Digital Marketing Skills Students Don’t Learn in College

#ADDWSU We Would Like to Hear From You

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this, considering the content we are covering in our Advanced Social Media class at Wright State University. Let’s collect your thoughts on the digital marketing skills of students through this blog.  Once we have collected your thoughts we will be sending them to Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D ,  the author of the piece below.

The conclusion is:

“Ultimately, in order to serve students most successfully, many university marketing programs will have to examine how they might better keep pace with the industry itself. This might mean exploring professional partnerships with major educational organizations within the industry. On a smaller scale, it might mean reaching out to local employers and discussing the skills they require from jobseekers.”

Your Thoughts

Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Any surprises here? Should the focus of teaching these skills be left only to marketing programs? How does this relate to what we have done/are doing in the social media classes? How do you feel about your skill set applying for jobs, given this information?

9 thoughts on “Digital Marketing Skills Students Don’t Learn in College

  • January 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Several aspects of this article, even before reading it, led to my interest in this class. Realizing you don’t know how to market a company digitally on the back end is a harsh wake-up call when your boss is already expecting you to know what you’re doing because you’re a certain, younger age.

    The author points out that digital natives lack the technical, behind-the-scenes skills that provide true benefits to companies, which is incredibly correct. At this point, the only aspect that surprises me is the lack of universities joining the bandwagon of teaching these skills.

    I’m fortunate this class exists.

    While I’ve been teaching myself aspects of SEO, ad campaigns and CRM software, it’s nice to have professors in the industry who can help guide that learning.

    I’ve always had the opinion that Wright State lacks cross-departmental communication and coordination. While the marketing aspects should probably be kept within the marketing department (for constant class registration numbering and permanency), it should be advertised as a class to take that would count for English, marketing, and communication majors. Marketing is a form of communication that requires strong English skills. This digital presence encompasses this trifecta of skills.

    On the flip side, I know 20x more than when I started my internship at Woolpert thanks to the social media and personal branding class, and I’m excited to understand even more concepts that directly align with my career.

  • January 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve managed to get to the last few semesters of college before I learned about any of these tools, and from what I have heard that has been a very similar experience with other students in positions similar to my own. Some might have heard about phrases like SEO optimization and content marketing, but I can almost guarantee they would have next to no clue what those mean or how they would use them in a professional setting.

    A lot of classes that I have taken at WSU (and my friends over at UD) are great for an academic understanding of the world and subjects that interest us, but it seems like all too few have taught us real world skills that we will need at a job. I’ve already passed on a ton of information that I’ve learned from the Social Media classes at Wright State to my co-workers, classmates and friends. Colleges really need to prioritize classes like these for their students.

  • January 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I really found this article to be interesting. Without educating students in social media and social media marketing, universities are setting the students up for failure. Without these skills in today’s world one would be lost. There are many schools that are transitioning to this, WSU for example. Is it enough is the question? I think more could be done but there are schools that haven’t even come this far so it could definitely be worse.

  • January 29, 2015 at 12:22 am

    As soon as I start reading this article I had another “Thank God I took this class” moment. It’s true, most students do not get an education in these areas, when many should. I don’t necessarily think every student needs to understand these on a professional level, but I also don’t think it should be limited to marketing students. Anyone who is going to work for any kind of business should, even if they are not in marketing, because they are still representing a business. People going into the job market need to understand these concepts to keep up. I’ve already realized this as I’ve started moving into the “real world.” Every day I apply what I’ve learned in this class not only at CoLA and Cox, but just in everyday professional life. I understand how to market not only myself but any entity that I want to promote (at least on the level that we have covered), and explain to others how and why I do it the way I do. And even that small amount of knowledge really impresses the employers I have come across, because they are not used to people having it, which is crazy to me. I think it will eventually get to the point where students will need this knowledge to be able to get a job, which will require this conclusion. I could see it. Lucky for us few , it’s not to that point yet and we have an edge by having this education.

  • January 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I am actually really surprised that many marketing programs don’t already have digital media courses. It seems like a no-brainier, even a necessity, these days to teach future marketers about digital marketing. It has become such a huge part of advertising that I guess I just assumed they would be required to learn it.

