There are hundreds, thousands, of digital marketing jobs out there, and about ten times that many applicants. This is the great strength and weakness of a digital marketing degree: there will always be jobs, but with jobs comes competition. Every industry, every business, needs a good digital marketer on board, crunching the numbers and plotting campaigns.
So what does that mean for digital marketing graduates in 2021? Well, the good news is, your degree will always be valued and valuable. The challenge is to make yourself stand out in a sea of qualified, talented digital marketers. In the past, marketers could get by on some basic user research principles and an instinct for selling products, but today’s big companies are looking for other stuff, too: analytical thinking, creativity, data analysis skills, SQL knowledge, SEM and SEO experience, Salesforce wizardry, the list goes on and on. These days, digital marketers are closer to data scientists than traditional noise-makers.
But what if you’re not interested in the typical e-comm career path? What else can you do with a digital marketing degree? Read on to see our top 5 unexpected Digital Marketing careers.
1. Police & Emergency Services
State and federal police departments all have their own media and communications teams, and those teams play a vital role in the overall organisation. They’re the digital face of our public and emergency services. They communicate new policies, emergency updates, and engage the general public about what the police and emergency services actually do. In a fractured, heavily politicized world, that kind of direct messaging and transparency is crucial. “Social is one of the key catalysts for communications with the broader general public,” says Victoria Police online communications manager, Mark Bayly. “Consumers have expectations around it. If you’re going to have a modern-facing police force, then you need to be on trend with what’s going on in the communications space.”
Hospitals aren’t just about treating sick people anymore (although that’s obviously still quite important). They’re also communication channels, and they need skilled digital marketers to help sell public health messages, promote vital research, and connect to patients all over the country. And it’s not just hospitals. The entire healthcare industry needs qualified digital marketers. You could work for a healthtech start-up, help an Indigenous clinic promote medical literacy, or run social media marketing for a national pharmacy chain. In a lot of ways, the future reputation of the health industry is going to come down to communication, digital and data. And those are three areas where marketers excel.
Sustainable digital marketing has become its own specialised field over the last 10 years. The bit on the Venn diagram where ‘profits’ and ‘purpose’ overlap. And this is the beauty of a digital marketing degree: it’s got a broad field of application. There are not-for-profits, and charity groups, and environmental start-ups, and social justice organisations, all of which desperately need to get the word out, and (even more importantly) inspire action. This is marketing that drives change. You can jump into this field with a simple digital marketing degree, but there are also tonnes of sustainability courses these days that can sharpen your eco-credentials.
4. Public Relations
Public Relations (PR) is the second cousin of digital marketing. It uses many of the same skills—audience research, digital communications, social media, automated tools, listening software—but leverages them in a slightly different way. Instead of targeting the consumer, or the end user, public relations swims in the world of media. It deals in brand stories, rather than brand analysis, but the ultimate goal is more or less the same. Transitioning into public relations from digital marketing, especially within an organisation, isn’t too hard, but you might need to do some more specialised study, or spend some years building up your media contacts.
5. Data Science
As digital marketing becomes more data-heavy, the line between ‘marketer’ and ‘data scientist’ gets blurrier and blurrier. If you’ve just finished a digital marketing degree, and the idea of selling stuff or running social media campaigns doesn’t appeal, but the world of numbers holds some interest, you might consider pivoting into a data science career. This could require some further specialised study (business analytics, data analysis, SQL and Python are all good places to start), but many of the skills you learned in digital marketing will be transferrable. Career opportunities are expanding all the time, too. SEEK projects 27% growth over the next five years in Australia, with salaries around $130,000.
Want to brush up on your Digital Marketing skills? Check out our suite of online Digital Marketing courses here