Online marketing degrees are being offered more commonly these days in schools such as Full Sail, Franklin, and Ashford University. It’s definitely a growing field as more and more companies move their marketing online. And with this new area of business, many reach out to experienced individuals to manage their campaigns. But is having an internet marketing degree really a necessity?
If you’re thinking about getting such a degree, you may want to first consider the points below.
The internet marketing world changes fast. You know how college courses are set up – the semesters are planned and probably not reformatted every semester. If it took you even just 1 1/2 -2 years to complete a degree, the marketing world would be a lot different by the time you got out of school, rendering all that stuff you learned in the beginning useless and outdated. It’s a field that requires being constantly hands on. With online marketing, you can’t just take a few courses and learn everything. You really need to dedicate yourself to continuing that education throughout your career to keep up on what works.
If you look at job listings, you’ll notice tons of openings for jobs like Social Media Manager, SEO specialist, Media Marketing Manager … just to name a few.
But the thing is… many jobs within this field aren’t really looking for education, they’re looking for experience.
Take a look at the above examples – “Digital Marketing Producer” and “Search Marketing Specialist”. You can see they require a bit of experience, but nowhere on the job description does it suggest the need for a degree. I didn’t just cherry pick these out of 1,000’s of results either, I found these doing a quick search within Indeed.com. Many others that mention degrees within the job description only list them as preference, not a requirement.
Every year you spend in school is a year you are paying money instead of earning money. Those with no experience will need to learn it from somewhere, but learning does not require obtaining a formal education from an accredited university. Getting your hands dirty and learning the skills required is available to anybody with an internet connection for a heck of a lot less money.
The internet is a wonderful place that has many avenues to help you learn. There are online business communities dedicated to helping folks start out in the field of internet marketing, and other online learning centers such as Lynda.com where you can learn tons of related skills. Neither of which are anywhere near costing you that $31K you’d spend on a degree.
The entire reason people attend college is to land careers they couldn’t have without the formal education. With internet marketing, most of the time you don’t actually need a degree to work in many of the fields.
Here’s a tuition price guide taken from Full Sail University’s website:
At $10,333 per semester and 3 semesters of work, you’re looking at $31,000 for your degree. In a field where a degree is mostly not required, you may want to reconsider just how you go about educating yourself.
The best way to learn the ins and outs of internet marketing is to start up your own web business. It isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. There’s places online to help start you out. You’ll find yourself picking up all the required skills (SEO, Google Analytics, Adwords, social media marketing, website creation) in no time at all. And best of it all, you’ll be earning your own money in the process. Earning while you learn sounds a lot better than going into debt while learning, don’t you think?
With your own business created, you won’t even need to work for anyone else. Or you could very well start up a new company with your acquired skills such as SEO or website creation! At the very least it’d teach you the skills and give you the experience many employers are looking for in the field.
There’s no need to go in to debt if it can be avoided. There are plenty of opportunities for you within the field that don’t require spending ridiculous amounts of money on an education. If you can jump in the game without having to put a down payment on your education, I’d definitely consider it.
Remember that internet marketing is a constantly evolving field that requires continuous learning. A degree may give you a very expensive piece of paper, but it won’t directly get you the experience and skills you really need upon entering the job market.
Do you have a degree in internet marketing? Do you find it useful or do you feel like you could have learned it elsewhere? Share your thoughts!