For people considering a career in search engine marketing (SEM) the position of a search engine marketing manager is a tempting opportunity. But before you start scanning job posting websites and directories you need to develop a certain set of skills to meet the qualifications. SEM is a rapidly growing industry with high demand for experienced specialists. It is a tasty pie and it’s natural that so many people want to have a piece: SEM agencies, search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners, conventional advertising agencies, web developers, investors, clients, search engines, etc. To land a job in SEM one needs to have a talent and knowledge to offer.
Just like most other professions, a career in search engine marketing starts with learning. Unfortunately, search engine marketing hasn’t made its way to colleges and universities yet. Without university-based education becoming an expert in search engine marketing is a challenging task. It takes a lot of dedication and patience to find and learn SEM profession.
It is a long way to go from a complete beginner to a search engine marketing manager. First of all you should start with basic SEM to lay the foundation for future professional growth. You can either take a formal course (either real or online) or try and search the web looking for whatever information you can find, reading blogs and forums, subscribing to dozens of RSS feeds, driving yourself nearly mad and still not completely sure that you haven’t missed anything important.
If you’ve made up your mind to enroll in a course, you need to choose the one that will be most effective for you. There are various opportunities for learning: online courses, workshops and conferences you can attend to meet other specialists, in-person and pre-packaged classes, etc. To make the right choice you need to know what type of learner you are. If you’d rather enjoy the comfort of your home environment than a structured classroom atmosphere, you should consider an online learning course. If you lack self-discipline or just prefer to be taught in person you need a real-world class. Which way you go with your SEM education will depend on your personal learning style and budget.
Most learning courses in search engine marketing will provide you with a certificate. Although there are no universal standards for SEM, a certificate will prove that you have completed the curriculum of a particular learning program. Such kind of a certificate may give you an edge when you apply for a job.
Still, the fact that you’ve finished a course in SEM won’t make you a search engine marketing manager. Learning never stops for a search marketer, since SEM is an extremely changeable industry. Only inexhaustible drive to learn, master new skills, gain experience and develop professional qualities can ensure a successful career in search engine marketing.