    As we have done here at WSU, I don’t think this kind of information should be limited to marketing students. This kind of knowledge can be useful in many different settings, such as business administration, human resources, and even performing arts.

    Digital skills are useful not only for business settings, but also personal ones, as we learned in the previous class. Ultimately, just about everyone attending college can benefit from at least learning how to market themselves online.

    After reading this article I defintely feel confident about getting a job in the future because I have skills that are in demand but are not being widely taught. Marketing degrees are great, but if they aren’t tailored to adapt to the ever changing market and online resources, then they are not really getting people ready for the real world. Taking these classes has made me feel more prepared to get a marketing internship or even a job, and I’ve never taken a marketing class.

  • January 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    After reading this article, I am astounded. The lack of attention that digital media receives in marketing curriculums seems like such a huge oversight, especially in this era where so many companies are switching solely to online marketing and PR. Truthfully, it occurred to me that my experience with this class and DDWSU gives me a leg up in the job market, not only over other communication majors, but perhaps also over marketing majors.
    I think it would be silly, however, to limit a digital marketing experience to marketing programs alone. I can only assume that all of us in this class can speak for how useful a class like DDWSU is to any student looking for career building, looking to improve their resume, or even learning how to better search for jobs.

    I do speak with a little bias, obviously, but it is just as important for communication studies/ mass communication majors to learn these skills, since many (if not most) jobs in our field are quickly adjusting to the digital world.
    Not only do these SoMe classes give me useful knowledge for work and personal life, they also make me an interesting job candidate. Some companies don’t realize that they need this sort of qualification until they find someone that has it. Therefor my experience in these classes makes me stand out in a stack of applications. It also opens up jobs that I never thought about, and opportunities that would have sped past me if I didn’t have these specific qualifications.
    These classes have made me so much more confident about graduating and entering the job market. I will be able to tell employers that I not only have the tools and knowledge, but I also have the experience of working with clients to develop a strategy and utilizing content calendars and analytics together to market my brand more efficiently. This kind of experience is going to be crucial to making me stand out from my peers. Honestly, I think every student should have an opportunity to take a class like Social Media and the Personal Brand, because even the most basic education on this subject will go a long way in helping people navigate our largely digital world.

  • January 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    This is a great article. The moment I took the Social Media and Personal Branding class, I immediately understood the importance of knowing what social media is, what to do, and what not to do, especially if you’re trying to get a job in almost anywhere nowadays. I hope colleges see the importance of updating their Marketing curricula. For students like me who are just now learning all these necessary skills, I believe it would be best if not only these type of classes be updated in colleges, but it should be offered in high school as well. That way, students can benefit and acquire these skills that would mold them to become ready in today’s job standards.

  • January 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    It’s becoming more and more apparent that SEO and social media are going to push businesses to find those who understand and can utilize them. I agree with the author claiming universities should be pushing for these skills to be taught to students, due to its growing need.

    Simple things I have noticed when it comes to promote myself through social media from my original DDWSU class showed that something as simple as Google authorship helped boost my SEO on my blog. It may not exist now, but it clearly showed how searching for my blog with more effective results and to effectively make my content more visible.

    In the case of social media platforms, these skills are going to be important for big corporations and even small business. Teaching Hootsuite, or simply using TweetDeck like I do, to track favorites and mentions for the Metal Reviews website I write for, are absolutely essential for any student going into digital marketing to be efficient in the business world.

  • January 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    University marketing departments are behind the times. This is essentially the key aspect of the article, 3 Key Digital Marketing Skills Students Don’t Learn in College. According to the article, content marketing/SEO, social media, and technical skills are the most pivotal skills every young professional should obtain before entering the business world. I found the lack of current marketing skills within most university curriculums to be unfortunate. I’m grateful Wright State is beginning to understand what matters in the business world and adjusting as such. With LinkedIn claiming understanding SEO is a top-5 skill, it is important we all begin placing more emphasis on our personal and professional SEO.

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