There’s no denying the importance of digital marketing in the business world today. Social media, digital advertising, email marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are essential for success in the 21st century — and they all require the skills and knowledge of trained digital marketing professionals.
To lead in today’s increasingly online world, organizations are placing more emphasis on marketing and digital advertising than ever before. With marketing and advertising as key drivers of growth and expansion for companies big and small, the demand for skilled digital marketers is increasing.
Do I Need a Degree For Digital Marketing?
While it’s true that some of what digital marketers do can be learned on the job, an advanced degree in digital marketing can prepare you for leadership roles and help you stand out in a competitive field that doesn’t necessarily require more than an undergraduate degree.
If you’re hoping to launch your career in digital marketing, or if you’re a professional in the field hoping for career advancement, a master’s degree can be the catalyst you need. But how do you know which degree program is right for you?
The most common digital marketing graduate degrees are the Master of Science in Digital Marketing and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a marketing concentration. Before you start applying, make sure you understand the key differences between these two digital marketing master’s degrees and which one will best help you reach your career goals.
MBA vs. MS in Digital Marketing
Both the MBA with a Concentration in Marketing and the MS in Digital Marketing will help elevate your career and advance your digital marketing skills and knowledge. However, when considering which degree will be the best fit, you should take into account the curriculum and outcomes associated with each program and what you hope to gain by earning a master’s degree.
An MS in Digital Marketing is best for individuals who either want to break into the field, or who have some marketing experience and want to enhance their functional and career-specific skills. In a digital marketing master’s program, you’ll gain the technical and analytical expertise to thrive as a creative and strategic leader in the digital realm.
The MBA, on the other hand, is the most widely-recognized graduate degree for managerial positions and above, and many MBA programs require at least two years of professional experience for admission. While a master’s degree in digital marketing can help you with your first job and enhance your technical and marketing-specific skills, an MBA is designed to prepare you for a career as a leader.
In an MBA program, you’ll learn to manage a company’s most valuable asset: its people, their skills, and their creativity. The bulk of your credit hours in the program will be dedicated to leadership and management courses, with electives focused on specific areas of digital marketing.
You should consider a Master of Science in Digital Marketing if
- You want to break into the field of marketing.
- You want to finesse your knowledge of branding, data analysis, consumer behavior, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), market research, and lead generation on digital platforms.
- You have less than two years of professional experience.
- You want to work at the senior level.
- You’re more interested in becoming a better, more strategic marketer, rather than developing your leadership skills.
The Master of Business Administration with a Marketing Concentration might be the best fit for you if:
- You have two or more years of professional experience.
- You want to work in a leadership role in a digital marketing department or company.
- You’re more interested in honing your management and leadership skills than developing your marketing-specific technical skills.
5 Potential Careers for Digital Marketers
Digital marketing jobs and salary ranges can vary a lot between organizations. It’s not uncommon for marketing professionals with vastly different job titles to perform the same functions within different marketing agencies or departments. As you learn more about potential digital marketing career paths, take the titles with a grain of salt and instead consider the job functions and skills as they relate to your interests and experience.
- Digital Marketing Manager
In general, digital marketing managers are responsible for developing and executing digital marketing strategy, managing campaigns and supervising other experts on a digital marketing team.
The average salary for digital marketing managers in the United States is $123,899 a year, according to Glassdoor.
- Social Media Manager
Social media managers lead a company’s communication with the public through the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media managers are often in charge of developing a publishing schedule, creating content, identifying trends and analyzing engagement data. Professionals in this role will also need to stay on top of new and emerging social media platforms and create guidelines for how new platforms are used by their organization or brand.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social media managers and other public relations and communications specialists earned a median salary of $62,810 in 2020.
- SEO Specialist
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) managers are responsible for increasing a brand or company’s website or blog traffic through on-page and technical optimizations. SEO professionals work to improve a brand’s likelihood for ranking at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) through keyword research, content analysis and content creation.
On average, SEO managers make $72,652 per year, according to Glassdoor.
- Content Manager
Content managers are responsible for the strategy, development, and distribution of a brand or organization’s creative messaging. As a content manager, you’ll be expected to have strong knowledge of digital marketing software software and tools as well as SEO and social media best practices. Professionals in this role are often also in charge of a brand’s voice and may be expected to lead a team of writers.
According to Glassdoor, content managers in the U.S. make an average salary of $75,672.
- User Experience (UX) Designer
UX Designers are in charge of all aspects of a website or app’s development, including design, usability, branding and marketing. As a UX designer, you’ll manage end-user experience on websites and apps to ensure that they’re easy and pleasing to use. You’ll work closely with IT professionals and others in the company to determine potential defects, perform usability tests and make recommendations for website features or functionality improvements.
The average annual salary for UX Designers in the U.S. is $105,122, according to glassdoor.
Land Your Dream Digital Marketing Career With a Graduate Degree from SHU
If you want to be a digital marketing expert and leader, you need to gain the technical, analytical and management skills that will set you apart from your competition in the workplace. A Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing or an MBA with a Concentration in Marketing will not only help you gain the functional skills required for success, but will also help you become a better and more strategic leader.
In the meantime, we invite you to learn more about the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology (WCBT) at SHU by downloading our guide – . The WCBT, which was ranked as a Best Business School in 2022, houses the MBA and MS in Digital Marketing programs – and through this college’s innovative and carefully curated curriculums, we prepare students for dynamic careers in this ever-evolving, complex business environment.