Digital Marketing vs Data Science — Which course to choose?

Nitin G
6 min readApr 14, 2021

The technical sector is growing at a tremendous rate. People have turned up to acquire skills in this field. However, it gets necessary to understand its courses before taking it in as a career because it deals with lots of complexities and data-driven tasks. Digital Marketing and Data Science have come up as valuable business assets over the years.

Now the question is — which one are you more inclined to?

In this blog, we will discuss both of these topics and compare the skills and needs of either to help you choose. Data Science and Digital marketing do not have any direct relation with each other. In fact, both require completely different courses and skillsets. However, they can get entwined in certain use cases when companies use digital marketing tools powered by data science technologies like AI and ML. So, if you acquire knowledge in one of these domains, maybe you can understand how to leverage the other one better.

Digital marketing — the modern approach to marketing

The word marketing may seem familiar, but adding digital to this word changes its dynamics completely. Digital marketing keeps on growing every single day, with one in three people using social media platforms. Besides, with the increase in technology, everything around is constantly shifting to a virtual platform. Hence, it gets necessary to stay close to digital marketing courses.

Digital Marketing has immense potential for the coming generation. Brands and Companies are switching to digital platforms for their advertisements. Every alternative person keeps on consuming digital campaigns and ideas. But, what is digital marketing? Digital marketing can get summed up as a process in which we use online platforms like social media platforms, search engines, applications, websites, etc., to reach a potential audience.

For example, a printed media pamphlet can reach a limited audience when circulated compared to the digital flyer uploaded on a social media platform. Thus, it shows the impact of digital marketing on the overall marketing analysis of a company.

Skills required for Digital Marketing

  • Writing and Editing Skills: Content has always taken place as the spine in a Digital Marketing project. It gets necessary to indulge yourself in content creation to produce creatives relevant to the audience’s interest.
  • SEO and SEM Skills: The content plays a vital role in digital marketing, but only when it reaches the right audience. Search engine optimisation and search engine marketing work as strategies to deliver your content to the targeted audience.
  • CRM skills: Customer Relationship Management skill helps to maximise the product experience of the customers. It benefits the business by taking the brand forward. Besides, it builds a platform to interact with the customers through various means to improve business strategies. By using a CRM tool, a single person can effectively manage hundreds of subscribers.
  • Basic Design Skills: In a marketing course using a digital platform, everything cannot revolve around the text. People are more drawing to infographics than plain texts. For customers to interact with, design works as a visual experience for your customers. Therefore, graphic designs play a crucial role.
  • Social Media Skills: Social media has taken a vital space in everyone’s life. As a digital marketing firm, social media can work as an asset in generating business traffic through organic and inorganic marketing strategies. How many times has an Instagram ad swayed you? If the answer is — even once, then you have been targetted by digital marketing!

How to start a career in Digital Marketing?

If you are thinking of opting for Digital Marketing as a career, ensure to go through the points given as follows:

  • Acquire basic knowledge about the subject of Digital Marketing
  • Build your website to practice digital marketing
  • Expertise search engine optimisation and search engine marketing
  • Learn to manage Google Adsense and acquire its certification
  • Work as an intern or freelancer in a Digital Marketing Agency.
  • Stay updated on new aspects of the subject.
  • Learn skills to handle Digital Marketing tools.
  • Explore social media platforms

Digital Marketing or Online Marketing has no limitations on expertise. You may realise that this subject does not work on certain laid principles and has multiple implementation techniques. Having a grasp of the points mentioned above, you can move forward to become a successful Digital Marketer.

Data Science — a Data-Driven, Scientific Approach

As a salient data analysis course, Data Science prominently has many desired and infrequent features. It has a firm structure that makes it compatible with the user to discover and exploit data-driven queries to acquire optimal solutions. Data Science works on complex data sets to wither real-world problems for desired solutions. It requires conceptual knowledge about programming and scripting, along with statistics and data visualisation. Any individual that holds a basic idea of business-related tasks, programming skills and data handling can adopt Data Science as a career. It has much more than solving problems.

Data, when kept raw, can lead to chaos and difficulty in generating analysis-based results for companies and other firms working on data. Data Science can derive data from the available raw data to make data analysis for businesses and companies. This accumulated data works as an asset to generate resources. Also, it has changed the dynamics of data-driven companies through its accurate predictions and performance graphs.

Skills required for Data Science

  • Big Data Analytics: To perform data science, it gets necessary to deal with complex data. Several big data analytic tools have come up over the years to handle complex data. These tools break complex data into smaller data sets to perform analysis.
  • Data Visualization: It gets necessary to visualise different outcomes that generate from a given data set. Without visualising data, it may get hard to calculate accurate results. Data visualisation also deals with the proper structuring and storage of data for easy retrieval.
  • Algorithms: Without using a suitable algorithm, it may get difficult to perform a task at hand efficiently. Algorithms, also known as pseudo-codes, helps in forming the framework of a given problem. They are fed into a system, and as a result, the system performs a given task.
  • Data Modelling: Data Models helps implement complex algorithms using statistics and other mathematical inductions for a given project.
  • Programming: Data Models works on the principles of programming languages. To implement a data model, you can opt for any programming language like Python, C++, C, Java, etc., to calculate the result. There are around 700 programming languages. Hence you might want to narrow down your choices based on the companies or job profiles you’ve shortlisted.

How to start a career in Data Science?

If you want to opt for Data Science as a career, you need to understand the fundamentals of interacting with the data. Without having a passion for interacting and analysing data, you can not become a data analyst. There are many courses over the internet that teach Data Science like Upgrad, Coursera, Geeksforgeeks, etc.

Given below are some essential tips for people opting for Data Science:

  • Join an online certification course in Data Science
  • Build up your communication skills along with story building
  • Try to adopt practical learning rather than theoretical knowledge.
  • Try to accumulate the right resources.
  • Acquire advanced coaching on one or two programming languages
  • Learn the basics of networking and data administration
  • Data Modeling and Model Deployment have become a necessity for data analysis.

The points mentioned above may help you in starting a career in Data Science. Further, these skills can help in other streams of Computer Science and Technology.

Digital Marketing vs Data Science: Future Possibilities

Digital Marketing has risen as the future of advertisements for all brands and companies. It has given new standards of advertising with ways to monitor every action taken on the brand profile. In this way, companies can plan for the next marketing strategy in a better way instead of making predictions. With the digital era, the speed of marketing has increased tremendously. In no time, digital marketing will take over traditional techniques of advertising because of its high conversion rates and wider accessibility at reasonable prices. Thus, there is a lot of advancements and technology linked to Digital Marketing.

On the other hand, Data Science emerges as a flourishing job with about a 37% annual growth rate, according to a survey by LinkedIn. With the increase in technology, companies have come across large data sets which require data handling skills. Data Science has skills to refine data and thus, holds a specific designation in a business organisation. Hence, it will get interesting to observe the future of this course in the coming decades.

Conclusion — which to choose?

Now that you know the intricacies of each field, the skills it demands, and the pathway to entering it, the choice largely depends on your interests and career goals. For instance, if you like product promotion and brand marketing, a Digital Marketing career would suit you best. However, if you aspire to work with data to help companies overcome real-world business challenges, innovative new solutions, and promote data-driven business strategies — Data Science is the way to go!

You can find both of these courses on upGrad. It has a wide range of Data Science courses, such as the Executive PG Programme in Data Science and an excellent Digital Marketing course — Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing

We hope this blog gave you a sense of direction in choosing between Data Science and Digital Marketing!