: $75,951 per year
Primary duties: Acts as the point person for all aspects of a project, from initial ideation to the final product. Digital marketing project managers serve as a central communicator, ensuring relevant stakeholders receive the information they need to perform their jobs on time and on budget. Project managers also handle any issues that may arise, working to track performance along the way to ensure a successful marketing campaign.

Digital Marketing Directors
National average salary: $182,410 per year
Primary duties: Manages the overall marketing strategy for a specific client, a range of clients or a digital marketing organization. Digital marketing managers must have skills and knowledge across all facets of digital marketing, from SEO strategy to content strategy, PPC, development, graphic design, analytics and more. Their focus will primarily be on strategic planning and execution of varying marketing initiatives that align with company goals and serve to grow the business.

Required Skills for Digital Marketers

Certain roles within the digital marketing field require specific skill sets. Jobs like graphic designer, PPC specialist or front-end developer all require people to be trained and proficient with varying software programs, digital tools and more. But more generally speaking, people who hope to work in digital marketing should have the following skills:

  1. Critical thinking – the ability to learn and adapt to changing marketing trends and ever-shifting goals will serve any digital marketer well.
  2. Industry knowledge – an understanding of digital marketing principles, such as search engine ranking methods, is key.
  3. Marketing skills – experience with general marketing concepts, such as customer growth and product promotion, is a must. 
  4. Data analysis – this isn’t required of all roles within digital marketing, but having an understanding of how to read digital marketing analytics data is helpful. 
  5. Content creation – all roles in digital marketing help in some way with content creation, so having basic skills are required.
  6. SEO & SEM – understanding search engine optimization and search engine marketing best practices is a requirement for digital marketers.
  7. Communication Skills – just like in any job, you should be able to effectively communicate in a professional and organized manner.
  8. Social Media – this will help digital marketers not only promote their own work and further their client’s goals, but it will also help grow your professional network.

How to Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation — especially for digital marketing beginners — is to start with a comprehensive digital marketing education. Here are some great resources:

How to Start Your Digital Marketing Career

Starting a new career, or even just changing jobs, can be intimidating and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. When you’re ready, here are six steps to launch your digital marketing career:

  1. Figure out what type of role you want – narrowing your sites from all of digital marketing to more specific roles in, say, graphic design or strategy, is a great first step.
  2. Research, research, research – learn more about not only the role you want, but the organization you might like to target for a job.
  3. Review potential employers – there are tons of resources to explore that have first-hand accounts of company culture and work environments. Do your research on companies you’re interested in.
  4. Network AHEAD of time – digital marketing is a largely connected industry, so networking will serve you well. Networking is easily done online, so join industry-specific groups and follow thought leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  5. Refine your application materials – polish up your resume and cover letter, as well as your online presence. All of those will be reviewed during the application process.
  6. Apply – submit those applications and get ready for your interview(s).

Beyond online resources, there are formal education options available to aspiring digital marketers. At the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education (PCE), we proudly offer a number of digital marketing courses and certificate programs, including our Strategic Online Marketing certificate. Our ever-evolving curriculum means our students are learning the latest digital marketing tactics, preparing them to launch the career they’ve always wanted in an ever-growing and in-demand field. 

5 Highest Paying Careers in SEO and Marketing Analytics

Find out how to launch your career in one of the most exciting and top earning fields — SEO and marketing analytics.

5 Highest Paying Careers in SEO and Marketing Analytics