We’ve all heard of institutes that are solely dedicated to digital marketing training. Parallel to the demand posed by the industry for qualified digital marketers, these institutes have sprouted all over the world, to fill this requirement. Each one offers something unique to its students, equipping them for a bright career and future ahead. True to their name, some of these courses are also 100% online so that you can become a bonafide digital marketer right from your home!
What is at the core of digital marketing institutes? Education. People join these institutes to hone their skills in the various departments of digital marketing. They also join because the certification looks good on their resume. So, in a way, we could consider these training institutes to be a mini-college of sorts, where you receive a certificate at the end. These institutes typically offer courses that are a few months long, with options to pick from such as crash courses or online sessions.
The Digital Dilemma
Since there are so many digital institutes out there, why is there no dedicated curriculum for digital marketing in the mainstream education system? Granted, digital marketing is a relatively new fish in the vast ocean of marketing. However, its impact on the world has been substantial. Today, every agency is looking to adopt digital marketing solutions to maximize leads with shoestring budgets. There are enough case studies and success stories that speak of the multiple benefits of choosing a digital marketing strategy for your brand. So, why, then, is there no sizable effort to bring it across to the central education system, in our schools and colleges?
The short answer is that there is a lack of importance as well as awareness of the potential of digital marketing training. While most people do know about it, there’s not much they want to do about it. After all, digital marketing can easily be picked up with a few classes at the local institute, or even through YouTube videos! This apathy towards the subject is part of the problem. That being said; however, efforts are being taken to introduce digital marketing as a dedicated subject in the curricula of many institutions, particularly those in the management sector. So, slowly but surely, progress is being made in this regard.
For the sake of argument, let’s give digital marketing the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say that we started in earnest to make it a focal point of the education curriculum in relevant institutions. It can even be introduced in schools, at the higher secondary level. Let’s take a systematic approach and look at every aspect of digital marketing in educational institutions, step-by-step.
Why Digital Marketing?
It’s been established that digital marketing is an advantageous skill to have, but is it convenient to have it as part of a school curriculum? Students these days are already overloaded with course content and barely manage to maintain a proper balance of academics and recreation. Any time they have on the side is precious. In such a scenario, why should we impart digital marketing training as a vital part of the curriculum? Here’s why.
Digital marketing is a versatile skillset. If you know what you’re doing, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Learning digital marketing skills early on can be very beneficial for your career in the long run.
We live in a digital age. As it is, people spend way too much time with their smartphones, and the young ones are no exception to this. Might as well put that digital time to good use, right? Today’s generation has the means to excel in the digital world. They just need a push in the right direction!
Methodical instruction is the way forward. YouTube videos are fine for a casual grasp of the subject. To excel in a digital marketing agency, however, you need an intrinsic understanding of how digital marketing works, even if you’re not directly pursuing a career in it. Through a dedicated curriculum and everyday classes, digital marketing can be taught with a lot more depth and detail. This can, in turn, produce job-ready digital marketers with concise knowledge on the subject, once they graduate out of college.
As a bonus, digital marketing training can be imparted from anywhere. It’s right in the name! All you need is a specific LMS, a net connection and some finance to have an online classroom set up! It’s very minimal in terms of infrastructure.
These reasons make a strong case for why digital marketing is an excellent fit for educational institutions. The interest is there, all it will take is a little effort!
Digital Marketing in Education :
So the next natural question is, where do we put it? The education system is vast. Where would the skill set of digital marketing fit inside it? While it is relatively easy to pick up, it does require a certain amount of time, effort and involvement to effectively implement the skills that are taught. Should it also be a part of school education, or should it just stay as part of a college curriculum, like it is now?
There is no exact answer to this. This is mostly because it varies from institution to institution. On an objective scale, schools that follow the international curriculum would probably have an edge, as they are already in sync with global trends. That being said, digital marketing can be taught anywhere, even across different languages of instruction.
Ideally, digital marketing should be a part of the higher secondary curriculum (especially for people in the commerce stream). Those who have opted for computer science can have the more technical aspects of digital marketing, such as web development. In the commerce stream, digital subjects such as social media marketing can be taught! As we all know, digital marketing does have something in store for everyone, no matter where their interests lie!
