We’re well into 2019, with all the tumult and change that’s going on in our world. Sometimes we get so caught up in the turmoil of the news and politics and intrigue that we get distracted from the importance of paying attention to the day-to-day activities of our lives—like our careers and where they’re headed. It’s not just the world around us that is distracting, but even the very smart phones in our hands with our Facebook feeds, the constant beeping of the emails popping up in our inboxes, and the demands of our coworkers, families, friends, obligations and more. With all that noise and activity, it’s easy to see why we can get ourselves into ruts at work, doing the same old things in the same old ways and neglecting to take stock of where we’re at, where we’re headed, and what our next steps should be.
Digital Marketers Can’t Sit Still
For those working in digital marketing, this kind of stagnation can be more than dull. It can be dangerous. Digital marketing is too important to a business’s bottom line and changing at too rapid a pace for digital marketers to rest on their laurels.
But what’s a busy digital marketer to do, especially in light of all the obligations and distractions described above? Consider a digital marketing certificate. Getting a certificate can be one of the easiest ways to move your skillset and your career forward. But that’s just one general reason to pursue a certification. Here are 14 specific ones…
- You’ll boost your confidence — We have a crisis of confidence — or lack of confidence — among digital marketers. A study by Adobe found that only 48 percent of digital marketers believe they are highly proficient in digital marketing. That lack of confidence affects performance and overall results. At the same time, only 40 percent of marketers think their company’s marketing is effective. Getting your bearings in disciplines such as search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click and web analytics can go a long way, and give you the confidence you need to make informed decisions for your brand.
- You’ll be grounded in the basics — Digital marketing has so many moving pieces to it that marketers sometimes are charged with doing sophisticated tasks without a thorough grounding in the basics. This is probably because so most digital marketers don’t have formal training: 82 percent learn on the job. This lack of training could very well contribute to the lack of confidence cited above.
- You can specialize – As just mentioned, digital marketing has a lot of moving pieces to it. That makes it easy to be a generalist, but that might not be the best move for your career. With a certification, you can specialize in a particular area of digital marketing and build a reputation as an expert.
- You’ll do the job right – When marketers only have on-the-job training, they might not know everything they should to do a certain task well, or even correctly. Earning a certification means getting a thorough understanding of a skillset, so you do the job right, whatever that job might be.
- You’ll boost your credibility — It’s one thing to say you’re a growth hacker or you can optimize website conversions, but a certification is proof that you’ve been trained in a certain skillset. This credibility helps you’re looking for a new job, moving up at your current job, or working for an agency trying to win over clients.
- You can do it at your own pace — In today’s competitive world, it’s a given that you’ll need to keep upskilling, regardless of the industry you work in. At the same time, it’s a busy, fast-paced environment and that makes it hard to get the additional training you need. A digital marketing certification can be earned online at a pace that works for you and your schedule.
- You might bump up your salary faster — According to the American Marketing Association, marketing salaries went up an average of 19 percent from 2016 to 2017. But it was those working in specialized roles who experienced the biggest pay increases. Content strategists averaged 40 percent pay increases, from $62,200 per year to $87,714. Social media managers averaged 20 percent pay increases, from $46,511 to $55,901.
- You can make yourself indispensable– By learning specialized digital marketing skills, you can become the go-to person at your organization for specific marketing tasks and challenges. Plus you’ll save your employer money if they don’t have to outsource specialized tasks to an agency. But best of all, you become invaluable!
- You’ll get hired — Let’s say you’re not employed yet, or you’re still a newbie. Earning a digital marketing certification can help you get hired in the first place—especially when you keep in mind how many marketers are learning on the job, as mentioned above. You might be new to the field, but you’ll have up-to-date knowledge that many experienced marketers lack.
- You’ll be more engaged with your job — When less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged at work, there’s a chance you’re one of them. However, one of the best ways to be engaged at work is by learning new skills. A certification will help you do just that!
- You’ll make yourself more employable — Or perhaps you’re disengaged because you simply can’t get excited about your current job any longer. That’s okay! You’ve positioned yourself for a move up the digital marketing career ladder anyway or into a whole new job.
- You’ll avoid bad marketing — You can’t be the master of all digital marketing methods, but you need to know enough to avoid being taken in by bad marketing. A digital marketing certification that gets you grounded in the basics can help.
- You’ll wow your employer — When you earn a digital marketing certificate, you demonstrate to your employer that you’re constantly striving to improve, staying current with the industry, achieving goals, and positioning yourself for new duties and responsibilities at work.
- You’ll give yourself a boost when it’s review time — Speaking of wowing your employer, earning a certification will impress your manager when it’s time for your semi-annual or annual performance review!
Tips for Choosing a Digital Marketing Certificate Program
With 14 reasons to pursue a digital marketing certificate, it’s easy to see why that’s a good next step for many marketers. But then the question is, which program is right for you? You have quite a few to choose from, so here are a five things to look for when comparing your options:
- Is the vendor credible? What is their reputation like? Have they been recognized or won awards?
- Is the content current? Who is involved with creating the course content? You want actual practitioners and influencers involved to ensure you’re learning applicable knowledge.
- Is the learning hands-on? Will you learn real-life scenarios to see how principles work? Will you be able to “test drive” your new skills?
- Is the learning flexible so you can learn when and where it fits your schedule?
- What kind of support is available should you get stuck?
All the distractions and duties that fill our days are not likely to let up any time soon. Making time to take stock of your digital career and determine your next step has to happen no matter what is going on around you. The good news is, earning a certification can be a straightforward way to proactively advance your career, despite all that noise.