What University Doesn’t Teach You About Digital Marketing

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently from university students doing Digital Marketing courses/modules, while I think it’s great to do a relevant course (and let’s face it’s a lot more interesting than some), it’s only really a good starting point.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these courses teach you the basics about digital marketing and strategy, but I dont think its really a subject that can be taught. 3/4 years experience over a degree should be worth so much more in the industry. Here’s what university doesn’t teach you about digital marketing:

How to Cope With Client Demands & Questions

Why did my PPC campaign overspend? Why have we moved from page 1 to page 2 in natural rankings? How quickly can you get xx done? How can you get me exposure on Facebook tomorrow? These are the types of questions you could be asked by your client (or managers) and you’ve got to be able to think quickly to give answers they want to hear! University can’t teach you to do this; experience does!

How to Juggle Your Time/Priorities

While to some extent going to university will teach you how to prioritise and manage your time to meet deadlines, it’s a whole a different ball game when you start to do it in business. When you’ve got countless number of tasks to do for various clients, this is where prioritising and time management creates a whole new meaning!

How a Panda or Penguin Can Screw You Over

Another thing that I’m sure they don’t teach you at university is how Google’s algorithm updates can affect you. With regular changes with differing affects, it’s hard to keep on top of it let alone trying to update a syllabus around it! But these sort of updates by search engines have a huge impact on businesses SEO rankings so it’s definitely something everyone in digital marketing should be aware of.

How Quickly Things Change

Things in the industry move so quickly. New BETA’s and products are rolled out constantly so you have to stay on top of the changes to be on top of the game! Who would have predicted a website where you create virtual photo pinboards would be where all companies want to be seen?! I don’t know what’s in the syllabus for digital marketing/business courses, but I wouldn’t have thought there would be a ‘How to Use Pinterest to Generate Leads’ module.

How Real Professionals Work

Okay, so lecturers/professors may claim to be an expert in the field but in the time they’ve been out of the industry so many things will have changed. So are they really the best people to be teaching you about a fast paced, dynamic industry? I don’t think so anyway! You’ll learn so much more by working amongst people who really know they’re stuff – whether that’s about social media, PPC, SEO, affiliates etc etc.

Now I’m not taking anything away from a degree, it’s a degree at the end of the day. But for me, getting experience in industry is worth so much more than a piece of paper. What do you think? Let me know in the comment box below or on Twitter – laura_mc89


2 thoughts on “What University Doesn’t Teach You About Digital Marketing

  1. As a business owner, I’ve found the soft skills or the “people” skills to be among the valuable in setting myself apart and taking my business to a higher standard of customer service. I agree–this isn’t something taught in college and I’m not sure any supplementary class would adequately teach it either. I think these soft skills are either inherent or learned through life experiences.

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