Digital Marketing vs. Web Development – Which Career Should I Choose?

Digital marketing and web development are both exciting and rewarding tech careers, and if share an interest in computer sciences and marketing, it could be difficult to stick with one for a career.

If you’re facing the same dilemma, today I’ll try to help you make the right choice by exploring both careers in depth, from what they feature, the benefits of each career, and how to get started with either of them.

Essentially, digital marketing refers to the act of promoting and selling services and products online by using digital channels such as Google, emails, social media, etc.

On the other hand, web development refers to the act of creating and maintaining websites and web applications.

Both these professions are inter-dependable in a way- digital marketers require web developers to create websites to promote products from, whereas web developers require digital marketers to promote their websites and web applications.

Table of Contents

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to marketing products and services created by businesses on the internet by using digital channels that help them reach their niche’s target market.

Digital marketing is one of the most popular careers in today’s age. This is due to the fact that digital marketing is fairly easier to learn, isn’t highly reliant on college education, stays in huge demand, and offers many remote opportunities to work as a digital nomad.

Digital marketers work for businesses and are directly responsible for managing their online marketing campaigns. This includes researching the business’s target audience to figure out the best ways to approach them, creating unique and practical digital marketing campaigns (e.g. social media marketing, SEO, and PPC ads)., managing marketing campaigns, and reporting the analytics of each campaign to upper management.

Essentially, the goal of a digital marketer is to boost the sales and conversions of a business by promoting its products and services and bringing out the best ROI against the marketing budget.

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Digital marketing is a highly creative profession that relies on a professional’s original and innovative skills to label them an expert in the field.

The profession also faces regular developments and updates as digital marketing platforms are seen to be evolving and changing every other day, this is why digital marketers have a need to stay updated with the latest updates in the digital marketing environment. The best way to do this is by joining digital marketing forums.

What Is Web Development?

Web Development is all aboht building and maintaining websites and web applications. This means web developers create the structure, design, functionality, and performance of websites using various programming languages and technological tools.

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Since web development is a vast field, the profession has some sub-niches that people specialize in. Most commonly, these are front-end developers, back-end developers, full-stack developers, and web designers. Each specialization requires different knowledge. education, and skill set, but they all essentially do the same thing- making websites and applications for businesses.

In essence, web development is a technical profession that requires the use of complex programming languages and developer tools, however, only creative web developers that offer uniqueness and innovation in their work are seen to excel in the industry and make it big!

Web development is also considered to be a fairly easier profession to learn, with many expert web developers making it big in the industry starting out with just Youtube guides and online courses.

In comparison to digital marketing, web development isn’t the most rewarding profession if you work as an employee in an office environment. However, since the demand for creating websites and web applications is extremely high with thousands of different businesses requiring websites every day, web developers find themselves to be most successful working for multiple clients and businesses as a digital nomad or a freelancer.

Comparison Between Digital Marketing and Web Development

Digital marketing and web development aren’t identical professions- one focuses on approaching customers and understanding consumer behavior to market products while the other focuses on creating groundbreaking and fool-proof technical websites and web programs. 

The best way to choose between the two is to follow your passion.

Along with that, here are some other major factors revolving around each career that could influence you to make the better decision.

Education and Courses

As they are different fields, digital marketing and web development require different educational backgrounds. 

Digital marketing typically requires a degree in marketing, communications, or a related field. This is enahnced and specialized by partaking in additional training in digital marketing tools and techniques through courses. 

On the other hand, web development requires a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. Web developers also commonly join courses to specialize in different programming languages and web technologies.

Practically, both careers don’t NEED a degree for individuals to start with. Digital marketing and web development can both be learned via courses and certifications. 

The best choice for both professions is to pursue a degree in technical book knowledge and simultaneously take online specialized courses to hone their creative side.

Competition and Demand

Both digital marketing and web development are highly competitive fields with a strong demand for skilled professionals. 

The competition stays high because both professions are easy to learn and access, while their demand only gets higher and higher with the technological advancements we see in the world.

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Digital marketing is considered to be a relatively new field and is expected to grow further more with time as more and more businesses understand its significance.

Web development, on the other hand, also shares a high demand with thousands of businesses launching a website every day!

