The Highest-Paying
Digital Marketing Careers: 2021 List

Today, the Internet is a huge part of our lives, which creates an opportunity for companies to reach more customers. Digital marketing experts help make this possible. Almost every business and organization uses digital marketing tactics in 2021. This guide will highlight the best digital marketing careers, their average salaries, and how to pursue them.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is any kind of marketing that uses digital platforms to send promotional messages and measure consumer impact. It includes marketing campaigns on social media platforms, ads on websites, and even content writing for search engine marketing (SEO).

Digital marketing takes many forms, which means there are many different jobs under the same umbrella. In most cases, it is compared to traditional marketing like direct mail, billboards, ads, and magazines. Professionals in this field also need to pay attention to digital marketing trends in 2021 because they are always changing.

Digital Marketing Job Outlook
and Salary Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, digital marketers are categorized under advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. These experts earn a median salary of approximately $141,490, which is around $68 per hour. The BLS also reports a six percent projected job growth rate between 2019 and 2029.

Most entry-level roles in this field require a bachelor’s degree. However, things have changed recently, and digital marketers without formal education are filling up the job market. Portfolios and work experience are becoming more important than a degree, but the latter is still important.

At a Glance: Highest-Paying Digital Marketing Careers

The information in the table below was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale. Job growth refers to the projected number of new jobs between 2019 and 2029. Check out some of the highest-paying digital marketing jobs in 2021.

Job Title Projected Job Growth Median Pay
Digital Marketing Manager 6%* $141,490
AI Specialist 22%** $125,299
Virtual Reality Developer 22%** $110,140
Data Analyst 25% $86,200
UX Designer 8% $77,200
Marketing Analyst 18%*** $65,810
Content Manager 6%* $60,147
Email Marketing Specialist 18%*** $54,520
SEO Specialist 18%*** $46,860
Social Media Marketer 18%*** $45,658

*Projected job growth has been sourced from BLS data on advertising, promotions, and marketing managers.
**Projected job growth has been sourced from BLS data on software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
***Projected job growth has been sourced from BLS data on market research analysts.

The Best Digital Marketing Careers: 2021 List

The Best Digital Marketing
Careers: 2021 List

Most of the roles listed in the table above require a bachelor’s degree. You will need to study digital marketing in most cases, but it depends on the job. Take a look below for in-depth descriptions of the best digital marketing careers in 2021.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing or Communications

Digital marketing managers implement and oversee digital campaigns. They also lay out projects, create timelines, set milestones, and manage budgets. Financial forecasting is also required for this line of work, along with decision-making and problem-solving. Managers should be familiar with project management and digital marketing strategy.

Aside from developing digital marketing campaigns to promote services and products, digital marketing managers handle brand awareness as well. They also direct website traffic, target customer leads, oversee social media initiatives, and follow business leads. If you are interested in a leadership position, this career is a great choice.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

AI specialists are experts with technical skills, and they help digital marketers create automated systems to streamline different processes. These experts build marketing tools such as chatbots, natural language processors, and image recognition software. Marketing automation is becoming an important part of the field.

AI specialists use data to help customers make better decisions. They apply new technologies and techniques to different business problems. They also solve these issues in creative ways to provide greater accuracy, insight, and consistency.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Virtual reality developers code immersive and multifaceted VR games and apps that run on native platforms and the web. These experts bring an edge to digital advertising. Some create prototypes on user-friendly platforms. Others write custom code for apps from scratch.

There are a lot of VR developers that focus on gaming. However, others utilize their skills in the digital marketing world. They often have technical and communication skills because they need to collaborate with other members of the digital marketing team.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science or Information Technology

Data analysts gather and organize data to make meaningful conclusions. In a business setting, the role of these experts depends largely on the kind of data they are working with. These experts work to create routines that are easily automated and modified for reuse. They also use some specialized tools and software to accomplish all these tasks.

With so many responsibilities, data analysts are required to collaborate with other departments from executives, marketers, and salespeople. To become a data analyst, you should have a technical degree and experience working with data.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

UX designers work on the user experience of website development and digital marketing applications. These experts are required to have a technical background and to be well-versed in design. They focus on understanding websites from a marketing angle. This way, they can better understand how to present a brand in a digital format.

UX designers have backgrounds in design and technology but may also need to understand human behavior. UX designers develop websites, apps, and products to encourage users to make purchases. Also, they operate with the goal of sales improvement, customer retention, and lead generation.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing or Data Science

Marketing analysts are also called market research analysts. They use market research to suggest new products, monitor customer satisfaction, and improve existing services or products. They also develop different marketing strategies to reach the proper demographic.

