What Type of Degree Is Best for an SEO or SEM?

Oct 28, 2008 • 8:02 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

A HighRankings Forum thread asks which type of degree should a person looking to go into SEO or SEM pursue?

The logical answers, at least to me, would be either marketing, programming, maybe math or statistics. Copy editors might want to get an English degree. But core SEOs or SEMs, what would be the best degree for them?

Here is a poll, please vote on it, and you can select multiple:

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: October 27, 2008


Andrew Miller

10/28/2008 02:09 pm

I graduated with a BA in Comp Sci and didn't want to become a full-time programmer. I switched directions and went to work for a big ad agency, then as an in-house marketer/SEO for a Fortune 500 company. In my opinion, the marketing skills required for SEO are easier to learn on the job than the programming/technical knowledge necessary to diagnose site issues. Many of the folks I've worked with are Marketing or Business Administration majors (or MBA's) and most have agreed that the textbook marketing knowledge is not sufficient for real-world application. If I had to do it all over again knowing I would end up as an SEO consultant, I would have still pursued the Comp Sci degree but added in more writing, sociology, and psychology courses. The more you understand communications and people, the more successful you will be at SEO.


10/28/2008 03:42 pm

I graduated with a Business Information Systems degree. Basically it's a Business Admin degree with with programming and systems analysis focus. I also took HTML/JS/CSS courses to fill up some extra credits I needed. I came out of college being very tech and business savvy, but you still need real world experience and application to be a great SEMarketer. You also have to understand research and be able to learn quickly. Many of us are assigned to projects or customers that we know nothing about. Learning and writing about different topics quickly, yet thoroughly is not a talent that anyone can pick up at a college course. Also, targeting customers in multiple different markets requires a deep understanding of behaviors and patterns, while keeping up with current trends and strategies in the SEO world. I'd say we are a group of very talented people. :)


10/28/2008 08:01 pm

Surely all of those are relevant.

Rob Abdul

10/29/2008 10:16 am

I graduated with a BSc Honours degree in Electronic Commerce and a Masters Degree in Electronic Commerce, but that is beside the point. You do not need a degree to do SEO/SEM. I do not want for people who have not had the privilege the time or the opportunity to do a degree to think that they will not make good SEMs. Real world experience is important also. In my Rob Abdul's opinion (currently number 1 in Google for the term "eBusiness Specialist") you need to be good at: 1. Being very patience 2. Testing any hypothesis you have 3. Setting up fair and unbiased experiments 4. Analysing results 5. Implementing changes based on your results 6. Starting at No. 1 again A degree will help, but not essential!


10/30/2008 11:39 am

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I'm the guy who originally posted the question over on the HighRankings forum. I'm 33 years old, and just returning to college to finish the degree I started almost 15 years ago. The degree is important to me on a personal level, no matter what. I've been leaning towards what Piosenka mentioned. My university offers a similar program, kind of a mix of business and technology. I can probably fill in the gaps with CSS/JS/HTML classes and be more prepared.


10/31/2008 12:16 pm

Why not sign up for a course at the Sempo Institute (http://www.sempoinstitute.com)? I'm sure they will get you up to speed quickly.


04/29/2010 06:04 pm

Hello, I am a 38 year old male, who due to the current state of the economy in Ohio, am forced to change careers. I have had some interest in the SEO field, before I had lost my job was trying to get a website up and running. At the time I wanted to purchase SEO services, but now find myself in the position that the cost is something I cannot afford. So with the state having a program to pay for my education though I would take that route. I am looking for some direction in what classes to take, that wold give me a good foundation to build on for the SEO industry. I know from reading other postes that there are no classes specifically designed for this field but any help in finding the proper direction would be appreciated. Thank You


07/24/2012 05:25 pm

I truly agree with you Buddy, I personally don't think any kinda degree can provide that skill which is actually made by us :)


07/24/2012 05:28 pm

Maybe you can get some paid forums to learn real time SEO. I am being a member of BringTheFresh forum can suggest you this. Maybe some other place can entertain you more but I think you must get some connection to real SEO experts. Thanks


07/24/2012 05:29 pm

Very concise and relevant outline :)

Amir Nasir

11/08/2012 01:19 am

i think marketing skills with English knowledge is must

blog comments powered by Disqus