There are many paths to launching a career in digital marketing, and, believe it or not, a computer science degree can be a great place to start.
Now, a career in marketing might not be the first thing you think of when you think about getting a computer science degree. When they hear the words "computer science," many people think it's just about programming, or fixing computers, or even making websites. But computer science is actually an extension of mathematics — and in a world that runs on data, mathematics is one of the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal.
First, let's take a look at what getting a computer science degree really looks like. A computer science degree generally teaches skills in:
One of the main benefits of getting a computer science degree is learning technical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills — all of which you'll need if you want to get into the technical side of digital marketing.
So how does computer science interact with marketing? In the modern, data-driven digital world, marketing has become about much more than slogans and ad campaigns. Computer scientists use their technology and skills to analyze and manipulate data, personalize customer communications and improve relationships, increase the accuracy of marketing campaigns, and much more.
A few of the ways computer science and digital marketing work together include:
Marketing automation. The scale of many contemporary marketing campaigns makes it nearly impossible to handle it all manually. With marketing automation, computer scientists can determine viable prospects and leads based on surveys, email replies, or even social media feedback. Automation can also be used to improve things like customer processes and the performance of social media posts.
Building customized apps and tools. There's an app for nearly everything now, and the marketing world is no exception. Many marketing professionals also use computer science to design and build apps to support things like content strategy and lead generation, improve efficiency, and create new ways to engage with customers and potential customers, such as online competitions and games.
Data science. The collection of data is big business, and the astonishing amount of data created and collected every day is only valuable if it can be meaningfully analyzed. Data scientists can turn the massive volumes of data collected from social media, blogs, and other digital channels and transform it into actionable insights to be used by businesses or other organizations. Data scientists also design and develop the algorithms to manage and analyze that data automatically.
Customer Relationship Management. Customer relations are vital to marketing success, and computer science can be useful here as well, by developing new ways to communicate with and listen to customers, such as website chatbots, monitoring social media, and more.
Computer science benefits society in a variety of ways, and that includes marketing. Digital marketing methods and systems have become increasingly more sophisticated and complex, which means many dedicated marketers — whose focus is on more traditional and less technical methods of marketing — don't have the necessary skills to master. A computer scientist has a different and far more technical skill set than a traditional marketer, but those skills are no less necessary and useful.
Of course, a computer science degree is far from the only path to take toward a successful marketing career. There are plenty of alternative degrees that can be useful, such as:
The world has become heavily reliant on data for a variety of purposes and needs, and marketing is not the least of these. A degree in computer science is more relevant than ever in the age of digital marketing, and computer science degree holders are more in demand than ever, and positions predicted to be understaffed for the foreseeable future. There may not be a better time to pursue a degree in computer science.