These experts examine all relevant information that can help a company to make informed decisions. They play the role of analytical translators. They determine which products should be on the market and the best way to promote them.

Also, marketing analysts reduce risks that could arise during a project or marketing initiative. They track the digital campaigns and divide the customer base. They are also responsible for identifying market trends, monitoring competitors, and handling return on investment (ROI), response rates, and consumer dropout rates.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism or Communications

Content managers and strategists are responsible for developing the promotion strategy of an organization. Their main roles focus on content planning, design, development, production, management, analysis, and measurement. Digital marketing skills and online marketing strategies are vital to this position.

These experts are responsible for creating an editorial voice for the company. They also determine the content needs, distribution, and channel selection. The role of a content manager may vary. A content manager usually needs to have a bachelor’s degree. They also need to have experience in online content strategy or online editing.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing or Communications

Email marketing specialists handle content marketing and development. They are responsible for email marketing and sometimes editing and copywriting as well. These experts write persuasive emails to convince consumers to purchase a service or product.

Email specialists are also responsible for launches, campaigns, and other PR activities based on consumer data. These specialists work on lead generation through email marketing strategies. They collaborate with content managers and digital marketers on targeted campaigns.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing or Communications

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists are responsible for handling the planning, implementation, and management of a company’s SEO strategy. They also handle different duties such as web analytics, web marketing, content strategy, keyword strategy, and link building.

These experts manage paid search campaigns on different platforms like Google. They work with marketing and SEO teams to maximize ROI and drive traffic. SEO specialists also optimize landing pages for search engine marketing campaigns. They research competitor advertising links and perform keyword discovery, optimization, and expansion.

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing, Communications, or Journalism

Social media marketers are responsible for promoting and strengthening the organization’s social media platforms. They perform creative, managerial, and analytical roles. These experts share responsibilities with multimedia specialists, executives, and marketing managers.

Social media marketers are also responsible for organizing marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. Social media is an especially important tool for reaching young target audiences. This is why it has become a popular career choice.

What Education Do I Need to Pursue a Career in Digital Marketing?

There is no specific route to pursue a career in digital marketing. However, most employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. This degree can be in digital marketing, marketing, business administration, management, or other related subject.

A degree will help you but you might also be expected to have some experience in a marketing role. Knowledge of online advertising and digital marketing is also required. In some cases, employers will prefer someone with experience in traditional marketing.

Common Entry-Level
Digital Marketing Jobs

There are several entry-level positions you can apply for with little to no experience to get higher-paying jobs. You do not need to have any experience to get these jobs. Take a look below to learn more about the best entry-level digital marketing jobs to get started in your career.

Online Affiliate Marketing Manager

Entry-Level Pay: $48,559

These experts are responsible for managing affiliate marketing programs online for their employers. They handle research and create programs to make sure that the company sees an increase in consumer loyalty and profits. They also manage online media content and provide support to affiliate marketing programs.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Specialist

Entry-Level Pay: $41,313

Search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) specialists understand search engine rankings. They devise working strategies to bring the website to the front page both organically and through paid options. This job goes hand-in-hand with SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist

Entry-Level Pay: $40,877

SEO specialists are responsible for testing, analyzing, and changing a website to optimize it for the search engine. They also make websites rank higher in search results on Google and Bing or any other relevant search engine. SEO content writing is also a common career under this umbrella.

Social Media Manager

Entry-Level Pay: $40,738

Social media managers are responsible for creating brand promotions, marketing campaigns, and company information across different platforms. In most cases, the role involves blogging, managing regular posts and social media profiles, and interacting with social media followers.

Graphic Designer

Entry-Level Pay: $39,415

Graphic designers are known as visual communicators. They create visual concepts using computer software or by hand. These designers communicate ideas to convince consumers through virtual and physical art forms like images, graphics, and words. Good graphic design is vital to the digital marketing process.

Can I Study Digital Marketing Online?

Yes, you can study digital marketing online. Several universities and colleges offer online training schedules for students who prefer to learn from the comfort of their homes. You can also opt for online digital marketing bootcamps where you can graduate with a certificate in less time than a degree.

Should I Pursue a Digital Marketing Job?

Yes, you should pursue a digital marketing job. As more people depend on the Internet for their day-to-day activities, digital marketing will continue to remain relevant. You should pursue a career in this field if you want to help shape products and designs for consumers.

The field is broad with a lot of roles to fill. You can enter the tech sector or join as a marketer. You can also be a data analyst who helps influence business decisions. No matter what skills you have, you should pursue a digital marketing career.

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