Earn the Best Digital Marketing Certifications
Earn the Best Digital Marketing Certifications

Is a Marketing Certification Worth It?

Since this blog was initially published, the curriculum has been updated to be even more relevant to the modern marketer. As of Fall 2022, Emerson College is proud to offer our reimagined Master of Arts in Marketing, previously known as the Master’s of Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA).


If you’re in the digital marketing industry or interested in transitioning into it, you may be wondering if a digital marketing certification can help you advance your career. Digital marketing is a growing field filled with opportunities for flourishing careers. How can you stand out and catch the eye of a potential employer, or move up in your current workplace, as a digital marketer? And can a marketing certification help?

It sure can. Let’s take a look at what marketing certifications are, how they benefit digital marketers, and specific marketing certifications that correlate directly to real-world work, innovation, and progress.

Digital Marketing: A Bright and Promising Future

The field of digital marketing is experiencing explosive growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that market research analyst and marketing specialist positions will increase by 22% between 2020 and 2030. That’s a remarkably higher rate than the average estimated growth for all occupations in that time period, which is 8%.

Leadership roles in marketing are growing as well. The BLS estimates that marketing manager roles will grow by 10% during the same time period. Across the board, the digital marketing industry is thriving and possibilities are many for both newcomers and experts in the field.

Certification vs. Certificate: Understanding the Differences

While the words “certification” and “certificate” sound like they may very well be describing the same thing, when it comes to marketing, they are not interchangeable. Digital marketing certifications refer to industry-specific qualifications in various marketing tools, systems, and programs. Certifications are available in specific tools used for analytics, social media targeting, design, and more.

A marketing certificate, on the other hand, refers to a program designed for professionals who want to develop more comprehensive skills. Rather than focusing on a specific tool or resource, a certificate program—which functions somewhat like continuing education or a miniature graduate degree program—tends to take a more general approach while still promoting real-world skills.

Benefits of Certification: Setting Yourself Apart

Benefits of Certification: Setting Yourself Apart

The growing marketing industry is great news for professionals who are interested in entering or moving their way up within the field. But that heightened interest can cut both ways—as more and more people gain interest in working in digital marketing, it becomes increasingly important for marketers to hone specific skills that will stand out to recruiters and potential employers.

Let’s consider a few ways that pursuing digital marketing certifications can help marketers both in their job searches and their subsequent jobs themselves.

Keeping Skills Current with New Trends

Since marketing certifications focus on specific tools and marketing resources, they can be very useful when it comes to keeping marketing abilities up to date. As new resources grow in popularity and usability, their companion certifications can help marketers stay ahead of the curve—and the competition—rather than falling behind. Brandwatch and Hootsuite certifications are good examples:

  • Brandwatch — a social media analytics tool that enables brands to engage in real-time social listening so that they can always have their finger on the pulse of consumer conversations. Brandwatch certification, which can be quite expensive when pursued individually, is rather unique and tends to catch the eyes of recruiters and potential employers.
  • Hootsuite — one of the most popular social media management platforms available. Hootsuite helps tens of thousands of companies make meaningful connections with customers and potential consumers.

Rather than piecemealing together an approach to social media, or having to start from scratch when it comes to social media management, Emerson College Online Master’s of Digital Marketing and Data Analytics degree holders graduate with certifications in both Brandwatch and Hootsuite. These certifications will stand out on their resumes and prepare graduates for swift and smooth entry into a wide range of marketing roles.

Boosting Your Resume with Standout Skills

In their 2021 Creative & Marketing Salary Guide, Robert Half details several factors that employers are looking for in marketing candidates. Those factors include professional experience using:

  • marketing automation and demand generation software
  • customer relationship management systems
  • search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) tools

Digital marketing certifications can help marketing professionals show in concrete terms that they possess these skills. Take a Google Analytics certification for example. By learning how to use Google Analytics and exploring the data it provides, digital marketers can learn about how website visitors found their way to their company’s website and respond to what they see. Then, they can take those insights into their work with search engine optimization tools and maximize their results.

That’s just one of many reasons why the Emerson College Online Master’s in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics includes certification in Google Analytics. Rather than providing academic training and then leaving graduates to pursue certifications while navigating new companies or roles, the Emerson DMDA empowers students to gain their Google Analytics certification while in school. That way, they can graduate with Search Engine Journal’s ranked #1 digital marketing certification—and present resumes that catch the eyes of potential employers. 

Gaining Confidence as a Digital Marketer

Increasing Your Salary and Promotion Potential

Digital marketing certifications can have a direct effect on the progress of a marketer’s career, salary, and outcomes. For example, 82% of Google Career Certificate graduates report that they experienced a positive career outcome like a new job, promotion, or raise within six months of completing their certification program.

Likewise, Brandastic says that the Google Analytics certification (GAIQ) is the #1 digital marketing certification when it comes to “Digital Marketing Certifications That Get You Hired.”

Gaining Confidence as a Digital Marketer

Learning cutting-edge skills, mastering important tools, and understanding the best resources available to digital marketers not only enhances professional opportunities but can also increase personal confidence as well.

Take Amanda Tomaselli, Emerson College DMDA student, for example. Tomaselli began her degree program while working in the sales department at a mid-size media company. Now, she is the digital operations manager for an e-commerce skincare company.

“From the DMDA program, I feel more equipped, more confident, more knowledgeable about the digital marketing industry and know that the sky is truly the limit,” says Tomaselli. “And it also doesn’t hurt that through some of our courses, we gain additional certifications. These add to the power of my resume.”

With sharper skills and a stronger resume due to what she has learned during her degree program and by earning the certifications the program includes, Tomaselli is a more confident marketer who is already seeing notable progress in her career due to what she has learned.

Earn the Best Digital Marketing Certifications through an Online Master’s in Digital Marketing and Data Analysis

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career by mastering critical digital marketing tools and gaining confidence like Tomaselli, the Emerson College online DMDA is a great next step for you. As a part of the degree program, you will gain certifications in Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch, each of which directly correlates to digital marketing professions in the modern marketplace:

  • Google Analytics: learn how to deep dive into relevant data about your company’s online audience. Produce meaningful reports, acquire information that improves your marketing plan, and gain key insights into areas to optimize or eliminate.
  • Hootsuite: become a social media expert through an industry-recognized certification. You’ll learn how to use Hootsuite’s platform to design and implement successful social media campaigns that are creative, efficient, and bring about results.
  • Brandwatch: master social media analytics and data visualization with a Brandwatch certification.

Elevate your marketing career and build your confidence with an Online Master of Arts in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics from Emerson College. Our one-of-a-kind program connects the art and science of marketing and shapes innovative marketers ready to lead the future of the marketplace. The DMDA program can be completed in as little as 15 months. The program is 100% online, with no mandatory login times, and does not require a GMAT or GRE to apply.

Become a part of a diverse student community, learn from forward-thinking, expert faculty members, and gain the insight and certifications you need to thrive in the future of marketing.

Speak with an Emerson Admission Counselor to explore the possibilities when it comes to taking the next step in your marketing career.