Are digital marketing certificate programs a good way to learn digital marketing on your own? Do you have more chances of getting hired if you’re a holder of a marketing certification or a complete waste of time?
We did our research and in this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about digital marketing certifications.
I will explain the benefits of becoming digital marketing certified, how the process works, and which are the best digital marketing certifications you can pursue in 2021.
The list includes online marketing programs offered by reputable academies, marketing organizations, and Universities.
A digital marketing certification is awarded to individuals upon successfully completing the requirements of an online digital marketing course. It’s a way to verify the skills and education of the holder in regards to digital marketing techniques and strategies.
Certified marketers can use the certification to distinguish themselves from other marketers and increase their chances of getting hired.
A digital marketing certificate is not the same as a digital marketing degree. You can get a degree in digital marketing by attending a regular university program (classroom training, usually four-years), and obtain a Bachelors’s or a Master’s.
Yes, pursuing a digital marketing certification is worth it and I’ll explain below the benefits and value of becoming a certified digital marketer.
Best way to learn digital marketing on your own
Digital marketing certifications are a great way to learn digital marketing on your own. Instead of spending your time looking for clues on how the different pieces that make up digital marketing work together, you can enroll in an online marketing course and get structured education.
Get a plan to follow
Good courses come with a learning plan and step-by-step instructions and this makes learning faster and more effective than reading random blog posts or watching unrelated YouTube videos.
Learn from the experts
When you enroll in an online marketing certificate program that is taught by experienced digital marketers (like the ones listed below), you’ll not only learn the theory of digital marketing but how it can be applied to practice.
Digital marketing is a highly practical discipline and trainers that have years of working experience in the industry can teach what you need to know and not what you should know.
Prove your professional skills
Getting a digital marketing certification does not automatically make you an expert but it’s a step in the right direction. To become an expert, you need to have years of working experience with digital marketing campaigns and success stories to share.
If you’re starting out now and have no working experience, a certificate shows to potential employers and clients that you have the necessary skills and determination to become a successful digital marketing specialist. It’s a great asset to your CV and for your career.
Stay on top of new developments
Popular certification programs are updated regularly to include the latest digital marketing trends and practices. When you enroll in a program make sure that the material has been updated recently.Can I Get a Digital Marketing Certification Online?
There are many ways you can get a digital marketing certificate, one of them is through online training. Most of the certifications listed below are taught using online on-demand training. This means that you can follow the lessons online at your own pace and time.Top Digital Marketing Certifications of 2021
These are the best digital marketing certificates you can pursue and get certified in digital marketing.
Google digital garage is a learning platform owned by Google. They offer various online courses and certifications covering a range of topics from digital marketing to machine learning and self-improvement.
One of their most popular certificates is the Google digital marketing certificate.
What you should know about this certificate is the following:
This Google certification will help you build the following skills:
How do you get certified? To be awarded the Google Digital Marketing Certificate you need to complete all 26 modules and pass the final exam (40 questions).
Is Google’s digital marketing certification worth it? It’s a good certificate for beginners and it’s free. The online learning platform is easy to navigate and the module structure is well-organized. If you know nothing about digital marketing then this course is a good starting point.
You’ll learn the fundamentals and the high-level theory but it won’t make you an expert. Other programs in this list, taught by industry experts, include real examples and provide more actionable advice that goes beyond the theory.
So, the bottom line is that you can follow this online marketing certificate and get certified (it’s good for your CV), but this is not a course you can use as a reference when you start working with advanced digital marketing strategies.
Explore this Certification2. Reliablesoft Academy Reliablesoft Digital Marketing Academy
Relialesoft Academy was founded in 2016 and it’s part of Reliablesoft Digital Marketing Agency. The training programs offered by reliablesoft are prepared and taught by experienced digital marketers with 20+ years of hands-on experience in the industry.
Reliablesoft academy currently offers two certificates: An SEO certificate and a digital marketing certificate.
The Digital marketing certificate covers the following areas:
What you should know about reliablesoft’s digital marketing training is the following:
How do you get certified? You need to complete all 9 courses and pass two exams. The SEO exam (you’ll also get an SEO certification) and the Digital Marketing exam. Both exams are multiple-choice exams.
Is the reliablesoft certification worth it? To avoid providing you with a biased answer, you can review the feedback of the 3000+ students already enrolled in this program. Compared to the other programs on this list, this certificate is affordable for everyone. It also comes with a non-conditional 60-day money-back guarantee.
Explore this Certification3. Harvard Extension School Harvard Extension School
The Harvard Extension School is offering a number of professional development programs, one of them is the Digital Marketing Strategy Program.
This program is ideal for executives, mid-level marketers, and professional marketers who want to understand the big picture of designing and executing a digital marketing strategy. Participants need to have prior knowledge of how digital and social media platforms work.
What you should know about Harvard’s certificate is the following:
What is included?
This program is all about digital marketing strategies. It’s not for beginners or for those looking to get hands-on experience with digital marketing. It’s a program aimed at marketers and company executives who want to understand how they can incorporate digital marketing channels into their marketing campaigns.
