29 September 2023

What Is A Growth Hacker?

Alt Text!

Growth hacking – funny term that. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with hacking and everything to do with growth. So if you’re a cyber whizz wanting to use your skills to block computer systems from security threats, ethical hacking would be a better career fit.

The aim of a growth hacker is to achieve business growth. Exponential growth. Across multiple departments within a company, using data-driven strategies. Growth hacking tends to be associated with startups as they’re the ones needing a huge push in revenue. 

Read on to find out what growth hacking is all about and where a career in this sector could take you. Promise you won’t be disappointed.

What does a growth hacker do?

An overview

To understand growth hacking, we need to compare it to traditional marketing as they share a few similarities. While traditional marketing focuses on driving traffic to a website, growth hackers focus on the whole customer experience, from the awareness stage to referrals. 

It’s a much longer journey. Growth hackers want to know if a user:

  • Engages with the website and signs up
  • Understands the core value of your product in their first browsing session
  • Loves the product enough to come back and buy it again.


Growth hackers look for cost effective ways to grow a business venture or project – rapidly. Much of your role includes goal-setting, experimenting with strategies, testing outcomes and analysing performance. However, here’s what your daily responsibilities could look like:

  • Identifying trends and insights
  • Gathering competitor data for evaluation
  • Using data, analytics and other digital tools to inform growth strategies 
  • Reporting on initiatives and projects to management and CEOs
  • Collaborating with marketing, sales and PR to share ideas and best practices
  • Replicating successful strategies at scale in other markets.

Hear what one digital marketing intern had to say about their programme with L’Oréal: 

“My understanding and expertise around organic search, paid search and everything SEO has increased dramatically, as well as expertise on how to run and organise a consumer led website. From a behavioural perspective, I have also developed great skills in communication and how to act effectively and properly in an office environment.”

(Digital Marketing Intern, L’Oréal)

What skills does a growth hacker have?

Growth hackers are a jack of all trades. They need to know a bit of everything to understand how the business works – where it’s doing well, and where it needs improvement. Some skills are more important than others. But if you have a firm grip on these, you’ll totally smash it:

  • Data tracking and analytics – to understand how users interact with a product or service across multiple platforms
  • Programming and coding – to navigate a website without needing the help of a developer. Knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP will take you far
  • Design skills – to recognise what the consumer is thinking and how they digest information you are presenting to them, so you can create a high-performing website
  • SEO – to grow your online platform and drive traffic and sales
  • Copywriting –  to keep users engaged with fresh content and boost Google rankings.

How do you start a career as a growth hacker?

If you want to become a growth hacker, your best bet is to do a placement or internship. These allow you to develop the necessary on-the-job skills that employers are looking for, so you can land a full-time gig in your industry.

Should I do a placement or an internship?

Both are valuable and give you a taste of what it’s like to work as a growth hacker. 


Placements are one year-long programmes that are integrated into your degree course. They take place between your second and final year of university and give you the chance to work for a company for a whole year. 

You’ll shadow senior leaders and be given lots of responsibility, just like all the other employees.


Internships tend to be shorter – one to four months max. These take place during the summer holidays and give you a brief insight into a role. If you want to dip your toes into a particular sector and find out if it’s the right fit, an internship is the way to go.

Start your career in growth hacking with a digital marketing internship.

Want to know what it’s really like to work in digital marketing? Browse over 70,000 student written reviews and find the right placement or internship for you.

How much do growth hackers earn?

Growth hackers are well paid. And working in this industry will earn you a comfortable income. As a graduate, you’ll start on a £35,000 salary, and make £65,000 a year with experience.

Imagine putting that into a savings account and getting lots of monthly interest on top!

While your salary depends on your employer, you’ll still get paid the National Minimum Wage. This increases each year in April, in line with the new tax year.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a growth hacker. You can start anywhere and learn the tricks of the trade as you go.

If you’re from a business, tech or marketing background, and want a career that merges all three, growth hacking is a sure way to make that happen.

The more experience you have, the greater your chances of getting a full-time role, so it pays to get ahead. Good luck!