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How Long Does It Take to Become a Digital Marketer?

How long it takes to become a digital marketer can vary greatly depending on the individual and the pathway into digital marketing that they choose.

If a person attempts to break into the industry based on networking and building up a portfolio based on freelance projects, in the hope of eventually getting a lucky break it may take years for them to land a high level digital marketing role.

However, undertaking a qualification in digital marketing can greatly speed up this process. With a digital marketing qualification you could be a qualified digital marketer in a matter of months, putting you in a much better position in terms of scoring that dream digital role.

Marketing qualifications like certificates can be completed in a matter of weeks or months, diplomas could take up to a year or 18 months, traditional degree qualifications could take up to 3 years.

In today’s world, where almost everything is done digitally, the demand for digital marketing professionals is rapidly increasing. As a result, many people are eager to speed up the process and become a digital marketer as soon as possible.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways into digital marketing and how long on average it might take to become a qualified working digital marketer.

Understanding the Role of a Digital Marketer

To begin with, it’s crucial to understand the role of a digital marketer. A digital marketer is responsible for creating and executing strategies for promoting products, services, or brands through various digital channels.

They use SEO, social media, email marketing, and other methods to reach and engage target audiences. Digital marketers also track and analyse data to improve their campaigns’ performance, ensuring they hit their KPIs.

One of the key responsibilities of a digital marketer is to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field.

This means constantly learning and adapting to changes in the digital landscape. It also means being able to think creatively and strategically to come up with innovative solutions to marketing challenges.

Key Responsibilities and Skills

The responsibilities of a digital marketer can vary depending on the company or agency they work for. However, some key skills are necessary to excel in this field.

These skills include a strong understanding of digital marketing channels, data analytics, content creation, creativity, and communication.

Data analytics is a critical skill for digital marketers because it allows them to track and measure the success of their campaigns. They can use tools like Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, track user behavior, and measure conversions.

This data can then be used to make informed decisions about how to optimise campaigns for better results.

Content creation is another essential skill for digital marketers. They must be able to develop engaging and compelling content that resonates with their target audience. This can include everything from blog posts and social media updates to videos and infographics.

Different Types of Digital Marketing

Another aspect of becoming a digital marketer is understanding the different types of digital marketing. Some of the most common include SEO, PPC, social media advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and content marketing.

Having knowledge and experience in these areas can make you a well-rounded digital marketer.

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the practice of optimising a website to rank higher in search engine results pages. This involves keyword research, on-page optimisation, and link building.

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, involves placing ads on search engines or social media platforms and paying each time someone clicks on the ad.

Social media advertising is another popular form of digital marketing. This involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote products or services to a target audience.

Email marketing involves sending promotional emails to a list of subscribers, while affiliate marketing involves partnering with other businesses to promote each other’s products or services.

Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable content with the goal of attracting and retaining a target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more.

By providing useful and informative content, businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build trust with their audience.

Overall, becoming a digital marketer requires a combination of technical skills, creativity, and strategic thinking.

By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, digital marketers can develop effective campaigns that drive results for their clients or companies.

Educational Background and Certifications

If you’re interested in becoming a digital marketer, you may be wondering what educational background or certifications you need.

Digital marketing is a rapidly growing industry that requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. In this section, we will explore the different educational paths you can take to become a digital marketer.

Formal Education Options

Many universities offer undergraduate or graduate programs specifically for digital marketing. These programs usually cover a range of topics, including digital channels, data analytics, content marketing, and web design.

A formal education can give you a solid foundation in digital marketing, but it’s not the only path to become a digital marketer.

Attending a university or college can be a great way to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, and it can also provide you with networking opportunities.

However, it’s important to note that a formal education is not a requirement for a career in digital marketing. Many successful digital marketers have pursued other paths to gain the knowledge and skills they need.

Online Courses (Certificates and Diplomas):

There are many online courses such as diplomas and certifications available to learn digital marketing. These courses usually cover specific areas of digital marketing, such as SEO or social media advertising.


Having a specialised skill set can make you stand out in a competitive job market. MMC Learning delivers some of the most popular certifications for digital marketers accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) one of the top awarding bodies for digital marketing qualifications.

The Digital Marketing Institute offers a range of certifications in areas like digital strategy, search marketing, and social media marketing.

Since their foundation in 2009, the DMI has become globally recognised and their qualifications are respected by employers around the world. DMI certifcations available at MMC Learning include:

  • DMI Certified Digital Marketing Professional: This course is designed to arm you with the know-how, experience, and insights to be able to work and speak with authority in this fast-paced industry. You’ll learn how to reach customers and how traditional and digital media can work together. The course takes you through the basics of digital including Social Media Marketing, Paid Search (PPC) using Google Ads, Email Marketing, Analytics with Google Analytics, Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Website Optimisation, Digital Marketing Strategy and more, focusing on education you on the principles of Digital Marketing, developing objectives, connecting with the Customer, digital research and cultural research.
  • DMI Certified Digital Strategist: This course uses interactive learning to teach you every aspect of digital marketing strategy. The program will provide you with a deep understanding of all the elements that go in to creating effective digital strategy, including traditional Communications, digital Communications, digital Channels, marketing automation, budget & Resourcing, big data & analytics, digital Leadership, strategy formulation & planning in order to help you drive digital marketing in your business and career. The Diploma in Digital Strategy & Planning is designed to give you the skills, know-how, strategy, and techniques to be the change you want to see in the world.
  • DMI Certified Search Marketing Specialist: This SEO certification teaches students the key concepts of search engine optimisation, including keyword research, on-page optimisation, and link building strategies. With this certification, you will learn how to optimise websites for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, with the goal of improving their visibility in search results. You will also gain an understanding of how to analyse website traffic using google analytics and use data to make informed decisions about your SEO strategy. This certification is highly valued in the digital marketing industry, as SEO is a critical component of any successful online marketing campaign. It is a valuable asset for anyone looking to work in digital marketing, as it is highly respected by employers.
  • DMI Certified Social Media Marketing Specialist: This social media marketing certification equips students with the skills they need to excel in social media marketing campaigns, from building a social media strategy to creating engaging content. With this certification, you will learn how to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote brands and products, engage with customers, and drive website traffic. You will also gain an understanding of how to measure the success of your social media campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly. This certification is particularly valuable for anyone looking to work in social media marketing, as it demonstrates a deep understanding of how social media platforms work and how to use them effectively.

Some popular online certifications include Google Ads, Hubspot, and Facebook Blueprint. These courses can be a great way to gain practical knowledge and skills while proving your expertise to potential employers.

Overall, pursuing specialist certificate qualifications in digital marketing can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates and demonstrate your expertise in a specific area.

Whether you choose to pursue a social media marketing certification, an SEO certification, or another type of certification, you can be sure that the skills you learn will be in high demand in the digital marketing industry.


Diploma programs offer a more comprehensive and in-depth education in the field of digital marketing.

Diploma programs usually take longer on average, lasting on average 6 months to two years depending on academic level.

They provide a broad introduction to the world of marketing, they typically cover a broad range of topics, including marketing strategy, consumer behavior, and data analytics.

MMC Learning delivers diplomas from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, (CIM) one of the foremost awarding bodies of marketing qualifications established in 1911 and respected by employers around the world.

Diploma qualifications available at MMC Learning include:

  • CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing: The CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing offers marketers a comprehensive and practical approach to mastering essential marketing skills. Participants will delve into core marketing principles, strategic planning, and customer insights to create effective marketing strategies. With a focus on real-world application, this diploma equips professionals with the tools to implement successful marketing campaigns, monitor ma