Internet Marketing and Advertising Consultants


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are considering a career as an Internet marketing and advertising consultant, you should pursue a general high school curriculum that is college preparatory. Make sure you enroll in advertising, business, computer science, and marketing courses. You should also take courses that develop your analytical and problem-solving skills such as mathematics (including algebra and geometry) and sciences (including chemistry and physics). Take English courses to develop the research and communication skills you'll need for this profession. Keyboarding is often offered at most high schools, and so are technology courses that teach basic computer skills.

Postsecondary Training

Some people enter the field with computer- or e-commerce-related degrees; others have traditional liberal arts, advertising, business, or marketing backgrounds that include computer studies. No matter what your major, take plenty of computer classes and spend a lot of time on the Web. Many universities and colleges now offer Internet marketing classes, minors, or other programs. Do your research to make sure that the university you choose to attend will provide you with the classes that are pertinent to the type of work you want to do.

Because consultants are usually responsible for marketing themselves, you should have good business skills and knowledge of marketing and sales, as well as computer knowledge. Therefore, take business and management classes, as well as economics and marketing. The consultant with a broad educational background may have the inside edge in certain situations.

There are also programs available to workers who wish to earn a master's degree in Internet marketing. Some are part of business administration degrees, while others are separate degree programs. While you won't need to earn a master's degree to get a job or succeed in the industry, it may provide some value when it comes to advancement or if you wish to start your own consulting company.


Many colleges and universities offer certificates in advertising and marketing, and some offer ones that focus on search engine marketing and optimization and related topics. For example, the University of California at San Diego offers a specialized certificate in search engine optimization that provides students with training in SEO strategy, keyword research, Web site metrics, SEO tools, and SEO best practices. Contact schools in your area to learn more about available programs. 

Other Education or Training

Many professional associations provide continuing-education (CE) opportunities to Internet advertising and marketing consultants including the Institute of Management Consultants USA, American Marketing Association, eMarketing Association, Internet Marketing Association, and the Digital Analytics Association. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for Internet marketing and advertising consultants, but there are certifications that professionals can earn through industry associations such as the Internet Marketing Association, WebProfessionals.org, eMarketing Association and Sales & Marketing Executives International. These certifications can show employers that you are serious about your career and you've achieved a certain level of education and experience, making you more marketable as an employee or consultant.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

There are entry-level positions that you can obtain that don't require years of experience. Usually these jobs are working as an assistant or coordinator under the leadership of a more experienced professional. What employers will look for is a degree in a relevant field and with classes in Internet marketing. They will also look to see if you completed an internship, worked summers in an Internet marketing capacity, and similar experience.

To obtain more senior-level positions, you will need to gain at least two or three years of experience. The more advanced the job, the more years of experience you'll need to have. To work as a manager, you may need to have completed three to five years of experience. The same holds true if you're considering launching your own consulting company. Most clients want to see that you have several years of experience and a track record of successful Internet marketing campaigns.

In addition to this experience, Internet marketing professionals need to be creative and problem solvers. They also need to have excellent communication and presentation skills, as well as organizational skills. In addition to being creative, it also helps for these professionals to be analytical.

Internet marketing and advertising consultants must be lifelong learners. You should have the desire and initiative to keep up on new technology, software, and hardware, as well as new marketing and advertising techniques. You must also have strong communication skills, including good listening skills. Creativity and an eye for digital design are also desirable. Because marketing and advertising consultants deal with many different people in various lines of work, you must be flexible and have good interpersonal and communication skills. To be a successful consultant, you should be self-motivated and have the ability to work alone as well as with groups. You also need to have the patience and perseverance to see projects through and have strong problem-solving skills.