Search Engine Marketing Education and Degree Information
The debate rages on whether learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is best done through earning a formal bachelor’s or master’s degree, or simply learning by research, reading and hands-on experience. While learning about SEO can be done on the fly and through experience, learning business marketing methods and techniques in a bachelor’s degree program in business marketing with an emphasis on newer Internet marketing ranks high with employers. Savvy employers desire job candidates who have a good foundation in business skills and marketing, but who also have learned to use the best SEO practices.
Internet marketing degrees are offered at the bachelor’s and master’s levels both as online degree programs and as traditional college classroom programs. Classes involve learning about programming for the Internet, e-commerce, multimedia design, marketing basics, web analytics, social media marketing and Internet marketing research.
Bachelor’sBachelor’s degree programs in business marketing with an emphasis on Internet marketing are available in both online and traditional degree programs. Traditional degree programs offer closer relationships between instructors and students, with more student interaction. Online degree programs offer greater flexibility and can be less expensive. Gaining knowledge, skills and experience in general business marketing makes for a well-rounded marketer. An emphasis on Internet marketing teaches the students the core basics and foundational information, such as keyword research, content development, link building, competitive analysis and site structure. These concepts in Internet marketing will likely not change in the foreseeable future and can easily be studied and taught in degree programs. Tips and tricks of the trade can be learned later, on the job.
A Master of Arts in Business Administration with a special emphasis on reaching online audiences and consumers teaches both the essential core MBA classes and ties in the best of web marketing strategies and techniques. Course work will teach online marketing strategies and their interaction with traditional marketing schemes, online opportunities in the context of business goals, web data analysis in terms of building Internet marketing campaigns and targeting web content based on current consumer behavior.
For those who wish to learn Internet marketing and SEO and SEM, but who don’t wish to make the time and money commitment to a degree program can look into less traditional, but equally effective certificate programs on Internet marketing. These certificate programs can teach the latest SEO and SEM techniques as well as focus on some of the core essential marketing methods for online commerce. Many schools and organizations offer Internet marketing certificate programs, both in online and traditional classroom formats or as a seminar. The SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) Institute, for example, offers a number of Internet marketing and SEO courses for beginners and experienced marketers.
Traditional and online degree programs for Internet marketing will all offer classes such as the following:
- Marketing business
- Media design concepts
- Mobile advertising
- Programming for the Internet
- Usability and interface design
- Advanced scripting technique
- Search engine optimization
- Web analytics
- Social media marketing
- Social media optimization
- Multimedia design
- Programming concepts
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t currently list Internet marketing as one of its career options, but it does have the statistics and information for advertising, promotions and marketing managers. Career opportunities for these professionals are increasing by 14 percent, about as fast as average for all occupations. While print newspapers’ and magazines’ readership is declining, the e-commerce world is blossoming, creating a need for Internet marketing professionals. As every business, from large multinational corporations to a small town’s smallest business, moves to an online presence, online marketing becomes an essential part of their overall business marketing methods. Knowledge of Internet marketing techniques and skill at building a customer base makes qualified Internet marketers a necessary employee for businesses, not-for-profits and other organizations. These professionals can also become an entrepreneur or marketing consultant or work as an Internet marketer, advertising manager, public relation specialist, web content developer or search analyst.
According to the SEO Workers website, Internet marketers just beginning their careers earned between $30 and $45K. SEO marketers with five years of experience earned between $50 and $75K. Experienced SEO specialists earned between $75 and $90K, while Internet senior management earned up to $120K. A search engine marketing director can make up to $150K. In other words, Internet marketers can make good money in this career.
SEO Marketing FAQ
What types of jobs can I expect with an Internet marketing degree?
Internet marketers who specialize in SEO or SEM can work anywhere and for any business or organization, as almost all businesses and organizations have a webpage. Most Internet marketers work for businesses, many for advertising agencies and consulting marketing firms. Most work full time in offices. Some Internet marketers are entrepreneurs, running their own Internet business.
How long will it take to earn an Internet marketing degree?
A bachelor’s degree in Internet marketing takes four years to complete. An MBA in Internet marketing will take a year or two beyond the bachelor’s. Earning a certificate in Internet marketing will vary by the certificate program.
Where are the highest paying jobs for Internet marketers?
The Performance Marketing Association discusses a salary report from Crandall Associates, a direct marketing executive search company. The “National Salary Guide for Direct and Interactive Marketing” for 2012 revealed that vice presidents in online marketing management earn between $169,500 and $198,500. Directors of Marketing Analytics earned between $119,400 and $131,500. The salary guide states that these VPs have five to seven years experience in online marketing.