Digital marketing boot camps will prepare you for creative jobs in technology. Digital marketing has been steadily increasing to reach consumers since the 1990s. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, web users grew from 16 million to 70 million between 1994 and 1996; during this time, email marketing campaigns began to target this audience. As digital technology evolved over the past decades, digital marketing tools and practices have expanded accordingly.
In February 2020, it was reported that digital marketing budgets increased by 13 percent, up nearly two percent from just six months prior. A 2019 survey conducted by the American Marketing Association found that companies expected to increase their spending on digital marketing by 12.3 percent while decreasing spending on traditional marketing by just over one percent.
So, what does all this mean in terms of training and educational opportunities for those interested in entering the ever-growing field of digital marketing?
As more and more employers hire marketing professionals well versed in digital marketing technologies and campaign development, they tend to prefer those who are well-prepared to fill roles in this marketing specialization. Degree programs in this specific area of marketing are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s degree, and MBA levels in colleges and universities across the US.
There’s the option of enrolling in a digital marketing boot camp for those looking to quickly expand their skillset and understanding of digital marketing processes and strategies (in some cases, weeks or months).
While not nearly as abundant as degree programs in digital marketing, many postsecondary institutions provide these boot camps. Of these, only a tiny fraction conducts these studies on-campus. In on-campus and online digital marketing boot camps, programs are often set up to accommodate professionals in the marketing field by offering part-time, flexible studies. In some cases, students do have the option to attend a digital marketing boot camp full-time.
What is a Digital Marketing Boot Camp?
Why choose a digital marketing boot camp over a traditional degree or course of study?
There are several reasons why you might choose a digital marketing boot camp over obtaining a degree in this field. For one, a digital marketing boot camp provides the opportunity to develop skills and learn new technologies in a much shorter period than a degree program. A boot camp is also more affordable than earning a four-year undergraduate or graduate degree. And multiple hands-on projects might be more effective at preparing you for the responsibilities you are likely to assume as a digital marketer.
The cost of a digital marketing boot camp can vary widely depending on format, content, duration, and other factors. The downloadable digital marketing boot camp course from Udemy can be purchased for $139.99, while the Thinkful boot camp costs $4,900 for the part-time program and $7,500 for full-time. The 18-week digital marketing boot camp can generally cost between $7,500 and $10,495, depending on the school.
Once you’ve chosen this academic path, do you go online or in-person? That is a personal choice, but it should be emphasized again that there are far fewer in-person digital marketing boot camps than online counterparts.
Examples of Digital Marketing Boot Camps
Following is a closer look at some live or on-campus digital marketing boot camp programs:
Georgia Tech: 18 weeks in duration, the Georgia Tech program covers such topics as how to create and launch various digital marketing campaigns (search, social media, and display); building target audiences; CRM systems; and keyword research. Students compile a portfolio of completed projects, and students have access to a career services specialist for job search purposes. While this program can be taken virtually, the school offers companies the opportunity to bring this training on-site.
University of South Alabama: while also offering an online format, the University of South Alabama conducts a live half-day digital marketing boot camp. The seminar lasts for five hours and covers social media for advertising purposes, and cost-efficient online ads can be designed to reach target audiences. This seminar also helps students better understand online brand development and promotions strategies.
University of Miami: the Coral Gables campus holds a digital marketing boot camp taught by expert digital marketers, addressing content and SEM campaign management. The program runs from 36-42 weeks.
Colleges and universities are not the only venues for in-person digital marketing boot camps. Some examples of programs run in non-academic settings include:
Bootcamp Digital: offers a four-day digital marketing boot camp taught by a digital marketing expert. Online registration is available. Upcoming dates and locations for 2022 include Miami, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
Wyncode: this Miami-based company oversees web development, applications, and digital marketing; its part-time, 12-week digital marketing boot camp is held Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Students learn how to develop ads for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and details about marketing analytics, SEO, and more. They also complete an entire digital marketing project.
SkillPath: covering seven sessions in a two-day seminar, this boot camp addresses such topics as how to conduct a digital marketing audit, use hashtags, mobile marketing strategies, digital marketing privacy legislation, and the impact of cookies on digital marketing. This seminar is also available virtually. SkillPath, based in Mission, KS, and Canada, was founded in 1989 and is a learning and development leader offering training solutions for companies worldwide.
NYC Career Centers: providing programs for professional development and career training, NYC Career Centers offers on-site corporate boot camps or private training at its midtown Manhattan location in areas of social media marketing, Google Analytics, SEO, digital marketing strategies, and Google Ads; these digital marketing boot camps are generally between 6-12 hours.
The following section will explore digital marketing boot camps that are taken virtually or remotely.
Online Digital Marketing Boot Camp
For many reasons, most digital marketing boot camps are available online only. The COVID pandemic led many colleges and universities to turn to remote studies as restrictions were placed on live gatherings, including classroom learning. Another reason for the popularity of online digital marketing boot camps is the flexibility they provide to those who might already be working in the marketing field and are looking to build skills in digital marketing while maintaining their current work and personal schedules.
Dozens of postsecondary institutions across the country offer online digital marketing boot camps, mainly through schools of continuing education or professional development, workforce programs, or in conjunction with other entities.
Some of the main topics you will find addressed in these programs include:
- Brand building
- Content strategy
- Content optimization
- Link building
- Email automation
- Lead generation
- Domain authority
- Conversion funnels
- Paid search advertising
- Paid social media advertising
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Other boot camps cover web development, data analytics, data visualization, and many of the abovementioned concepts. Students also have access to career services, networking opportunities, internship placement, and assistance in creating resumes and preparing for interviews.
As with live boot camps, not all online digital marketing boot camps are taken through a college or university. BrainStation, a global training company for marketing, product development, and design, offers a 12-week online digital marketing boot camp.
Open online course provider Udemy has a digital marketing boot camp course consisting of three on-demand videos and seven downloadable resources. NYC-based Noble Desktop, a technology training school, hosts many online boot camps focusing on specific areas of digital marketing. Examples of such boot camps include an SEO boot camp, a Google Ads boot camp, a Google Analytics boot camp, and boot camps covering digital marketing strategies and social media marketing.
These boot camps range in duration from 12-60 hours. Thinkful, Inc., a service of Chegg that is designed to accelerate a students’ career in technology, has a six-week full-time and three-month part-time digital marketing boot camp. It’s taught through live video mentor sessions and online lectures and workshops.
While much is discussed here about the duration, curricula, and digital marketing boot camps formats, some details have not been addressed. Hopefully, this section will answer any questions and shed light on career options, tuition, etc., and admissions requirements.
Careers in digital marketing can require various skills. Some positions might call for strategy development and creative skills, while others focus on marketing and campaign analysis. Some common career paths for digital marketers include SEO/SEM specialist, UX designer, content writer, e-commerce specialist, social media manager, email marketing manager, and communication specialists.
This depends on the school or company. Some offer scholarships as well as early registration pricing. Payment plans, which in some cases can be interest-free, are also an option for digital marketing boot camps. Some institutions might require an upfront payment.
In most cases, no, you do not need to be a student of the university offering a boot camp.
No experience is needed in either of these areas to enroll in a digital marketing boot camp.
You typically need only your laptop for this kind of boot camp.
Digital marketing boot camps are non-credit and non-degree programs. Those who complete their studies usually receive a diploma or certificate.
Digital marketing usually falls under the umbrella of coding boot camps. Based on this, SwitchUp reported in 2018 that nearly 81 percent of those who completed a boot camp found employment, and 45.6 percent reported a salary increase.