An online university may seem like an oxymoron, but the University of Texas at Austin has created a groundbreaking new program that allows students to harness the power of the internet to earn their degree. Launching in the fall of 2021, the university’s online Master of Science in Digital Marketing will give students the opportunity to explore the ins and outs of digital marketing, build their own brand, and launch their own business.
The program itself will consist of 26 online courses—all taught by leading industry experts—and can be completed in as little as two years. Its curriculum will not only prepare students for a career in digital marketing, but it will also equip them to become effective digital marketers themselves.
But what is digital marketing, and why should you learn it?
Essentially, digital marketing is the practice of generating traffic to your website or social media accounts through various online channels (such as search engines, display ads, and social media).
By understanding the underlying principles of digital marketing, you will be able to jump into the field and make a positive impact with any new or existing business.
Why teach digital marketing at the online university level? Because although the world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, the fundamentals of marketing still apply. For those seeking to enter or advance in the field—whether they are seasoned veterans or fresh graduates—the University of Texas at Austin’s online Master of Science in Digital Marketing can offer a wealth of valuable information about marketing in general and digital marketing in particular.
Digital Marketing Specialties Are Endless
Even though the field of digital marketing is always changing, it still centers around three fundamental pillars: marketing analytics, digital marketing, and online marketing.
You will learn about each of these pillars in depth and be able to apply what you learn to real-life scenarios through the use of practical examples. This way, you will not only be able to become an expert digital marketer but will also be able to utilize what you learn in your career.
Let’s examine each of these specializations in detail.
Digital Marketing Analytics Specialties
Depending on your career path, you may be required to enter into an obligation to work with data. In that case, you will likely develop an affinity for analytics and the digital marketing analytics specialist.
You will learn how to design analytics strategies that drive action, and you will have the opportunity to apply what you learn to actual situations. You will also be expected to periodically update your knowledge in this area through a self-directed learning program. Additionally, you will be placed in a real-life situation where you will have to analyze data to solve business problems.
With the vast amounts of data available today, marketing analytics has never been more important. Your data will speak volumes about what is working, what is not, and how you can improve your results. Without this level of understanding you cannot grow your business effectively. In order to stay ahead of the competition, you will need to be equipped with the right tools to make sure you are gathering the data you need to solve your problems and grow your business.
Digital Marketing Specialties
Depending on your ultimate career goal, you may choose to specialize in digital marketing. In that case, you will learn about the various platforms through which marketing content is delivered: digital marketing platforms such as email marketing, Facebook marketing, and digital advertising (e.g., Google Ads).
You will learn to design email marketing campaigns, set up Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, and conduct Google Ads to generate leads and drive traffic to your website. Once you gain experience, you can then specialize in a smaller subset of platforms or create your own niche within the field and offer consulting services to clients who want to learn more about digital marketing.
The possibilities for a specialized career in digital marketing are endless. Depending on your previous experience, you may choose to pursue one of three tracks: general marketing, social media marketing, or data-driven marketing.
Online Marketing Specialties
If you are ultimately looking to enter the field of online marketing, you may choose to specialize in SEO, content creation and management, or inbound marketing.
Depending on your previous experience, you may decide to specialize in SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. With SEO, you will learn how to write content that will attract and engage the ideal audience—whether they are existing customers or potential new customers—and how to create content that will generate leads, build credibility, and demonstrate thought leadership. To stay competitive, you will need to continually update your knowledge about SEO via a self-directed learning program.
If your ultimate career goal is to manage content for a company, you may want to pursue a content management specialist role. In this role you will be responsible for creating and editing content for webpages, emails, and social media platforms. Some of the things you will learn include copywriting, content strategy, and SEO.
If your previous experience is in marketing, sales, or business, and you are looking to further your career in content creation, you may want to consider a content marketing specialist role. In a nutshell, a content marketing specialist is responsible for growing a business’ online presence through the creation and management of marketing content.
The inbound marketing specialist specializes in attracting, engaging, and delighting customers through content that is both valuable and fun to consume. To develop content that will engage and delight customers, you will learn about behavioral psychology, marketing analytics, and the various platforms through which content can be delivered (e.g., websites, blogs, and social media).
As a content marketing specialist, you will be expected to develop and implement content strategies, create digital content (e.g., blog posts, sales pages, product descriptions, etc.), and conduct marketing research.
Marketing Specialties Are In Demand
With the world of technology advancing at such a fast pace, it is important to stay on top of trends and the latest news related to your industry. This way, you can ensure you are making the most of every opportunity and remain competitive.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for marketing managers and analysts is expected to grow 22% between 2020 and 2026—much faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing demand for marketers with specific skills sets is evident in higher education as well, with bachelor’s degrees in marketing leading to an 80% employment rate and master’s degrees in marketing leading to a 92% employment rate. And finally, those with a specialist degree in marketing have a 100% employment rate.
Depending on your previous experience, you may decide to further your education by obtaining a specialist degree in marketing. Doing so can put you ahead of the competition and allow you to easily find a job in one of the many fields you will be equipped to enter. Some of the fields include marketing research, marketing analytics, strategic marketing, brand management, and marketing communication.
Even though there will always be a need for skilled general marketers, those with a specialized degree in marketing will be in high demand and can specialize in a small subset of areas or create their own niche.
Become An Expert With Marketing
Based on your previous experience, you may decide to pursue a career in marketing and specialize in one of its many subfields. To do so, you will need to decide what stage of your career you are at and what you want to focus on. If you are just starting out, you may want to consider a general marketing role. But if you have some experience, you may want to specialize in brand management or marketing analytics.
A general marketing role awaits in the workplace, but having a specialization will put you ahead of the competition. Additionally, with so many specialties to choose from, you may find it difficult to settle on just one. A good rule of thumb is to look for a job that will give you the opportunity to utilize your degree. After all, the more you know, the more you can contribute.