This piece is co-written with our friends at Career Karma.
How can you use your time to develop marketable skills for the future?
The digital marketing industry is vast and navigating it can be hard for new marketers looking for their niche. While the number of resources available to acquire or hone your skills is in abundance, your options have been reduced by the pandemic outbreak.
The recent pandemic has accelerated the need of workers to invest in building new digital skills as a result of automation and artificial intelligence disruption. A 2017 McKinsey Global Institute study estimated as many as 375 million workers, or 14% of the total global workforce, would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030.
Social distancing rules, stay-at-home orders, and the fear of contracting the virus are leading many to stay away from traditional in-person courses. Compounding this, many education providers have canceled physical classes. Fortunately, the options available to learn the trade remotely are still vast.
Before we dive into the different options to study from home, let’s take a look at the skills that you can develop as a digital marketer working in today’s industry.
You definitely want to brush up or acquire video-related skills. Studies have shown time and time again that this is one of the most effective options in a marketer’s toolbox. According to MarTech, videos have the potential to hold customer’s attention on retail sites for two minutes longer than average. Videos work because they allow you to speak directly to the user. People are more likely to trust your brand if they can see your face.
SEO & SEM
Whether you are involved in the more nitty-gritty aspects of content creation or hold a more managerial position, knowing how to optimize the content your company creates is essential. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) boost your entire digital strategy on both a data and content level, so it is crucial that you understand the fundamentals in order to go far.
In today’s world, data is king. Being able to gather the right data and using it to make important decisions is a valuable skill for any digital marketer. Studying and mastering Google Analytics will always be time well spent. Mastering these tools will make you an important asset in the eye of your employer.
So, where can you learn or brush up on these skills? Fortunately, the number of options is still aplenty, even if you feel uneasy about in-person courses.
Online University Course
If you were considering getting an academic degree the traditional way, that is attending classes, COVID-19 might have ruined your plans. But, don’t despair—there are plenty of respected university certificates on digital marketing that you can pursue from the comfort of your home. Here are a few:
The University of Vermont
The University of Vermont has what’s considered the nation’s best online marketing degree. The university’s Digital Marketing Fundamentals Certificate is offered at a 10-week duration, with tuition set at $1,695.
Duke University offers a Digital Media and Marketing Certificate. The program lasts 12 months and tuition is $3,195.
The University of California, Irvine
This university also has a respected online Digital Marketing Certificate Program that costs $3,765 and lasts between three to 12 months.
Online Coding Bootcamp
Gaining popularity over traditional programs like university degrees, coding bootcamps can be the perfect solution for those wishing to kickstart their career in tech. These programs are short, intensive and aim to make the whole process as convenient as possible for the students. That includes, naturally, the option to take the course fully online. These are some of our favorite coding bootcamps on digital marketing that can be completed remotely.
Based in Bangalore, India, this school offers bootcamps on digital marketing, among many other topics. Acadgild is renowned for helping students build competitive portfolios and round-the-clock support.
Udacity is another great alternative for tech hopefuls hoping to acquire the skills they need in a short time. With Udacity you can learn the basics of many tech-related subjects, including, of course, digital marketing and data science.
BrainStation offers top-notch digital skills training for both companies and individuals. Its courses focus on data, product, development, design and marketing.
CareerFoundry is a Berlin-based coding bootcamp with online courses. If you are eyeing a transition to a career in tech, CareerFoundry is where you can study data analytics, UX/UI design and web development, among other topics. Students enjoy one-on-one mentoring and an adaptive, project-based curriculum.
A fully online data science program, DataCamp offers beginners free courses, as well as a subscription to access its premium courses and tutorials. The school’s emphasis is on R, data visualization, and Big Data.
Before committing your hard-earned dollars to one of the above programs, you may want to consider taking advantage of the many resources available for free on the web. Here are a few:
Google’s Online Marketing Challenge
Google’s Digital Marketing Course has video tutorials on everything from SEM, Google Ads, social networks, and mobile strategy. Besides, is there a better way to learn these skills than from the tech giant itself?
WordStream's Growth Academy
Completely free and taught by some of world’s top marketers, Growth Academy offers a comprehensive, interactive roadmap to growing your business through digital marketing, with courses on online advertising, lead generation and e-commerce.
Coursera is a popular site for online education with a wide offering, including free online marketing courses. Check them out and remember that new classes are always being added.
In spite of the turbulent times, nothing should stop you from becoming the professional you want to be. Despite new limitations brought about by the pandemic, the number of options available to those who want to hone their digital marketing skills—from online university courses to bootcamps—is aplenty.