how to become an SEO Specialist (2022 guide)

Do You Need a Degree to Be an SEO Specialist?

BrainStation’s SEO Specialist career guide can help start a lucrative career in search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. Read on for an overview of educational requirements for SEO and whether search engine optimization jobs require a degree.

Become an SEO Specialist

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No one will expect you to have a degree directly related to SEO—simply because there’s no such thing. What you really need in order to become an SEO Specialist is an ability to demonstrate your skills and a passion for the work.

That said, looking at job postings for SEO Specialists and Consultants, you will likely find that many do require a Bachelor’s or equivalent diploma, usually in a related field like business, marketing, communications, or IT.

While there is no “correct” background for people working in SEO—virtually every industry can benefit from better online reach—SEO Specialists tend to work in or adjacent to marketing. While not strictly a marketing position, SEO is so closely related to it that some experience in marketing is definitely an asset.

Can I Learn SEO on My Own?

Very few people begin their career in SEO per se. It’s far more common to transition into a career as an SEO Specialist by building on transferable skills acquired in another field, then developing a specialization by focusing on the specific set of technical skills someone working in SEO needs to possess. These technical skills can be developed on your own, but may take some time.

To speed up the learning process, you can also take SEO courses like BrainStation’s Search Engine Optimization course. If you have no on-the-job experience in SEO, an SEO course like this is a great way to not only build new skills, but also to produce concrete work that demonstrates your abilities.

It’s also worth noting that even if you already have a degree in marketing, business, or communications, you may still lack many of the core competencies crucial to working as an SEO Specialist. Keeping up with SEO’s changing tools, technologies, and channels requires curiosity and continuous learning, and an SEO course is an easy way to bring your skills and knowledge up to date.

For this reason, and because the field of SEO is always evolving, a proven commitment to continuing education is another factor employers look for. In addition to digital marketing bootcamps and SEO courses, you can display your commitment to ongoing learning by participating in SEO workshops, webinars, and conferences, and by establishing your profile within the industry—for example, by maintaining an active online presence.


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