It does cover a wide range of topics like SEO, Search engine marketing, influencer marketing, social media advertising, and content marketing.
How do you get certified? You will earn a certificate for attending the Digital marketing strategy program.
Is the Harvard digital marketing certification worth it? Yes, if you already work for a big company and want to get ideas on how to use digital marketing in your organization. The program is taught by professional digital marketers with experience in business digital marketing.
Explore this Certification4. Duke Continuing Studies Duke University
Duke University is based in North Carolina and it’s offering the Digital Media and Marketing Certificate through the Duke Continuing Studies division. The DCS is offering a wide range of certifications through online training.
This certification is for both students that are new to the digital marketing industry and for the more experienced online marketers.
All students have to complete the Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA) module which is the introduction to digital marketing and then they can select to enroll in any of the following courses:
What you should know about this online certificate program is the following:
How do you get certified? There are three certifications you can achieve:
Certificate of Completion: You need to complete the basic course and at least 6 of the advanced courses. You also need to attain a minimum score of 80% on one of the offered tests for each course.
Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCA and OMCP): By following this course you can potentially achieve the OMCA and OMCP certifications. These certificates are awarded by the Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) organization. It should be noted that the exams for getting the OMCA and OMCP certifications are not included in the course price.
Is the Duke marketing certificate worth it? It’s a comprehensive program that covers all areas of digital marketing but it also has three issues. Limited time access, no refunds, and to get certified you need to attend external exams.
Explore this Certification5. Digital Marketing Institute Digital Marketing Institute
The Digital Marketing Institute was founded in 2009 and is one of the leaders in digital marketing training. They offer several diplomas and certifications covering a wide range of digital marketing areas. Their partner network expands globally with 140 education partners offering their training programs.
Their DMI Pro certificate includes 30 hours of online training covering the following digital marketing disciplines:
What you should know about the Digital Marketing Insitute DMI Pro certificate is the following:
How do you get certified? You need to pass one exam (3 hours) administered by Pearson Vue, via its global network of test centers. The cost of the exam is included in the course price.
Is the DMI Pro certificate worth it? There are many benefits to gain by enrolling in this certificate program. You’ll get a globally recognized digital marketing certificate, the course covers all the important digital marketing channels and you’ll also get good support (exam preparation questions and other resources).
The downside is that you don’t get a money-back guarantee based on course satisfaction. If you register and find out that the material is too basic or you’re not happy about it, you won’t get a refund.
Explore this Certification6. Simplilearn Simplilearn Training
Simplilearn is an online learning platform founded in 2009. They started as a blog and gradually became one of the world’s leading certification training providers. They offer a number of digital marketing certification programs, one of which is the Digital Marketing Specialist Certificate.
They call this a ‘Master’s Program’ and it includes 6 main courses (and additional electives) that cover in detail the following topics:
The material taught in the course is aligned with other marketing certifications including Google Ads, HubSpot, Facebook blueprint, and Bing Ads. In addition upon completion of the master’s program, you can also apply to pass the relevant exam and become OMCP certified (an exam voucher is included in the price).
What you should know about this training program is the following:
How do you get certified?
Is the SimpliLearn Digital marketing certificate worth it? Yes. In fact, it’s one of the best digital marketing certification programs you can follow this year. The main reasons are:
Explore this Certification7. Coursera (University of Illinois) Coursera Online Training Academy
Coursera is an online education platform offering a number of courses, specializations, professional certificates, and online degrees from top universities.
The classes are 100% online and it’s a subscription-based service starting at $39 per month. Once you register to Coursera you can access a number of courses and earn a certificate upon successful completion of a course. To achieve a specialization (like Digital Marketing), you have to complete a number of courses included in the specialization path.
The Digital Marketing Specialization is offered by the University of Illinois and is part of the Master of Business Administration (iMBA) degree.
It includes the following courses:
What you should know about Coursera’s program is the following:
How do you get certified? When you finish each of the 7 courses and complete the hands-on project, you’ll earn a Certificate.
Is the Coursera Digital marketing specialization worth it? The course material will help you develop the following digital marketing skills: Digital Marketing, Marketing, Pricing Strategies, Marketing Analytics, Mobile Marketing, and Social Media marketing.
It is a highly theoretical course and it won’t teach you how to run digital marketing campaigns or work as a digital marketing professional. You should enroll in this certificate program if you plan on continuing your studies and achieve the iMBA degree awarded by the University of Illinois.
Explore this Certification8. Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) OMCP Digital Academy
The OMCP Digital Marketing Certification is offered by the Online Marketing Certified Professional organization. OMCP does not provide training but the standard and requirements for becoming a certified digital marketer.
What you need to know about OMCP is the following:
They offer two online marketing certifications, the OMCA Certification for Digital Marketers, and the OMCP Digital Marketing Certification.
The OMCA is for non-experienced digital marketers and it’s the first step for obtaining their premium certificate (OMCP).
To achieve the OMCA you need to:
How do you get certified for OMCP?
