Digital Marketing Degree or Certifications

Hello everybody. I wanted to ask this to people already involved in the marketing field. I was thinking on getting a degree or at least get certified on fields related to digital marketing. When it comes to the degree, my main concern is putting money into the hands of teachers that perhaps are outdated, or have never done any marketing and only teach theory. I know that this is an investment, but at the same time I would like to get the most out of the money I will spend on this. Moreover, I have noticed that several top blogs like Hubspot, Content Marketing Institute, Copybloggers, and so on, have different resources such as academies. I’m 37 years old and this is something I’m very interested in, which is why I reach out to you experienced marketers for your feedback. I would like to gain the knowledge and the confidence to push my business ideas forward and be able to market them successfully. Thoughts, opinions, all kinds of feedback is welcome and trust me, highly appreciated. Thanks for your time and attention in advance.

Welcome @Suncoast37 !

That’s a really good subject but a vast one, as they are a ton of different things you can do with digital marketing.

Depending on what you want to achieve, I’m not really sure our field requires a Degree as it is always evolving.

I guess some theory is always good to learn at some point as it will help you get the language and the different mecanisms (the market, the target, the mix, the persona, etc). You’ll access to this information in books about digital marketing. To stay up to date you may register to the newsletter of a couple of marketing news website.

For the real thing, my advice would be to first go to facebook Blueprint and Google skillshop. They are the two major players and they offer a lot of content that could lead to a certification. You’ll have exercices and you’ll be able to practice and for me that’s what matters in the end.
The Hubspot formation is great if you want to learn about inbound, CRM etc.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your business ideas ? or at least the market and client you are targeting ? Because this will change the way you talk to them and how you can reach them.

Wow thanks for taking the time. I know it is a competitive field abd constantly changing. That’s why I’m of the idea that a marketing degree is probably not up to date with the industry. Perhaps an MBA would be more proper. I’m still interested in skills such as copywriting and also I have noticed many local businesses who struggle because they dont have online presence. Maybe this would be a good start for me to assist small companies. I just want to gain the skills to provide them with decent results. I guess in the end this is a form of affiliate marketing since I would be promoting somebody’s business. Also social media management would have to be learned. And who knows maybe computer programming or an MBA as far as a degree goes. But my main focus is to be able to help somebody boost business. Start with local players around my area. Copywriting has always been something that I want to learn really good. I want to have a good set of skills in my toolbox to be able to assist businesses with exposure and I guess I could set up a small business doing that down the road.

I own two agencies that employ a total of 80 people. We have hired people who are mid career like you with no marketing background. We have also hired people with marketing degrees and certifications. For entry level hires, what matters is potential and convincing us they really, really wanting to work in marketing. The most successful people were great communicators and very smart. The most important thing is to show an employer what you can do. This can be demonstrated in many ways without formal experience e.g. via a blog that’s well written, Instagram with a ton of followers, etc. We hired someone this year because they poked holes in our marketing (the person was experienced). Ongoing education is a very important part of a marketer’s job, but I’ve not found a marketing degree or certification you can earn with minimal time to be predictive of success. PS more money and positions in SEO, PPC, analytics than content development, social media management. Hope this helps. Ellen at Jess Marketing Analytics.

Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to elaborate on this. I only had a person from Unbounce answer me and he made it clear he wasn’t a marketer, so your response is a golden nugget for me.

I was thinking on taking a digital marketing bootcamp from UCF but I feel like I could spend that money in a better way and perhaps learn more. Its 7500 bux by the way and it would require major effort to make it available.

At this time I find myself reading the Agora Big Black Book and also Cialdini’s Psychology of Persuasion. I was thinking on perhaps taking courses from Copyhackers (Joanna Wiebe), since they appear to have a broad spectrum of marketing and sales lessons including copywriting. Problem is I get quickly overwhelmed with all the different areas of marketing and I begin feeling like I should master all these things and the time it will take; I end up in a total paralysis.

Again, I really appreciate your insight on this based on your experience. Blessings to you.

If I were in the same situation, I would start trying to build my own personal Instagram feed thoughtfully to show that I knew how to do this and could build a following. There are a ton of tutorials on how to do that, and tools like Canva can help if you don’t have design skills.

I would start with the free tutorials on SEMRush. https://www.semrush.com/academy/courses?spec=ALL&lang=en-US Then, if you get your SEO cert, go for your Google Ads cert https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/catalog/list?category_ids=2844-google-ads-certifications .

These courses and certifications are all free. If you feel like putting things in practice, create a blog on a free platform and practice what you learned. Maybe even try to sell something just to see if you can do it.

Technical bootcamps are a start, but the don’t substitute for real world experience and my suggestions blend both. If you have a resume that says you did all this, you would stand out vs. someone who went through the motions of a spendy boot camp.

This is very much appreciated. Never really received advice from or had the opportunity to speak with somebody fully involved in this industry. I will definitely include what you recommended and work it into what I’m doing.

I also have interest in affiliate marketing, but like everything and anything related to marketing, there’s a learning curve; a big one perhaps. I guess the amount of information is just too much to swallow and it gets overwhelming.

But once again, thank you very much for taking the time. Anything else you want to add is, without a doubt, of massive value to me.

Best coursework I (agency Chief Strategy Officer) have taken is from Yoast. It’s SEO- and content-focused, obviously, but it opens doors to understanding things on a broader level. (HubSpot, wonderful as their cert is, is all about training you to Use HubSpot and Think Inbound. It’s tremendous perspective to have, but it’s very much a philosophy.

Not a training course, but I can’t say enough good things about learning data visualization. Tufte is a good place to start; Visual Display is older, but the theory is sound. Try Good Charts**, too. More utilitarian, but also more modern. Understanding data and how to present it is worth its weight in gold. You’re instantly more credible if it’s clear that what you’re showing hasn’t been manipulated, and conveys real meaning.

Last bit: Just write. Any time you’re learning or explaining a concept, write it up as a blog post. (Use the Hemingway App to guide your style.) If you can write it – and ideally explain it in a screenflow, using Loom – you’ll be truly confident that you “get it.”

Common thread here: Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, not just how to do it.