Digital marketing requires analytical skill, creativity and ability to learn new platforms and tools to manage and optimize marketing campaigns and programs. But, how do you acquire the skills that would make you more attractive to an employer? Along the same theme of knowledge, people need to know how, when and in what ways to use these different methods of acquiring, analyzing, and implementing that data into revenue-driving actions. In marketing, taking a data-driven approach is more important than ever, and the approach is constantly changing.
To quantify this, Georgetown University predicts that as the profession becomes more technical, specialized, and strategic, “significant growth is projected for market research analysts and marketing specialists...Specifically, demand for market research analysts will increase 41% through 2020” (much faster than average growth for other functions” US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a lot of job opportunity. So, how do you make sure that you and your team members are staying up-to-date to implement a successful buyer's journey? Or, as a soon-to-be/recent college graduate, how do you enable yourself to be an attractive prospect for employers?
If you just spent tens of thousands or more on an undergraduate degree over 4 years, it’s more than likely you didn’t major in SEO, Google Analytics, or Facebook (well, not officially). So how do you get a job in an industry comprised of specific vertical functions run on data and the understanding of each? Especially when unemployment rates are increasing relative to the decreasing levels of education one has (see chart below). There’s a lot of questions. But, consider the graph above--it displays a clear correlation between two things:
- The amount of education is directly tied to the amount of money made.
- The amount of education you have is inversely related to the rate of unemployment.
As you acquire escalating levels of academic credentials, statistics show that your salary and chances of job security will rise accordingly. In regards to the world of digital marketing, there are ways to arm yourself against job insecurity as well as increase your hireability, chances at a promotion or a new career direction with a higher salary ceiling. Namely, there are a variety of certifications specifically in Digital Marketing from accredited, 4-year educational institution. So, yes, in a way you can study digital marketing at a four-year university. Though these programs vary in content, pricing and prerequisites, they provide any degree earner with recognized knowledge in digital marketing subjects, an association with institutions of varying levels of academic and social prestige and a statistically favorable increase in hireability/promotability. Digital
From private to public schools, large research university to state school, below is a list and brief overview of a few different major universities that offer digital marketing-specific ‘degrees’ or advanced certifications. *To note: I didn’t hand-pick these schools out. In the spirit of fairness and SEO, I searched for “online digital marketing courses universities” and picked the first 5. If nothing else, these schools practice what they preach. NYU Type: Certificate Total Cost: ~$4,125 Cost Per Course: $825 - $1995 Total Courses Required: 5 Prerequisites: None Time to Complete: Varies The NYU School of Professional Studies is built for and around professionals looking to “staying abreast of the cutting-edge trends and developments in your field.” They offer two programs both can be completed online or in-person:
o “Upon completion of the certificate program, students are able to: analyze and use the data generated by digital analytics reporting tools to map back to business objectives”
o Offers courses like “Digital Strategies for Marketing” covering an introduction to “using digital channels for inbound marketing and the development and use of digital marketing as a core strategy in the marketing plan” and “Applying Social Media Analytics” to “explore the most effective strategies for evaluating and monetizing captured data that determines consumer insights.” Georgetown Type: Certificate Total Cost: ~$5,370 Cost Per Course: $895 Total Courses Required: 6 Prerequisites:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- 3-5 years of experience in a position in the public, private, or non-profit sector
- “Participants should have fundamental marketing skills”
Time to Complete: within 2 years Georgetown’s Certificate in Digital Marketing includes four required courses such as “Web and Mobie Design & Usability” and “Advanced Marketing Analytics & Reporting” plus two Elective classes for a total of 10.8 “Continuing Education Units (CEUs).” University of Phoenix Type: Certificate (undergraduate) Total Cost: $10,980 + books & supplies (est. $810) Cost Per Course: Not specified Total Courses Required: 9 Prerequisites: Unsure Time to Complete: ~8 months University of Phoenix’s Digital Marketing Certificate (undergraduate) is run through the School of Business. It is offered online and for a complete course list, their descriptions, and the general program outline visit here. University of San Francisco USF offers three different types of certification programs with varying degrees of advanced methodology, cost and time commitment. But, all programs are 100% online, which also means 24/7 access.
- Advanced Professional Certificate in Internet Marketing (3 course series)
o Total Cost: $4,955 o Time to Complete: Unknown o Who’s it for?
- “This dynamic, multi-course series is especially beneficial for professionals in traditional or interactive marketing agencies and corporate marketing departments...And for those looking to change jobs, this credential can open the door to an exciting and rewarding career.”
- Advanced Specialized Certificates (6 individual courses)
o Total Cost: $1,980 o Time to Complete: 8 weeks o Courses Offered:
- Advanced Social Media
- Advanced Digital Analytics
- Advanced Email Marketing
- Advanced Affiliate Marketing
- Advanced Mobile Marketing
- Advanced Search Engine Marketing
- Specialized Mini Courses (8 individual, instant access courses)
o Total Cost: $699 o Time to Complete: 4 weeks access o Other Details:
- Downloadable Certificate of Completion
- Direct access to industry experts (facilitation)
Cal State Fullerton Type: Digital Marketing Certificate Total Cost:
- California Residents: ~$3,048 + misc. fees
- Non-California Residents: ~$5,814
Cost Per Course:
- California Residents: $254/unit
- Non-California Residents: ~$626/unit
Total Courses Required: 6 Prerequisites: None Time to Complete: 4-6 weeks/course; whole program ~10+ months One interesting thing to note, during the course you will be “working with a mock company from start to finish developing real-world digital marketing plans.” The entirety of the course includes 120 hours of lecture equating to about 4-5 hours per week. Also note that non-California residents may only only enroll in the program if their state recognizes CSUF as a provider. Further information can be found here. These are not the entirety of digital marketing certificates offered by 4-year universities. Other notable programs include those from Duke University and Wharton at University of Pennsylvania, and there are many more programs at accredited universities like these. “I would be more likely to interview a candidate with a digital marketing certificate than a similar one who studied business or marketing generally.
Most university programs do not teach concrete tactical digital marketing skills. It would be even stronger if the person has applied those skills in any corporate or personal role, like a small business, which they could discuss and demo in the interview process. Knowing specific marketing platform tools is a huge plus,” says Erik Newton, the senior director of demand generation at BrightEdge.
At the end of the day, earning one of these certificates at any of the aforementioned schools gives you a leg up on most other job applicants, provides you with real-world and applicable hands-on experience to digital marketing practices and grants you credibility or affiliation with said university. Who knows, the knowledge you gain and the added educational degree you receive could lead to your next raise, job or opportunity! Take our digital marketing quiz to test your knowledge.