John McDougall of McDougall Interactive giving a presentation at North Shore Community College

Entry Level Digital Marketing Jobs

In the video below, John McDougall speaks to high school students at North Shore Community College about entry level digital marketing jobs. You can also view the presentation slides and be sure to check out our article, “How to learn digital marketing and get entry-level marketing jobs.”

John McDougall:  I’m going to speak just a little about what we call Authority Marketing, which is Internet marketing where you position yourself as an expert to get a better career, and a better job in whatever field you’re in. This is my book, “Web Marketing On All Cylinders.” It’s about digital marketing such as search engine optimization, page search, and how they all go together. We have a little DVD series from a seminar that we run, and a strategy software that goes with it.

That’s me at Google headquarters riding a “ConferenceBike.” If you could believe, at Google – leave it up to Google to create a bicycle that you can get worked done on. It was actually locked up, but I just had to get on it. Yeah, so people can sit all around in a circle and apparently, everybody is, you know, pedaling actually affects the bike riding and you can talk about whatever you’re working on. I thought that was cool.

We got invited to Google headquarters that last few years in a row, about Page Search Marketing and Google Ads.  That’s me in college to go back in time to connect with you guys. I studied sitar, in Indian college, and so that was up at Vermont.

I’ve been featured in the Huffington Post, the world’s largest blog, and New York Times, and HubSpot and different places like that, the writing about that I do a lot on website marketing.

With seven billion people in the world, about three billion are on the Internet now and that’s growing all the time. The Internet is a really important part of marketing but also just any business in general, the Internet and having a website is critical.

There are a million more jobs than students by 2020 for Computer Science and Programming. At one point, four million computing jobs and only 400,000 people studying Computer Science is just a huge opportunity for students because the jobs are readily available.

If you have programming skills in particular, Computer Science types of things, maybe even networking as well but certainly, programming, HTML, how to build websites, these are really hot, hot topics. There’s Computer Science that the amount of students studying that way over on the right is just a really a small percentage of people choosing that topic. Anyway, great, great area to actually get a job right out of school. These are some of the job trends, so HTML5 at the very top.

Websites are often built with HTML so that’s a powerful thing to learn, and Diane and her team, and classes are great for that. Social media sandwiched in there with these crazy things, MongoDB and some of these, I don’t even know what they are but they’re like mobile application development platforms. Someone is not in their head there. Do you know what those are? You’ve heard of some of these, MongoDB?

There are a lot of unusual programming languages that are in high demand. Again, if you can study those things, you’ll do really well. I’d like to talk to our interns from North Shore Community College and other places about trying to figure out where they fit in to digital marketing. Do you have the right personality for it? If this is your personality kind of more on the loud creative side, you might want to do graphic design or some writing, et cetera.

There are different people types. Some people are very creative. They are more artist. Some people are more creative in a more language kind of way. People are better at writing. Others have great math skills like the gentleman over here. I think you mentioned you’re good at math, right? Yes. If you’re good at math and music also, amazingly people that are good at math and music are said to do well with programming, so that might be a good kind of intro for you in to that world.

Whereas some people are much more visual, so they might do better designing websites. I think of it like the cast of “Star Trek,” there are lots of different people and types of people, and you want to find the place that fits you better. Again, you might be the creative type or sort of the math type or you might want to do administrative support or website sales. The guy on the right, I’m not sure I’d hire him.

Some people are trying to wear too many hats. The woman on the left, when you go to get a job in digital marketing, they might want you to do a whole bunch of different things. It’s good to have experience in a bunch of different areas but if you are too all over the map, doing too many different things that’s not as good as specializing, so it’s better to be like the race car over there.

A lot of different types of people, a designer, a programmer, a writer, all supporting a website to function properly, so it’s a great idea to specialize in a certain topic as oppose to trying to be sort of a Jack-of-all-trades.

Anyway, this is just a lot of the different types of things within digital marketing from podcasting to videos. That’s my team member there, John Maher, in the background doing some video of this now for YouTube.

Internet marketing job types and I’ll go very briefly through this. Strategist is somebody that can think up how everything goes together. Web designer, web developer, SEO specialists, there a lot of different types of jobs, and I’ll just touch on about four briefly.

