How to Get a Job in Digital Marketing

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore the benefits of pursuing a career in digital marketing and how to land a digital marketing job.

[Featured image] A group of co-workers discusses digital marketing jobs to add to their team.

Digital marketing is an essential part of a company's efforts to reach customers before, during, and after a purchase. Over 60 percent of the global population is online, and more people are joining them every day [1]. Having a website is no longer enough. Businesses need to consider digital marketing as an integral part of their strategy to guide customers through digital channels and nurture relationships over time.

Fortunately, that means there are plenty of job openings in digital marketing—jobs for digital marketing specialists, for example, are projected to grow 20% between 2018-2028 [6]. Whether you're just starting your career, switching from another job, or brushing up on skills as a marketer, this guide can help you land that first job.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the use of the internet and digital technologies to reach audiences. It is a rapidly growing and evolving industry. 

According to Hubspot’s 2022 State of Marketing Trends Report, the top three marketing channels for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) brands are social media, email, and blogging [2]. Global digital ad spend in 2021 was $521.02 billion and could reach $876.1 billion by 2026 [3]. 

Digital marketing is more than running a sponsored Instagram ad to drive sales. It's a set of practices that can affect a brand's interactions with customers at every stage of the buying journey.

A quick video on how and why digital marketing creates value:

How to get a job in digital marketing 

Digital marketing is an in-demand field where marketers can flex their creative and strategic thinking and use the latest technologies to create value for brands. Follow these steps to get started on landing your first job.

1. Obtain a marketing education. 

The age-old question is, do you need a bachelor's degree in marketing to get a digital marketing job? The short answer is no. But while companies are willing to hire those without formal university degrees, it remains that bachelor's degrees are a standard baseline in a sea of applicants.

Statistics show that 76 percent of digital marketers held a bachelor’s degree, 10 percent had a master’s degree, and 8 percent held an associate [4]. However, skills and work experience tend to be more important than the degree itself. In digital marketing, the top three skills employers seek are social media management, SEO, and marketing automation [5].

Taking courses in digital marketing can be a great way to learn skills that are in demand and earn a credential that employers value, with or without a degree.

2. Gain digital marketing experience. 

You’ll also need to gain some experience in digital marketing, even for entry-level positions. Common ways to gain experience include getting an internship and taking on freelance or contract work.  

To find contract or freelance work in digital marketing, you can:

  • Reach out to your network to ask for referrals and discover opportunities to offer digital marketing services. 

  • Search job sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, or recruiting agencies like Creative Circle and BrainTrust, for contract and freelance opportunities. 

TIP: For each contract or freelance project you complete, ask clients for referrals and testimonials to keep up the momentum. Build a portfolio of your work to show potential employers.


3. Build digital marketing skills. 

In your courses and work experience, you'll inevitably gain digital marketing skills that you can help build your resume. ZipRecruiter’s Career Keyword Mapper, which tracks the top skills in job descriptions, indicates that digital marketers should prioritize the following skills:  

  • Social media marketing 

  • Google Analytics

  • Search engine marketing 

  • Search engine optimization 

  • Pay-per-click (PPC)

Read digital marketing job descriptions for roles that interest you to discover additional skills tailored to your interests. Then, prioritize the skills you want to focus on.  

4. Build a digital marketing portfolio.

An online portfolio makes it easy to showcase your digital marketing experience in a visually appealing manner and easy to share. Basic portfolio components include: 

  • An “About” section

  • Samples of your work and/or case studies 

  • Your contact information 

There are several platforms for building a portfolio website available to us in a range of pricing and offering a variety of features and templates, including: 

5. Optimize your online presence. 

Your online presence is your personal brand and has the potential to express your values, interests, abilities, and what you can offer a potential employer. 

Here are five ways to optimize your online presence:

  • Use your social media profiles to post content about digital marketing and remove any content that is outdated or irrelevant to your job search. 

  • Shift social media content to posts about your industry, digital marketing trends in general, your experience, or create. 

  • Update your Linkedin profile with your experience, education, and skills. 

  • Consider expanding your portfolio into a more extensive website or blog.

  • Link everything to your resume so potential employers can explore your online content. 

Read more: How to Create a LinkedIn Profile: Guide + Tips

6. Look for digital marketing jobs. 

Search general job sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor for digital marketing positions, as well as sites that focus more specifically on marketing or creative jobs, such as Behance, the American Marketing Association (AMA) job board, and Marketing Jobs.   

Collect job listings that match your level of experience, career goals, and salary expectations. Gather everything you need to complete applications. Create a schedule for applying. How many jobs will you apply for per week? What tasks do you need to complete for each one, including tailoring cover letters to each position or producing work samples? 

Read more: How to Prepare for an Interview

Digital marketing jobs 

For each of these digital marketing careers, we’ve included average US salary (base pay and additional pay such as commission, profit sharing, or cash bonuses) based on information from Glassdoor, Payscale, ZipRecruiter, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and Indeed as of March 2023. Use this list to help guide your job search.

  • Digital marketing assistant

    • What they earn: $69,385

    • What they do: Support the digital marketing manager and team; conduct research and report findings; help craft digital marketing campaigns. 

  • SEO (search engine optimization) writer 

    • What they earn: $71,990

    • What they do: Develop SEO content for websites; conduct keyword research; update existing content; monitor web pages' rankings in search engine results.

  • Social media specialist 

    • What they earn: $72,052

    • What they do: Create and publish social media content on behalf of an organization; maintain an organization's social media pages; track analytics; build relationships with social media followers.

  • SEO/SEM (search engine marketing) manager

    • What they earn: $92,752

    • What they do: Research and implement methods to increase website traffic; monitor competitor SEO/SEM strategies; refine a website’s keywords, layout, and content; execute PPC (pay-per-click) techniques.  

  • Content manager

    • What they earn: $95,685

    • What they do: Create content to raise brand awareness; manage a content team; gather data about target markets; implement content marketing strategies.  

  • Digital marketing manager 

    • What they earn: $95,955

    • What they do: Oversee an organization’s digital marketing strategy; manage marketing campaigns and evaluate performance; develop new digital marketing strategies.

  • Digital marketing director

    • What they earn: $135,832

    • What they do: Oversee an organization’s entire digital marketing strategy; analyze the success of marketing campaigns; stay up-to-date on marketing trends. 

  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

    • What they earn: $203,569

    • What they do: Oversee an organization’s marketing program; supervise marketing managers; establish departmental procedures; drive strategy and planning; maintain marketing industry knowledge.

Read more: Digital Marketing Salary: How Much Can You Earn in 2022? 

Learn digital marketing with Google

With the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate, you can gain in-demand skills that prepare you for a job in digital marketing in just six months or less. Learn how to use essential tools like Canva, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp, and build your portfolio with tangible projects like customer personas and social media calendars.

Article sources


Coursera. "Foundations of Digital Marketing and E-commerce," Accessed March 24, 2023.

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