Jan 29, 2022

What is the Value of a Digital Marketing Certification?

by Digital Marketing Institute

If you understand the importance of digital marketing to business, you’ll know that you’re always going to want more. More knowledge, more skills, and more ways to show clients or employers that you can set their business apart.

Adding a qualification to your resume is one of the best ways to do that and set yourself up for success. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned digital marketing professional, you may wonder what value there is to getting a digital marketing certification. Well, wonder no more…

It's a widely accepted fact that becoming a digital marketer does not require a four-year degree. It’s a field where proven ability supersedes years of school—largely because most bachelor programs don’t teach the specific and essential skills required to become a digital marketer.

Many would argue that digital marketing certification is even better than a college degree and companies are quickly realizing the value. It may be the best way to demonstrate that you’ve invested time and energy into learning and mastering the skills of your craft.

Let’s look at the many ways a recognized certification can add value to your digital marketing career.

What Makes a Certification Legitimate?

There have been plenty of courses, certificates, and certifications sold by companies trying to make a quick buck — so how do you know if the certification you’re looking at is legitimate?

Ask these questions to see for yourself if the certification you are considering will be beneficial to your career:

What are the Benefits of a Digital Marketing Certification to Marketers, Employers, and Educators?

Are the Certifications Taught by Industry Professionals?

If the people leading the digital marketing courses are not experienced in what they are teaching, you’re wasting your time and money. Employers want employees that know real-world and relevant practical knowledge as it applies to this industry. And any good marketing institution respects that and hires top-notch teachers with a proven track record in their subject.

Does the Certification Offer Practical Knowledge?

If you complete this certification will it arm you with the skills and knowledge you need in the real world? Will it teach you new in-demand and transferable skills, or update skills you already have? You want to look at how you’ll be able to translate what you learn into usable skills that shape a successful digital marketing career. If this is the case for the certification, then it’s a qualification worth pursuing.

Is the Certification Widely Accepted?

This factor may be harder to determine, but some research can help you figure it out. What are former students saying after taking this course? Check for reviews on the company’s website and third-party sites. Unfortunately, not all programs have the same level of acceptance, so compare certifications to make sure you know what qualification you will get at the end.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate and a Certification?

What is a Digital Marketing Certification?

Certification recognizes that you’ve taken a series of classes and passed an exam on the course material. Certified courses can be in-depth, covering a range of topics. Your certification may in some instances only remain valid for a set amount of time before you need to recertify. Bear in mind that certifications can cost more because they are more in-depth than certificates, and you may have to pay a fee to take the exam.

What are Certificates?

Certificates are given at the end of a course, usually covering a single topic. They are often given for participation in the course and not necessarily a reflection of merit. This does not discount their value if they teach you something useful. In addition, many are free, so taking them requires only a time investment. Plus, it may look good on your resume. (If you’re interested in creating or revising your CV or résumé, check out this résumé builder template.)

What are the Benefits of Earning a Qualification/Certification?

The value of a qualification to start or advance your digital marketing career is immeasurable. Whether you have experience in the field or you’re just starting, there’s value to be gained. One of the more appealing aspects of obtaining a qualification/certification is that you don’t have to have prior educational experience or upgrade any courses to begin.

Some of the specific benefits of getting a qualification/certification include:

Stay On Top of New Developments

Certifications help you keep on top of new developments in the industry as they occur. With innovations in technology constantly emerging, continually upskilling in digital will help you stay on top of these advances.

Make Yourself More Employable

A new trend is emerging amongst college graduates; many of them are now ‘underemployed. According to The Washington Post, this has resulted in 40 percent of graduates being in jobs that don’t require a degree. The result is that colleges are moving to offer certificates before graduation to ensure students have the skills employers want. So, if you want to land a digital marketing job, having a certification in the field shows potential employers that you have the practical knowledge you need to succeed in a role.

Get Yourself Ready for Promotional Opportunities

Digital marketing involves a diverse cross-section of hard and soft skills. Adding one or two specialties to your niche can help you advance quickly in a company. For example, a content writer who masters PPC and SEO can easily become a successful content marketer or manager.

Demand a Higher Wage

Your earning potential as a digital marketer is high. It is one of the top ten earning jobs that doesn't require a degree. Every certification that you include on your résumé bolsters your ability to demand a higher wage and gives you the confidence to know that you deserve it. Check out our Salary Guides for Digital Marketers 2022 to see what you could get for different roles.

Set Yourself Apart from Peers

When it comes to job interviews and promotions, the number of certifications you have will set you apart from your competition. It is not just that you have the certifications and  skills that come with them, but it demonstrates a drive for self-improvement that speaks highly to your character.

Combine Education with Practical Knowledge

The reality is that you may believe that formal education is important. A digital marketing certification is where education and practical knowledge intersect. It meets the requirement of post-secondary education that focuses on teaching you the things you will actually need to know in the real world.

Be Your Own Boss

With a recognized qualification in digital marketing (particularly at Masters level) you should have the experience and know-how to set up your own business. Being your own boss will also give you the ability to become a freelance digital marketer and travel anywhere in the world. Check out our blog to see how much you could make as a digital nomad. A certification should also prove to investors and stakeholders that you understand what needs to be done to grow and promote the business to make their investment (money or time) worthwhile. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get Certified?

That will depend on what you want to become certified in. There are many free certifications available online for Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook Ad Manager and more.

However, if you’re looking to invest in your career,  certifications that provide in-depth and practical experience are incredibly valuable. Seek out a certification that will teach you skills and knowledge that can be easily applied to a digital marketing role and can prove your worth to an employer. 

Many certifications are affordable, especially if you compare the cost to a college degree. This makes digital marketing an accessible option for those who are looking to change careers or upskill in their current one.

Accelerate your Digital Marketing Career with a Certification

Whether you’re starting out or looking to land that promotion, getting a recognized certification devised by industry experts will steer you in the right direction. Learn the hard and soft digital marketing skills you need with DMI’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. You will also understand the intricacies of social media marketing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and much more. 


Updated 2022


Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.