going from from physics to ppc

July 7, 2017, by Jackie Thompson

From MSci Physics to Pay-Per-Click Specialist

By Jonathan Catton, MSci (Hons) Physics

My journey from physicist to digital marketer was by no means straightforward. When I started at University my plan was to go into industry as I wanted to do something practical with my learning – that’s why I chose physics rather than maths. However, during my degree, I came to the conclusion that although I enjoyed physics I wanted to do something else with my career.

Widening my net and getting inspired

At that point I wasn’t too sure what that ‘something else’ would be. I had already decided that I wanted to work in Nottinghamshire so I could stay in contact with friends and live with my partner. After looking at the default job option for mathematically-minded graduates  accountancy I decided to explore other possibilities.

I applied for lots of jobs, but nothing really inspired me. Then I found the position of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Specialist at Hallam Internet, a digital marketing agency in Nottingham. In this role, I get to use my mathematical and statistical skills in a practical environment, with possibilities of coding and other such fun. I work with clients and regularly use one of the key skills I picked up from my course – explaining technical concepts to lay people.

Increasing a company’s online visibility

On an average day, I check my clients’ AdWords accounts to make sure they’re ticking along nicely. I also solve specific problems. For example, it might be Campaign X is underperforming, so I need to investigate why and come up with solutions; or Campaign Y, which was created a while ago, needs revitalising. I also deal with any issues or new requests from clients. For example, a client might enquire about the specifics of a campaign: what would it look like; how much would it cost?

Using the skills from my masters

I developed a variety of ‘soft skills’ during my masters, such as time management and presenting. The emphasis on group projects and coursework mirrors the working world, where I have to manage conflicting deadlines and produce high-quality work.

Group presentations were prominent throughout my masters and have stood me in good stead at Hallam. At University, I was given topics to research and become an expert in, so I could teach the rest of the group that topic. This is a direct parallel to client pitch meetings. The key is to be able to express the important information clearly and succinctly.

Are you interested in a career in digital marketing? Find out more about PPC roles, and how to develop skills and gain work experience.

Posted in Alumni StoriesPostgraduate Taught Students