To become OMCP certified, you need to:
The OMCP Exam
The exam can be taken online and it costs $395. It’s a multiple-choice exam and it takes about 2:15 hours to complete. Online marketing disciplines included are:
Once you pass the exam, you need to create an account with OMCP and upload proof of your experience and other credential needs. The documents will be reviewed by OMCP and then you’ll be awarded the Digital marketing certificate.
Is the OMCP certification worth it? It depends on what your goals are. If you want to get a certification that is globally recognized, then this is a good choice. For those that are working in big companies and want to show off their credentials, being OMCP certified will make help you stand out from the crowd.
But, it won’t help you become a better digital marketer, the process is complicated and to maintain your certification status you’ll have to renew it every two years. When you start working in the digital marketing industry, the last thing you want to do is spend your time trying to keep your certification up-to-date.
Explore this Certification9. Linkedin Learning Linkedin Learning
LinkedIn learning was created after Microsoft acquired Lynda. The platform is subscription-based (similar to Coursera and Udemy). You pay a monthly fee and you can access any of the online courses available in their library.
Unlike Reliablesoft Academy and Digital Marketing Institute, they are not providing digital marketing training only but they offer training in a number of areas. They combine several courses together to form a learning path.
‘The Become a Digital Marketer’ learning path will help you learn the fundamentals of online, mobile, content marketing, and how to create effective online marketing plans.
The following courses are included:
How do you get certified? You get a certificate of completion for each course.
Is it worth taking LinkedIn Learning training courses? The nice thing about LinkedIn digital marketing training is that some of the courses are taught by reputable and experienced digital marketers. Learning from experts who work in the industry is much more valuable than learning from University teachers with no real hands-on experience.
The downside is that their learning paths are made of courses that have no relation between them. In other words, you lose the advantage of structured learning offered by a dedicated digital marketing bundle created by the same academy or instructors.
Explore this Certification10. American Marketing Association (AMA) American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association (AMA) was established in 1953. It is a membership-based community for marketing professionals across North America.
The AMA offers two marketing certifications in co-operation with the Digital Marketing Insitute. The PCM Digital Marketing Certification and the Certified Digital Marketing Professional (DMI Pro).
How do you get AMA certified? The AMA does not provide training or the exam, to achieve both certifications you need to pass the exam of the DMI Pro certification, offered by the Digital Marketing Institute.
Is the AMA certification worth it? The AMA certification alone is no longer available as a standalone certification but it’s awarded to students who pass the DMI Pro exam. DMI Pro is a globally recognized certificate and worth pursuing.
Explore this CertificationWhat Jobs Can You Get with a Digital Marketing Certificate?
Becoming a digital marketing certified professional is the first step for starting a career in digital marketing. But, as mentioned above, a certificate alone does not make you a digital marketing expert.
To become a digital marketing manager and go after the top-level jobs and earn a higher salary, you need both certification + experience.
So, with a marketing certification or a digital marketing degree, you can get an entry-level digital marketing job and work as:
The average salary for digital marketing specialists in the US (based on years of experience) is the following:
Where can you find entry-level digital marketing jobs?
Here are some tips to consider when selecting which digital marketing certificate to pursue:
The price of a course/certificate does not always reflect the value you can get – Online academies price their courses based on a number of factors (size of a company, reputation, running expenses, etc), and this can sometimes increase the price you’ll have to pay for a course but not the value you get.
For example, Duke University is charging $3,995 for the same course offered by Simplilearn directly for $1,499. Same course, different providers, different cost.
Look for a decent refund option – There is the possibility that after you register for a certificate program to realize that this is not what you wanted. You need to be able to get your money back. The only academies offering good refund options are reliablesoft academy (60-day money-back guarantee) and SimpliLearn (7 days).
Register for a course you can use a reference – Learning digital marketing is not a once-off process. Watching videos alone is not enough because most probably you’ll forget what you’ve learned in a lesson after a short period of period. You need a course that has a good structure, text, and video material that you can reference while working on your campaigns.
Google Digital Garage – Free, perfect for beginners. Accredited by Google and Open University.
Reliablesoft Academy – Affordable, covers everything you need to know to become a successful digital marketer, 60-day money-back guarantee.
Harvard Extension School – Great for marketing managers and professionals. Prestigious and good for networking.
Duke Continuing Studies – Good for beginners, prepares you for OMCA and OMCP.
Digital Marketing Institute – globally recognized and comprehensive. No money-back guarantee. When you achieve the DMI Pro you also get the PCM from the American Marketing Association.
Simplilearn – Expert instructors, covers all areas, good refund policy, long-term access. Less expensive than DMI Pro.
Coursera (University of Illinois) – Theoretical but the credits count towards getting an MBA degree from the University of Illinois.
Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) – a globally recognized certificate. You can prepare using SimpleLearn and Coursera courses.
Linkedin Learning – Good courses, affordable, and practical. You only get a certificate of completion.
American Marketing Association (AMA) – Same as the Digital Marketing Institute.
Good luck with your digital marketing learning efforts!