Digital Marketing vs. Cyber Security – Which Career Should I Choose?

Digital marketing and cyber security are both one of the most prospering and popular tech careers of today. While both professions involve advanced use of computers and networking, digital marketing is a creative marketing profession while cyber security is a technical security profession.

Digital Marketing involves promoting products or services through digital channels with a focus on creativity and analysis, while Cybersecurity involves protecting digital assets from unauthorized access or damage with a focus on technical skills and knowledge of security protocols.

When choosing the right career for you, you should always go with what you’re passionate about. If you’re considering both professions for now, I hope this article helps you understand both fields in depth and make the right choice.

I am a full stack digital marketer myself but for a while I was confused between choosing cyber security and digital marketing when I was starting out 5 years ago. Here are some details that I kept in mind before making my decision.

Here is the table of contents. This blog covers tons of useful information. Bookmark this page or save it, don’t get overwhelmed, go through each step, and you will surely succeed.

Table of Contents

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to marketing products and services online. This is an extremely creative profession where digital marketers use various techniques and methods to market products digitally.

With the rise of technology, traditional marketing e.g. advertisements on billboards is now outdated. Almost everyone today has access to a computer or a mobile phone with internet that they use for a good amount of time every day.

Digital Marketing

Since customers of today are now shifting towards using the internet and phones, digital marketing aims to capture the attention of these customers digitally to promote and sell products and services of the businesses they work for.

The most common forms of digital marketing techniques are:

In all marketing methods, a digital marketer is responsible for running the marketing campaign under an authorized budget, researching the target market of the business and finding the best digital ways to market products accordingly, bringing the best ROI to the business, and using analytics and insights from the campaigns to report and make informed decisions.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security 1

Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting computers, networks, and sensitive digital information from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. This is done by cybersecurity professionals designing, implementing, and maintaining security systems for businesses. The goal is to prevent the threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches (aka hacks).

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With more advanced computers and networks, the threat of cyber attacks grows simultaneously. This is why cyber security is crucial for every business to protect their data stored in digital formats.

Cybersecurity offers a variety of roles, the most common of which are security analysis, security engineer, penetration tester, and security architect. Different roles require specialization in different fields and skill sets. Generally, each role does revolve around protecting computers from unauthorized access and keeping the integrity of computer systems safe.

In summary, cyber security professionals conduct security assessments, develop security plans and policies, install and configure security software, monitor networks and systems, and create responsive and disaster recovery plans.

Comparison Between Digital Marketing and Cyber Security

If you’re still confused between the two professions, let’s look at the other career-defining factors that you should consider before choosing a career.

CategoryDigital MarketingCybersecurity
DefinitionThe promotion of products or services through digital channels such as social media, email marketing, and search engines.The protection of digital assets such as networks, systems, and data from unauthorized access, theft, or damage.
SkillsCreativity, Communication, Analytical, Data Analysis, SEO, PPC, Content Creation, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Strategy.Technical, Analytical, Security Protocols, Network Security, Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment, Incident Response, Forensics, Compliance, Risk Management.
Job RolesSEO Specialist, Content Marketer, Social Media Manager, PPC Specialist, Email Marketing Specialist, Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing Director.Information Security Analyst, Security Engineer, Penetration Tester, Security Architect, Security Consultant, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
Salary Range$62,000 – $145,000$71,000 – $147,000
FocusCustomer-facing, Brand promotion, Lead Generation, Conversion Optimization.Asset protection, Threat prevention, Risk Management, Incident Response.
ToolsGoogle Analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Facebook Blueprint, SEMrush, Moz, Canva, Adobe Creative Suite.Firewall software, Antivirus software, Vulnerability scanners, Intrusion Detection Systems, Encryption software, SIEM tools.
DemandGrowing demand due to the increasing importance of digital marketing in business.High demand due to the increasing threat of cyber attacks and the need for better security measures.
DifficultyLow to medium, but requires a combination of both creative and analytical skills.High, requiring a strong technical background and knowledge of security protocols.
EducationBachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business, or Communications. Master’s degree may be preferred for management positions.Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Cybersecurity. Master’s degree may be preferred for advanced positions.
CertificationsGoogle Analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Facebook Blueprint, SEMrush, Moz, Adobe Creative Suite.CISSP, CEH, CompTIA Security+, CISM, GSEC, CCNA Security.

Education and Courses

Digital marketing and cyber security are both different fields requiring different skills and knowledge, which means there are different educational degrees and courses for them.

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Digital marketing professionals mainly sought out a degree in marketing, communications, or business. And further hone their skills with courses in social media marketing, search engine optimization, and data analysis.

Cybersecurity professionals, on the other hand, mainly sought out a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. These individuals hone their skills with courses in fields such as network security, cryptography, and ethical hacking. 

Both fields offer a range of specialized courses and certifications that professionals can pursue to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Digital marketing relies more on skills than educational background while cyber security needs a computer degree even for entry-level jobs.