What does a web designer do? A designer is obviously more on the graphic side, but these days, graphic designers are asked to also do a little bit of programming. Because back in the day, traditional advertising agencies have a lot of work for graphic design and that has shrank a little bit now that the Internet has taken over.

Traditional marketing is reducing a bit so even if you’re a web designer, you’re going to be expected to do a little bit of light programming.

A web developer, again, more of a math‑oriented person with application skills, maybe databases, E‑commerce, building a shopping cart online, things like that. WordPress is a very popular programming language, powers about 20 percent of the Internet.

What does an SEO do? Has anyone here heard of SEO or search engine optimization? OK. My company does a lot of SEO, and it usually drives much of the traffic to websites.

When you type in to Google, you put in a keyword, that keyword search is going to provide a set of results based on an algorithm. Google has like a recipe and they’re judging who should come to top of the search results.

That’s what an SEO does is help develop content and blogging and things like that to make companies come up to the top of Google. That’s a very hot field right now.

Social media marketing, of course, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, if you’re really good with those things, you can help companies get more business by managing their social media profiles. Creating content, sharing content, things like that on social media. The pay‑per‑click expert runs the little ads at the top in to the right of Google. Those ads generate most of the revenue for Google, so paid search.

We had a couple of different interns come and work for us. When they left our company, they went and got jobs in paid search. Really big opportunity for people to get jobs and running Google ads. That’s really where Google makes most of its money, so a very big opportunity there.

Conversation optimization is when you fix a website to make it get more leads. We thinking how a website works is another skill that you can have.

This is a couple of guys from our office. is a really kind of crazy viral videos and they made this commercial for Doritos. It was a rejected Doritos’ commercial but viral video, people can come up with creative ideas to get a lot of views on YouTube, and that can help a company get more business.

That’s a really fun career. I’m kind of jealous of our videos that do that kind of thing.

How to learn? You can learn, of course, at a college campus and self‑study as well, using blogs such as Blogs like that are really how SEO people and Internet marketing people keep up‑to‑date with the latest, greatest stuff.

College courses are awesome to keep you organized, and have a whole curriculum where you get together your writing and your different levels of programming, design, whatever you’re working on.

Eventually, you need to keep up‑to‑date with blogs and what’s going on because Internet marketing changes all the time. All of things are good. All the different ways you can learn. Online programs and certificates are also a good way to go.

These are some of the top blogs to add to your college work,, Moz, things like that. Certificate in e‑learning sites, Market Motive, These are tools.

If anybody wants this presentation, I can send this around. It’s going to be up on our website. What’s that?

Diane:  Send it to me.

John:  Yeah, I’ll send it to Diane and we’ll have it up on our site. There’s also on, my agency website. In our “About Us” section, we have a thing for Internet marketing jobs and there’s a long resource page that tells you all about sites to go to, to learn Internet marketing and how to get your first job.

Those are some of the tools from Microsoft Excel to Google Analytics and things like that that you’d want to learn if you want to get more into digital marketing.

Internships are great. We accept interns if anybody is looking to intern. Big agencies in Boston like Mullen and Digitas, those are great places to work for a while at a low cost to the agency. They’re going to train you and you can use that experience to get a job.

That’s a really powerful way to take your college learning and put it to use. is my site about positioning yourself as an expert. At any age, having a blog and being positioned well is great for your career.

Picking a niche, not just trying to do all things, and maybe blogging about that topic, eventually writing a book and doing public speaking can help you to further your career. With Internet marketing, white hat versus black hat, so you want to do high quality marketing, and not do the kind of shady stuff that some marketing do. Eventually be seen as a thought leader, so someone that leads by example and by certain specialized knowledge.

I’ll wrap up with just a few thought leaders you’d think of like Donald Trump, Oprah, very well‑known for certain thing. This guy is Rand Fishkin. He wears yellow sneakers to all the marketing conferences, and has a crazy mustache, so he kind of stands out, and shares his knowledge about SEO.

If you’re not the lead dog, the view is always the same. If you’re looking at the backside of your competitors or the other students that you’re competing with to get a job, the view is always the same if you don’t stand out a little bit. Again, having a blog can help you stand out.

Determine your interest. Try a variety of things. Pick a niche area to focus on. Have a blog, and create social media profiles including things like Google, Google+ personal profile, and that can help you get recognized. That’s it.

Diane:  Thank you.


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