Getting that all-important footing on the digital career ladder can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Digital Marketing is such an exciting industry to work in, why wouldn’t you want to get into it? With a huge variety of roles on offer and Digital skills being in hot demand, it is a great choice. You could work in SEO, become a Copywriter or even a Social Media Executive. Plus, there are many opportunities for you to climb the digital career ladder. If you don’t have any experience, it is an exciting place to kick-start your career.
What’s more, there isn’t one fixed journey to get into Digital Marketing. This means whatever your education level or qualifications; you stand a good chance of landing a job in this industry. Below, we guide you through this process to help you find your dream job in Digital.
University Courses to Help You Onto the Digital Career Ladder
The traditional way to start your career in any industry is with a university degree. If you have good A-Level grades, or equivalent Level 3 qualification, this may seem like the most obvious first step onto the Digital career ladder.
Whilst it’s not necessary to have a degree to get into Digital, university study has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it can seem expensive to go away to university in the UK. However, the life experience you will gain is priceless. In addition, if you are a high achiever, a university degree will give you access to graduate schemes and career ladder programs with top UK Digital firms.
Your degree does not have to be specific to Digital to gain a job in this field. You could also combine Digital Marketing with other subjects. Business or Events Management are popular combos which can give you multiple career path options. Computer Science also includes an element of Marketing and presents another route into the more technical side of Digital. In addition, any degree that includes Project Management will broaden your career horizons further.
Unfortunately, gaining a higher-level qualification doesn’t mean that you will walk straight into a high paying job. Unless you’re lucky enough to secure a place on a graduate program, you will have to start at the bottom. You may even have to accept unpaid work to prove your skills are transferrable to the workplace. The upside is that once you have your foot in the door, you may move up the career ladder into positions with more responsibility far quicker.
Although not the norm in Digital, some companies may specify that you need a degree to join their Marketing Team. So if you have ambitions to work for a particular firm, it’s worth doing your research.
Apprenticeships offer a more practical way of achieving a qualification whilst gaining on the job experience. Usually, you only need GCSEs to apply and at the end of the apprenticeship, you will be awarded an Advanced Digital Marketing level 3 qualification or equivalent.
Apprenticeships are a great option if:
- You’re not academically gifted
- The thought of university life gives you anxiety
- You want to earn while you study
Employers value candidates with practical experience because it shows them that you can apply your knowledge to the workplace. An apprenticeship can open many doors for you.
The downside of an apprenticeship is that to begin with, the rate of pay for an can be quite low. Although you will receive the same benefits as permanent employees.
If studying isn’t your forte there are other options. You could choose to opt for a junior role where you gain experience at a lower level. You won’t need a degree for this but may need GCSEs or even A-Levels (or equivalent). However, this will depend on the individual employer’s preferences and whether you have some work experience in digital marketing.
This route is a good way to learn on the job. While you will usually start at a lower level than those who are degree qualified, you will still be able to climb up the career ladder after you’ve gained some experience.
There are many online courses which allow you to study in your own time. This is a fantastic option if you are considering a career change or returning to work after having a family. The Chartered Institue of Marketing, for example, offer courses which are widely accepted in the Digital world. The modules covered will prepare you for real-life scenarios you will actually face in the workplace.
Gaining Your Own Experience
There are other ways to boost your chances of joining the Digital Marketing industry. Creative, hands-on skills such as Web Design and Campaign Analytics are very easy to acquire on your own. You could start a WordPress blog to demonstrate these skills. Including a link to your website on your CV or cover letter enables you to showcase your Digital ability.
Similarly, you could try to learn about Coding or build up your Social Media network in your free time. All these interests look favourably on a Digital Marketing CV.
If you want to gain professional experience, contact companies with a Marketing Department to see if they offer work placements. Or, check out websites that list work experience opportunities for those starting out in the job market.
Digital is one of the easiest career paths where you can gain experience without having any experience. However, working out where to take the first step on the Digital career ladder can sometimes seem difficult and frustrating. It is important to remember there are many routes to landing your dream job. If one doesn’t work out, another might be your calling. Most importantly, you need to show off your interest and dedication to Digital and remain positive.
If you already have Digital qualifications or experience why not give our consultants a call to discuss your Digital career progression opportunities?