Industry Sectors

Social Media & Digital Marketing

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Industry Summary

In 2018, 3.48 billion people were active on social media – that’s around 45% of the total world population. It’s clear to see why digital marketing on these websites has become a top priority for nearly all businesses who want to reach a bigger audience. If you love spending your time on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, a career in social media and digital market means that you could be paid for your hobby.

Social media is crucial in building brand personality that encourages others to engage. If you feel you have a great online presence and you could contribute this to a company, then a career in digital marketing may be ideal for you.

There is a booming demand for digital marketers meaning there are plenty of opportunities out there in this industry. As a field that is constantly evolving and changing, there’s always something new to learn, and yet another internet trend to try and keep up with – it’s fair to say that you’ll never be bored with a career in digital marketing.

If you want to check out more about marketing, why not see our marketing industry page?


What options can I take for a career in social media & digital marketing?


Work Experience

Kick-start your career in digital marketing by gaining vital work experience to help you get up-to-date with the latest trends and skills. You don’t just need work experience through a marketing internship or placement, though this is also highly valuable. There are also opportunities to show that you have taken your own initiative and built a mini-digital marketing empire of your own. Start a blog or your own website, communicate with others online and keep up with the current trends and practices that would help contribute to the campaigns you would be working on in your future career.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!



An apprenticeship is a great option to begin your career in social media and digital marketing. Apprenticeships combine practical training in the workplace with study – you’ll be working alongside experienced staff and gaining job-specific skills while you earn a salary. You’ll gain a qualification in digital marketing which will enable you to apply all the theoretical knowledge you gain to your role – further developing your skills and understanding of the field. Here are some potential apprenticeships that you could consider:

  • Level 3 – Advertising and Media Executive
  • Level 3 – Digital marketer

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!


Degree Apprenticeships

As a degree apprentice you’ll combine academic study at a University, working towards your bachelor’s degree, and practical experience in the workplace. This will be the opportunity for you to combine the academic knowledge around the field with the first-hand skills you gain in your role. You’ll work closely with an experienced mentor who can help you develop your understanding of the digital marketing industry, and you may find your responsibilities grow as you progress. What’s more is that you’ll be paid a salary for all your hard work!

  • Level 6 – Digital Marketer Integrated Degree

Is a degree apprenticeship up your street? We’ll help you know!



Though it is not necessary to have a degree in social media and digital marketing to be able to succeed in the industry, studying the subject at university can still be very helpful for some. At university you’ll spend a majority of your time attending lectures, seminars or in independent study, really getting to grips with the theoretical background of the sector which you can apply to your career once you graduate. You may find you can narrow down which area of digital marketing interests you, and then tailor your course modules to these aspects. Many universities also give their students the opportunity to take part in a year in industry – this will give you all the practical experience necessary to excel in your career.

  • Social Media Marketing BSc (Hons)
  • Electronics and Internet of Things BEng (Hons)
  • Media, Communication and Social Media BA (Hons)
  • Digital and Social Media Marketing BA (Hons)
  • Digital Marketing BSc (Hons)
  • Business and Digital Marketing BSc (Hons)
  • Digital Marketing Management BA (Hons)
  • Advertising & Digital Marketing BA (Hons)

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!


Graduate Jobs

Some employers may favour graduates from a business or marketing-related degree discipline, however, there are still plenty of opportunities for graduates of other backgrounds. If you have some relevant work experience and a clear enthusiasm for the job this is also likely to impress a company. Many employers also offer graduate schemes to their new recruits – these provide structured training and support to help develop your skills and encourage you to learn and create with those around you. These are often useful to graduates of unrelated degree subjects or those who require a bit more work experience.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!


Other routes

There is no set entry route into a career in social media and digital marketing, but many employers may expect you to have some qualifications or relevant experience in marketing, business or other related subjects. However, this is an excellent industry for those who may wish to enter a career straight from school, college or as a career change; many people excel in a career in digital marketing by working their way up through an organisation.

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Work Description

Marketing and sales directors plan, organise and direct market research and formulate and implement an organisation’s marketing and sales policies.


Entry is generally via career progression from related occupations (e.g. Marketing Manager, Sales Manager). Entrants to the professional qualifications of the Chartered Institute of Marketing require GCSEs/S grades, A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience.

Job Tasks

liaises with other senior staff to determine the range of goods or services to be sold; discusses employer’s or clients’ requirements, plans and monitors surveys and analyses of customers’ reactions to products; examines and analyses sales figures, advises on and monitors marketing campaigns and promotional activities; controls the recruitment and training of staff; produces and/or assesses reports and recommendations concerning marketing and sales strategies.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

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