As marketing roles evolve into online-savvy positions focused on customer segmentation and digital outreach, having digital skills are crucial for marketing professionals who want to stay ahead of the curve. Many marketing positions require a mix of digital skills that include productivity software, digital media software, social media applications, and marketing-specific tools such as search engine optimization applications.

A recently released report, The Digital Edge: Middle Skills and Careers by Burning Glass Technologies and Capital One, highlighted the leading role that digital skills play in helping workers both take the first steps onto career ladders and climb them over time. Digital skills of every sort – from basic spreadsheets to advanced programming – offer significant opportunities to workers in a labor market rapidly adapting to technological change. But what specific digital skills are worth learning and in what order?

While digital skills are crucial to many jobs, at the heart of all Marketing and Public Relations positions are a handful of non-digital skills. Some of these, like communication, writing, and creativity, transcend career areas and are in demand across the labor market. Other non-digital skills, like budgeting and project management, are more oriented to responsibilities that many more-senior marketing jobs require. The broad array of digital skills demanded across marketing positions complement these non-digital abilities, which remain relatively difficult to replace with technology.

In recent years, opportunities to enter the Marketing and Public Relations career ladder have expanded. Of those marketing occupations that have seen strong growth in recent  years (2012-2016), entry-level positions like Marketing Specialist and Event Specialist have been especially in demand (with growth rates 53% and 75% faster than the overall labor market, respectively). Developing fluency with the right digital skills (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite, Salesforce, Google Analytics) can be a powerful way for entry-level workers to gain steady footing on the marketing career ladder.

A separate group of occupations focus specifically on online marketing. These occupations include E-Commerce Analysts as well as Search Engine Optimization Specialists. These positions often require more sophisticated digital skills in addition to the productivity software skills (e.g. Microsoft Office applications) and digital media software (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite applications) common across most marketing positions. Digital skills such as SQL database programming and common scripting languages allow marketers with a digital focus to conduct sophisticated targeting and outreach to specific groups of customers. These roles have grown consistently within the labor market over this same time period (2012-2016).

Table 1: Top Marketing and Public Relations Positions by Number of 2016 Job Postings


Table 2: Top Ten Digital Skills for Positions across the Marketing Career Ladder

Table 3: Top Five Specialized Non-Digital Skills for Positions across the Marketing Career Ladder

In our next blog article, we will discuss which specific social media and web-based digital skills are most valuable to a marketing professional. Subscribe to our blog today to be notified of our latest articles and research reports to stay up-to-date on the latest job market data news and trends.