At the college level, the world is slowly opening up to the benefits of digital marketing, especially in management. The predominant digital marketing degrees offered in colleges around the world at the undergraduate level include:
BA Digital Marketing
BSc Digital Marketing
BBA Digital Marketing
BCom Digital Marketing
At the graduate level, the specialization branches out even further. Some prestigious institutes also have dedicated digital marketing institute wings within them, to offer curated digital marketing programs to the students. Wherever there’s an MBA degree, you’ll find that digital marketing isn’t too far behind! Most MBA graduates incline to pursue digital marketing to boost their resume further.
So to sum up, digital marketing is an excellent addition to any institute’s curriculum.
How to go about it?
Now that we’ve had a look at the why and the where let’s talk logistics. As we mentioned before, digital marketing is not that demanding in terms of infrastructure. Most digital marketing agencies themselves have a setup that can easily be accessed remotely from the cloud by their employees. Setting up digital marketing in educational institutions will depend on various parameters like:
– Strength of the classes
– Available digital infrastructure
– Funding allocated to the course
– Availability of trained faculty
It’s a question of bringing an entire digital marketing institute into a pre-existing institution while ensuring it retains some degree of self-sufficiency to be considered a separate department.
Besides, there’s also a question of the intangible factors that come into play while setting up a course of this calibre.
– How many hours per week will this course take up?
– How many credits will it carry as a course?
– How will the students’ performance be assessed and graded?
– What kind of lesson plan will the course have?
All these are very pertinent questions that have a significant bearing on the success of a course. To crack this part of the setup, a team of academic strategizers will have to come together and collaborate with digital marketing experts to devise a reliable formula for the course. It might require a few trials and simulations with demo classes, but ultimately, the winning formula will be attained! With some dedicated effort and assistance from the concerned authorities, digital marketing can become a mainstream subject in no time.
Who would benefit?
Let’s say that the above premise came true, and digital marketing successfully went mainstream. For one thing, the digital marketing institutes would face stiff competition, and their business would probably take a hit. The numerous MBA graduates and commerce students would have higher specializations when they graduate. However, there’s a lot more inherent benefit from digital marketing in the education system than one may realize. Who else would be the greatest benefactor from this grand initiative?
Startups – People who have promising ideas for startups no longer need to be at the mercy of conventional marketing. They can get their startups up and running even during their college days!
Writers – There are plenty of amateur writers in educational institutions who write amazing pieces regularly but lack the know-how to take it online. With digital marketing knowledge, they can successfully launch their blogs, and maybe even make a career out of it!
Social media buffs – Every college kid is on Instagram these days. However, they use the platform casually, with little to no idea of the vast marketing potential that it hosts. Learning digital marketing can help them evolve into bonafide influencers, and may even blossom into a career!
Businesspeople – Even for those individuals who are interested in foraying into the business world, digital marketing can equip them with the right marketing strategies and business acumen to survive in a competitive market, when they graduate.
This is where the real strength and versatility of digital marketing training comes out. It can fit virtually any creative outlet and business model, subsequently presenting it to the world. All you need is the passion, the effort and the willingness to learn the skills necessary to take your ideas to the digital plane!
Bringing digital marketing into the mainstream curriculum can empower many people to pursue their dream careers and jobs, right from their formative years. It is a lifelong skill set that will serve them well until their retirement.
We’ve looked at the broad strokes of the topic, how about the finer brushes? If digital marketing went mainstream, we could expect the academic and the business environment to shift accordingly and adapt. Here’s what can be expected to happen if this move becomes a reality:
The digital marketing arena will become even more competitive than it already is. There’s only so much business and funding to go around, and everyone will want their share of the business pie.
Digital marketing agencies will have a more streamlined hiring process. Since digital marketing is part of schools and colleges, they can take their pick from the best candidates at placement drives!
Digital marketing coaching centres will have to adapt accordingly. It’s a very sink-or-swim type of situation for them if they have to stay relevant!
Social media will develop new and improved features to accommodate the boom in the digital marketing field.
As you can see, digital marketing is an excellent fit for our education systems. It can empower people as well as every digital marketing agency out there to pursue an exciting career that can open up new horizons for them! Let’s wait and see what the future has in store!