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How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer

How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer

6 minute read | June 29, 2022
Lizzie Parmenter

Written by:
Lizzie Parmenter

Ready to launch your career?

Brands use digital marketing to connect with their target audience and build relationships with customers at every stage of the sales funnel. 85% of Americans go online on a daily basis, and companies are eager to engage potential customers where they naturally spend time.  

According to LinkedIn, that’s why digital marketing professionals are in high demand. In fact, the majority of the top 10 in-demand occupations by volume of job postings belong to digital marketing roles. These jobs are also well-compensated—the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that marketing specialists earn an average salary of $76,080, while marketing managers earn an annual salary of $153,440. 

But how long does it actually take to become a digital marketer? The answer is: it depends. Read on to learn more. 

Is It Hard To Become a Digital Marketer?

It isn’t hard to become a digital marketer, but you will need more than just technical knowledge to get hired. When hiring for a digital marketing role, digital marketing managers look for applied experience. 

Related Read: A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketer

Results rule the digital marketing industry, so you’ll need to cultivate proof that your skills generate a strong ROI (return on investment). The best way to build a track record of success is to enroll in a digital marketing course that emphasizes hands-on experience and project-based learning. 

How Long Does It Take To Become a Digital Marketer?

The amount of time it takes to become a digital marketing specialist depends on your chosen method of professional development. Let’s review your options. 

Digital Marketing Bootcamps

Digital marketing bootcamps like Springboard’s Professional Digital Marketing Certificate program will teach you how to drive business growth through multi-channel digital marketing campaigns in just 8 weeks. The program emphasizes project-based, mentor-led learning facilitated by digital marketing experts, allowing students to develop a wealth of hands-on experience. 


While free digital marketing educational resources are available online, you’ll need to start your self-learning by sifting through large amounts of content to build your own syllabus. If you’re new to digital marketing, separating high-quality resources from out-of-date or irrelevant content may be challenging. 

Once you’ve settled on your syllabus, you’ll need to figure out how to put theory into practice on your own. You’ll need to master key digital marketing tools and implement technical skills independently, which can take six months or more. 

Learning From a Related Role

You can learn digital marketing by working in a role with similar responsibilities. An administrative position at an arts organization, for example, may require you to create copy across various social media channels, maintain the organization’s web page, or schedule newsletters and other email marketing campaigns. 

By expanding upon these transferable skills, you might be able to transition into a content marketing or content creation role. You’ll likely need to strengthen these skills while also building new ones through supplementary projects or courses outside of work, meaning this path can take eight months or longer. 

Skills Needed To Become a Digital Marketer

You’ll need various digital marketing skills to excel as a digital marketer. Let’s take a look at what that entails. 

General Skills

Let’s explore how analytical prowess, communication savvy, and leadership chops are critical to success in the field.


You’ll need research skills to gather market intelligence. This research helps marketers understand consumer behavior and identify opportunities for growth. Information gleaned from market research will inform your digital marketing strategy.


You’ll need analytical skills to extract meaningful insights from market research and create a data-driven digital strategy to achieve concrete business goals. Analytical skills will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in extant promotional campaigns and recommend adjustments. 

Project Management

Digital campaigns are multi-phase plans that must be implemented step by step over the course of weeks or months. You’ll need to usher projects through several phases of development while collaborating with teammates to maintain consistency across digital platforms. You’ll need to be able to automate mundane tasks and adapt to a shifting social media landscape. 

Presentation Skills

Whether through blog posts, email campaigns, or a brand’s social media presence, marketing is a presentation. To succeed in marketing, you’ll need to be able to effectively present your brand in order to build consumer trust. You’ll also need presentation skills to build brand awareness at conferences and networking events. 

Specialized Skills

To create and measure campaigns across key digital channels, you’ll need technical skills in the following areas: 


Search engine optimization (SEO) strives to improve a website’s rank on search engine results pages to attract high-quality organic traffic through increased visibility. SEO specialists need to be able to optimize a website’s content, research and evaluate keywords, and earn backlinks from authoritative pages. A strong SEO strategy leverages analytics and data-driven decision-making. 

Content Writing

Source: ADCC Academy

Content creation is a vital aspect of content marketing. You’ll need to write and edit blog posts, infographics, and social content that create value for your target audience. Engaging digital content assets are necessary to spread brand awareness, generate leads, and produce conversions. 


Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising models allow brands to pay search engines to occupy the top slots on their results page for queries containing certain relevant keywords. The fee paid to the search engine, or ad publisher, is determined by the number of clicks the ad attracts. Google Ads is the most popular publisher of PPC ads, although Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn publish PPC ads as well. Search engine optimization and PPC advertising campaigns are the twin pillars of search engine marketing. 

Data Analysis 

Analytics tools enable digital marketers to track campaign success in real-time and make strategic adjustments accordingly. You’ll need to be able to use tools like Google Analytics to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) related to organic traffic, conversions, and more. Social media platforms also offer analytics reports that measure digital marketing KPIs like follows, impressions, and shares. 

Social Media Marketing

A successful social media campaign will boost brand awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, and produce conversions. You’ll need to be able to create shareworthy content across social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more. A strong social media strategy will capitalize on viral trends that speak to your audience. 

Become a Digital Marketer: Where To Start

Wondering how to launch your digital marketing career? Begin here:

Take a Course 

Earning Springboard’s Professional Digital Marketing Certificate will validate your skills, introduce you to a professional network, and provide you with the hands-on experience you need to effectively implement digital marketing strategies. 

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Build Skills With Personal Projects

To beef up your portfolio, consider volunteering your assistance to friends, family, or non-profits that want digital marketing assistance. You’ll strengthen your capacity for strategic thinking and ability to apply digital marketing strategies to advance business goals. Build a visible online presence and share your successes across social networks. 

Apply to Agency or Related Jobs

Once you’ve built a robust skill set through coursework and personal projects, apply for entry-level digital marketing positions. You may also find that your new proficiencies qualify you for hybrid roles that combine digital marketing with other areas of expertise. 

From the Experts: How Long Did It Take You To Become a Digital Marketer?

Here’s how long it took a CEO, a senior account manager, and a successful freelancer to launch their new careers in digital marketing. 

  • Eric J. Olson, Founder and CEO of Array Digital. After studying digital marketing on his own for a year, Eric switched his company’s services from custom software development to digital marketing.  
  • Lexi Larson, Senior Account Manager for A Monks.Media Company. While working as a news producer, Lexi decided to pivot into digital marketing. She found a remote, part-time internship with a blogger and enrolled in a digital marketing certificate course. After several months of study, she was offered a job in digital marketing. 
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  • Alif Huq, Solopreneur Freelance Marketer. While working as a recruitment coordinator, Alif ran a career coaching business on the side—through which he learned the basics of marketing. After securing a 5-month internship, Alif started working full-time as a digital marketer. 
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Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in digital marketing? Get started today with our free digital marketing learning path.

About Lizzie Parmenter

Lizzie is a content writer at Springboard. She lives in New Orleans.