Hireling somebody with experience and proven knowledge about search to do your in-house search marketing was impossible. There was no way of telling if the person actually knew the business or not at all. You had to trust their word and then, down the road, check if they delivered on their promises or not.
Forming and molding new graduates from the college to search marketers in-house by letting them play around with the subject matter (for a low cost) for a while and eventually grow them to experts internally, was in most cases the best choice. The former graduates and newbie's became experienced marketers with the time and made it hard for companies to be able to keep them. They learned quickly what their work and experience was worth. Those People did often quit their job at the company where they learned the business to work for a specialized search-marketing firm or to start their own business.
Independent training and certification did not exist.
The landscape regarding education and certification changed dramatically since the middle of 2006. Before 2006 did virtually no or only a few training curriculums to internet marketing, especially to the fast growing subject of search engine marketing and optimization exist, at least none, which resulted in an industry wide accepted form of certification that could be used by the students who successfully completed the training to use with confidence for a job application.
Combined industry efforts and the shortage of skilled internet marketing professionals created a boom in new services, which offer new training courses and seminars including certification to various internet-marketing subjects. Not all certifications are accepted or acknowledged across the industry, but most of them offer at least a similar level of education, which makes 3rd party certifications almost in all cases just as good as an "official" one.
Broad Selection of Services
The offers vary in price, amount of transferred knowledge and distribution method. Self-learning courses in printed and electronic format online are as available as hands on training classes in real classrooms with real teachers and interaction with other students. In addition, the combination of virtual training online combined with interaction with real teachers and other students is in some cases an option.
Companies can now send their employees who might have a major in marketing and advertising or computer engineering to a paid training and know when they come back and passed the exam and got their certification that they do know at least the basics of the job they are supposed to do.
Graduates Are in High Demand
The demand for graduates from the new available colleges, training programs and online classes is high and successful alumni in subjects like SEM/PPC or SEO can often choose from more than one job offer available to them. Classes are usually very affordable ranging between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Finding Job Openings
If you are looking for a job in the search marketing industry, or if you are a personnel manager and looking for SEM professionals to hire, you might want to have a look at the niche job search site JobsInSearch.com, which specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing jobs and careers. There are also the large and generic career opportunities portals and sites where you can look for job openings in search engine optimization, pay-per-click and internet marketing in general.