Future Prospect

Both digital marketing and web development offer strong prospects for future growth and advancement. 

Digital marketing is evolving rapidly and is expected to grow exponentially with time. This is why professional digital marketers spend most of their time staying updated with the latest developments introduced in the field.

Similarly, web development also constantly evolves with the introduction of new digital technologies and programming schematics, which provide more opportunities for growth and specialization.

Income

Digital marketers and web developers are both generally highly paid, with their income largely variable on the factors of experience, specialization, and location. 

On average, digital marketing professionals in the United States earn around $65,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at around $40,000 while experienced professionals earn up to $120,000 or more per year.

On the other hand, the average salary for web developers in the United States is around $76,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at around $45,000 while experienced professionals are seen to be earning up to $140,000 or more per year.

Job TitleAverage SalaryEntry-Level SalaryExperienced Salary
Digital Marketing Professional$65,000$40,000$120,000+
Web Developer$76,000$45,000$140,000+

How To Get Started With Digital Marketing

Interested in digital marketing? Digital marketing is one of the easier careers to get started with. This profession doesn’t challenge you with high entry-level requirements but obliges you to be creative and innovative in your career to make it big in the industry.

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Let’s learn how to get started with digital marketing.

  1. Learn your way in: Digital marketing can be easily learned through courses. However, the best way to dive in with a headstart is by pursuing a degree in marketing and taking online courses for digital marketing.
  2. Gather digital marketing skills: Essentially, any process that involves marketing a product digitally is considered digital marketing. This opens up the profession requiring digital marketers to learns tens of digital marketing platforms and skills (e.g. SEO and email marketing). The best way to tackle this is by taking a specialized course for each skill and gradually discovering each niche.
  3. Start a blog: Starting a blog should be your highest priority starting out as a digital marketer. Since digital marketing is all about your creative skills, a blog helps you implement the skills you learn on your own website and learn from the experience. Blogs are also extremely cheap to start, provide you with an attractive profile to showcase clients and employers, and help you create a passive income outlet that could practically be stretched out to even six figures!
  4. Look for a job: As soon as you have a hands-on experience with at least a couple of digital marketing sub-niches, start looking for a job. Digital marketing entry-level jobs are fairly easy to find so they shouldn’t pose you with many troubles.
  5. Join digital marketing forums: Digital marketing is a profession of extremely vast and volatile information that is prone to changes and developments. This is why digital marketing forums are the best way for freshie digital marketers to stay updated, create a network, and get help with troubleshooting and career counseling.
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How To Get Started With Web Development

Interested in Web Development? Web development is a rather technical profession that will require you to pursue a degree in computer sciences to help you grasp a complete understanding of technologies, programming, and languages.

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Here’s how you can easily get started with Web Development.

  1. Pursue a degree in computer science or a related field: Web development requires a strong understanding of computers, which is why a degree in computer science or software engineering is the recommended way to go considering a future in web development.
  2. Develop your skills and knowledge in web development: Web development is a highly competitve field and your only chance in standing out in the large pool of developers is to be professionally specialized. Start taking courses in web development and related fields such as front-end development, back-end development, and user experience design. 
  3. Build a portfolio of projects: A portfolio showcases your strengths and skills as a developer and helps you land clients and employers. Make a portfolio that includes websites or web applications you have built, as well as contributions to open-source projects or code samples.
  4. Participate in web development communities: Web development features a lot of troubleshooting, whether you’re a professional or a freshie. This is why it is best for web developers to create a network to learn from and communicate with. Attend events like hackathons and meetups, and join online communities, to network and connect with like-minded individuals and potentially open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  5. Look for internships or entry-level positions: As soon as you get the hang of web development, start looking for work. In such a highly competitive profession, the sooner you start gaining experience the better!

Final Verdict – Which Is Better For You?

In summary, web development offers slightly better income opportunities whereas digital marketing offers easier entry opportunities into the industry (in some cases without needing a degree even).

With a healthy income, prospects, job security, and demand for both careers, the key factor for making a decision when it comes to choosing between the careers should be what you’re most passionate about- making that the ultimately better choice for you.Interested in more? Check out How Long Does It Take To Learn Digital Marketing?

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