Digital marketers are masters of gauging advertising spaces and digital platforms. When clients have questions for digital marketers, these individuals need to know their craft inside and out. But how do these experts learn their trade?
Some choose digital marketing schools. But we see that as a serious misstep.
We'll explain that not only is dropping money on marketing schools isn't in your best interest, and they can harm your marketing strategies.
While we may be taking digital marketing schools to task, it doesn't mean that people can't develop industry skills from a digital marketing course or online program. There's always something to glean from online courses and building a foundation for your future development.
However, you'll see why dedicating your entire time to a digital marketing school isn't in your best interest overall.
Don't Depend on Digital Marketing Schools
We've compiled a few key reasons you don't need to spend your time hitting the books at a digital marketing school.
Get ready to ditch those expensive marketing textbooks!
Everything in Digital Marketing Is Changing
Like most aspects of the digital space, like search engine optimization keyword research, social media marketing, and the Google algorithm itself, everything changes.
A digital marketing standard practice in Q1 may be obsolete by Q4. When working hard on a digital campaign in YouTube Ads, can someone afford to use outdated knowledge?
If you learn a particular digital marketing technique to help businesses thrive, by the time you graduate and land a job, it may not help a whit.
That leads to our second downside of digital marketing schools.
If You Learn Something in Digital Marketing Schools, It’ll Be Nothing by the Time You’re Working on Real Accounts
The last thing you need is outdated practices and information. When dealing with clients in forming a cohesive marketing strategy, you can't come up short against competition.
While you're spending semesters learning last year's business trend, your competitors are multiple steps ahead. Once you launch into what you perceive as a sound marketing strategy, you'll realize your ideal digital marketing strategy won't cut it in the real world.
And if a business desires significant online brand growth, it can't depend on someone using outdated knowledge, methods, and services.
Don't cheat your customer of a current, complete, strategic, and successful course of action because of your inexperience.
Most (but Not All) Teachers Aren’t Advertising in Multiple Spaces
You wouldn't ask a cricket player to teach you baseball, would you? We didn't think so.
The same goes for a majority of digital marketing professors and instructors.
While we aren't throwing shade at their credentials and experience in the field, most digital marketing teachers aren't in the trenches. Monitoring analytics, exploring new advertising avenues, and launching new campaigns.
As such, while digital marketing students can learn some fundamentals, they are at a severe disadvantage in terms of current-day marketing trends and technology.
For example, are digital marketing instructors teaching you about app store optimization for mobile? Or are they going over the communication skills you need to succeed with consumers? Everything from knowing a digital platform and professional hard and soft skills is necessary. And a digital marketing school staff can’t teach those.
There Are Online Courses and Internships That Will Give You Hands-On Experience
As we said, online courses are a preferable alternative to a full-blown semester at a digital marketing school. Right off the bat, online courses offer a ton of flexibility. You could focus on clients and your curriculum simultaneously.
You can apply for various marketing and advertising internships that will give you a much more comprehensive experience in the field. These internships help you encounter talented teams and complex topics that marketing textbooks and PowerPoint presentations can't give you.
Also, investing in highly specified paths, like Google Analytics and PPC ads, is a great alternative.
According to Jasz Joseph in an interview with Databox, he pretty much agrees with our thesis.
“Because digital marketing is an ever-changing field, it is challenging to learn about it in books or in the classroom. Gaining certifications from well-known organizations like HubSpot and Google are also amazing ways to boost your resume and personal brand.”
Digital Marketing Jobs to Not Care for a Degree in Digital Marketing
Although having a certificate or diploma in digital marketing is an impressive feat, they aren't necessary to break into the field. Not by a long shot.
What employers and companies care about is experience. Whether it's a few internships, online courses, personal and professional projects, these accomplishments speak volumes.
Unfortunately for those with a diploma, this credential doesn't guarantee you a job in digital marketing.
Why waste thousands (often hundreds of thousands) of dollars on a piece of paper when you should be focusing on the ins and outs of the business?
The Verdict on Digital Marketing Schools
Let's be honest here. Overall, you’re paying for a degree that no one cares about to learn things that don’t matter anymore from people who don’t know anything.
Raw experience and a business foundation will be your best friends here. Not to mention a keen intuition for what works and what doesn't for digital marketing strategies.
A lot of good judgment isn't learned in digital marketing schools. That's why the best way to start to build a professional foundation in marketing is through hitting the ground running.
With a solid digital marketing strategy, opportunity, and a client you believe in, you can start to build upon your marketing strengths and create content that will launch your client past their competitors.