Competition and Demand

Both professions have high competition and demand, however, there are some slight differences when you compare them hand in hand.

Digital marketing is a field that is growing exponentially with more and more companies seeking a more attractive online presence to attract customers with. This leads to digital marketing having significant competition for jobs.

Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is a highly specialized field with a growing demand for professionals who can protect their businesses from cyber threats. Since it is a technical field, cyber security has less competition for jobs.

Future Prospect

Both digital marketing and cybersecurity are expected to continue to grow in the future. 

As technology advances, newer forms of digital marketing methods will arrive which will require more need for advanced digital marketing skills.

Cybersecurity will also continue to be one of the most significant areas for a business to focus on. As more and more digitalization is expected in the future, more companies will want to employ secure infrastructures for their businesses to keep their digital information and assets secure. This will only grow more and more exponentially considering the recent introduction of crypto-currencies and NFTs.


Digital marketers and cybersecurity professionals both enjoy a high standard of income which varies based on multiple factors such as location, experience, and education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for digital marketing professionals is $135,900.

On the other hand, cybersecurity professionals had a median annual salary of $103,590.

Salaries in both fields are highly variable to your individual effort so you should not look the other way from a career with a lower average salary.

Practically, both professions have the potential of making you a millionaire.

How To Get Started With Digital Marketing

Considering the factors below, if the field of digital marketing interests you the most but you have no idea how to get started, I got you!

Here’s everything you need to do to be a professional in digital marketing coming from no prior experience:

  1. Learn digital marketing: The standard way to go with this would be to acquire a degree in marketing, however, you can learn digital marketing through online or physical courses as well.
  2. Discover the niches: Digital marketing comes with a lot of sub-niches as there are tons of methods for digital marketing (e.g. SEO, SMM, PPC, Emails, etc.). For each marketing technique, you would need to familiarize yourself with the key techniques and may need some experience to get the hang of it. Specialized online courses can be of great help here.
  3. Showcase your work: Digital marketing is a creative profession where your experience and skills matter much more than your education. This is why it’s best for digital marketers to start a blog early. A blog can not only help digital marketers as a platform to implement their digital marketing skills, but the subsequent success of the blog will also act as a profile for them to score top jobs and clients.
  4. Get a job: As soon as you get a firm grip on digital marketing concepts, the best way to grow is by getting a job and learning in an office environment practically. Entry-level jobs in digital marketing are fairly easy to get.
  5. Stay updated: The digital environment changes often, this is why digital marketers need to stay up to date with the regular changes and developments. A great way to do this is by joining digital marketing forums.
  6. Create a network: Digital marketing is a creative job where your growth has unlimited potential. It is always best to stay connected with digital marketing professionals by attending seminars and joining conferences to have the right resources to learn and grow in this career.
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How To Get Started With Cyber Security

Or is it cyber security that piques your interest more? If so, here’s everything you need to do to get started in the career from scratch and be on the right path to becoming a professional in your field.

  1. Pursue a degree: The profession of cybersecurity has a big emphasis on the quality and relevance of education you go through, which is why you should consider having a strong foundation in computer science by opting for a degree in computer science or information technology. Since the profession is rather technical, having a degree is a requirement for cybersecurity jobs.
  2. Develop your skills and knowledge in cybersecurity: Completing courses and acquiring higher skills is the best way to make you stand out to employers. While pursuing your degree, consider simultaneously participating in courses relating to network security, cryptography, and ethical hacking. You should be able to easily find online courses for all cybersecurity skills.
  3. Get involved in cybersecurity organizations and events: Start gaining experience and creating a network early by joining cybersecurity organizations and attending cybersecurity conferences and hackathons. These events can significantly help you acquire practical knowledge in the field of cybersecurity. You can even find mentorship programs and resources for students and young professionals here.
  4. Obtain relevant certifications: Certifications enhance your educational background. Most cyber security professionals have certifications of CompTIA Security+ or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) that boast their knowledge and expertise in these skills to potential employers. 
  5. Look for internships or entry-level positions: Start looking for jobs as soon as you feel yourself getting the hang of cybersecurity. At the end of the day, your practical experience will be the second most significant factor for deciding your income and scoring top employers, after education.

Final Verdict – Which Is Better For You?

At the end of the day, the right career for you is the one that you’re more passionate about.

With similar incomes, demands, and future prospects, both professions provide a comfortable sense of job security and financial stability.

If you lack educational resources, digital marketing may be the better choice for you considering digital marketing professionals don’t NEED a degree but rather require amazing skills.

Finally, if you consider yourself to be a creative individual who loves to try out new shenanigans and implement them in your own unique way, digital marketing may be more appropriate for you.

On the other hand, if you’re more of a technical, by-the-book kind of person, cyber security may be the better choice for you.

Interested in more? Check out Digital Marketing vs. Data Analytics – Which Career Should I Choose?

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