Published on Oct 08,2015
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When speaking with some millennials, we have noticed a certain paradigm shift in what they consider to be lucrative career options these days. Some clichéd career paths have now taken a backseat, making way for new age careers such as digital marketing where there is high growth potential and shifting gears is easier to some extent.

So what’s changed so suddenly to bring about this shift? The amplified use of electronic hand-held devices has heightened the need for sophisticated digital content and applications with impeccable user interface. With rising investments in digital marketing, traditional marketing channels have made way for new techniques of selling and marketing, resulting in a skill gap for some roles.

While a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum qualification to make the cut for a job in digital marketing, any specialized course will obviously put you a few notches ahead of the rest. Diploma courses in digital marketing are also top picks nowadays with skills in Internet marketing, SEO and web analytics seeing high demand. Managerial exposure is required for those intending to join at higher levels.

Career avenues in this space

Let’s take a look at some of the emerging segments within digital marketing that have promising career options:

  • Mobile Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Writing
  • Email Marketing
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Digital Analytics
  • E-commerce
  • Web Design

How does one prepare?

Begin your preparations as soon as you have established that you are passionate about this space and find it exciting enough to pursue a career in it. Here are a few tips on how you can get initiated into a career in digital marketing:

  1. Start early: Don’t wait until you finish college to augment your skills from a digital marketing career perspective. If you begin early, you can get a head-start over other aspirants. Work on generic skills like communication (both verbal and written) through community interaction, debates and content writing for college editorials. These skills are highly valued in all spheres of digital marketing.
  2. Skills scorecard: Create your own skills scorecard by comparing your current skills with those required for a career in digital marketing. You can come up with a list of required skills by talking to your college faculty, meeting someone from the industry or by reading job descriptions. Follow companies on social media to get a sense of their work culture and to keep an eye on the new technologies they are adopting. Updating your skills in line with the industry requirement will not only help you in creating an impactful curriculum vitae but also also help you stand out during interviews.
  3. Start experimenting: There’s no better way to learn than by doing! With a plethora of digital tools available for free, you can experiment and get valuable experience in your area of interest. Even if it is something more complex and not available for free, trial versions will be enough to give you a working knowledge of the products.
  4. Check out available courses: It would be worth your while to do some research on the best courses available to complement your skills for a career in digital marketing. You could attend these courses while still at college to save on time and be job-ready even before you graduate. Courses in digital marketing, email marketing , mobile marketing, web analytics, digital design and communications are modular certificate courses being offered by many online learning platforms.
  5. Get practical experience: In the digital world, everything is available at your fingertips, literally. Whilst a fancy internship or well-placed mentor would be great benefits to gain some practical exposure, you could very well create something on your own. Start a blog, design a website, write content for a relative’s startup or create a personal digital project. A company would give higher credence to someone who has displayed his/her passion for digital marketing through projects. You could also combine this effort with some philanthropy and help an NGO or local charitable firm in designing their website.
  6. Create brand ‘YOU’: How can you build a good career in digital marketing without stepping up your own online presence? Create your own brand by registering with the major social media platforms. Restrict frivolous posts and join like-minded groups and professional forums. Share your opinions on subjects that you feel strongly about and follow companies that you dream of working with some day. Remember, any employer will research you on social media before making the ultimate hiring decision.
  7. Get an internship: Visit the college placement cell regularly and try and get some insight into what kind of summer internships and part-time jobs are on offer in the digital marketing space. By taking up something early enough, you will gain practical exposure and can also start networking from a young age. Your CV will rank above those without any prior experience.

Employees working in the digital marketing sector are expected to have good communication skills, teamwork skills and managerial skills among others. Mathematics and analytical skills are critical for the role of a digital marketing analyst and creative writing skills are a basic requirement for content writers and bloggers.

The objectives of digital marketing are the same as any other traditional marketing channel – engaging customers, building a relationship with them, delivering value to customers and building the brand, all with an ultimate impact on the bottom-line. Digital marketing is different in the sense that it uses electronic media and connects with customers virtually. Companies are keen to adopt more of digital and less of traditional marketing techniques as digital marketing involves lower cost and gives an enhanced and accurate view of the campaign ROI. Career prospects in the sector are on the rise and now is the right time to explore a career in digital marketing.

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