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In a tech-savvy world, it’s becoming a necessity in many jobs to have digital skills. And marketing is no exception. By coupling social media and other web-based digital skills with strong writing and creative skills, a marketing professional can greatly increase their career opportunities and salary.

Search Engine and Web Analytics Skills are Complementary 

A subset of marketing jobs relies on web-based digital tools. Search engine marketing (SEM) focuses on paid advertising on search engine websites. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a methodology that can help marketing professionals attract more visitors to their employers’ online content. Google Analytics – the most sought-after web analytics application – is an example of a tool that can help marketers track that online content. While both SEM and SEO skills are requested across all types of marketing positions, they are typically concentrated in postings for Search Engine Optimization Specialist and often include job titles such as “SEO Manager” and “Paid Search Specialist.” Oftentimes, SEM and SEO skills are bundled together, with employers asking for more than one in a single job posting. In many cases, employers asking for Google Analytics will also ask for familiarity with Google AdWords.

Table 1: Search Engine and Web Analytics Skills and Associated Average Salaries

Specific SkillsAverage Salary
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)$62,724
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)$66,381
Google Analytics$70,638
Google AdWords$64,621

Table 2: Search Engine and Web Analytics Skills and Most-Associated Other Skills

Specific SkillsMost Associated Skill2nd Most Associated Skill3rd Most Associated Skill
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Search Engine Marketing (SEM)Link BuildingKeyword Search
Google AdWordsGoogle AnalyticsSearch Engine Marketing (SEM)Web Analytics
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Google AdWordsDigital Marketing
Google AnalyticsGoogle AdWordsWeb AnalyticsA/B Testing

Social Media Skills Can Help Entry-Level Marketing Professionals Get Ahead 

Employers are willing to pay large salary premiums for skills in the social media cluster for a handful of entry-level marketing positions. Marketing Specialists can earn almost double with the right set of social media skills. Of course, the right social media skills depend on the specific job. Proficiency with LinkedIn’s recruiting tools are important for Recruiters but not necessary for most marketing professionals. Specific social media applications – such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube – are especially important skills for Social Media Strategists (in 2015, over 23,000 positions were open over 12 months for this specific occupation and included titles such as ‘Social Media Manager, Social Media Coordinator’). In addition, broader conceptual skills that leverage digital tools, such as Social Media Marketing and Campaigns, are also important for this occupation.

Table 3: Salary Premiums for Social Media Skills in Highly-Demanded Entry-Level Positions

  All Experience Levels VS. Entry Level (0-2 years) 
OccupationNo Social Media DemandedWith Social Media Skills ClusterSalary PremiumNo Social Media DemandedWith Social Media Skills ClusterSalary Premium
Marketing Specialist$35,201$57,23863%$25,118$52,840110%

Table 4: Skills and Associated Salaries for Digital Media and Social Media Skills

  Social Media Strategist / Specialist 
Specific Software SkillAverage SalaryDigital Media SkillSocial Media Skill
Graphic Design$44,745X
Adobe Illustrator$46,106X
Adobe Photoshop$46,111X
Adobe Acrobat$47,021X
Adobe InDesign$47,649X
LinkedIn$47,489X
Social Media Marketing$51,170X
Instagram$52,687X
Facebook$52,807X
Social Media Campaign$52,844X
YouTube$54,140X

A marketer’s resume should be packed full of soft skills such as communication, writing, and creativity. Adding search engine and social media skills to a resume only helps to ensure that entry level marketers  will find successful, well-paying careers.

To learn more about the importance of digital skills, read The Digital Edge: Middle Skills and Careers, a research report recently released by Burning Glass Technologies and Capital One. It highlights the leading role that digital skills play in helping workers take their first steps onto career ladders and climb them over time.

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