A lot of marketers never stepped foot in a classroom. In fact, some view getting a marketing degree as useless. After all, the field changes every day, so how can universities keep up?
Yet getting a marketing degree in 2022 still reaps a lot of benefits. You often have a better understanding of psychology, consumer behavior, and the more foundational parts of marketing through college. And the perks of networking while as a student certainly help, too.
But, in 2022, what skills should marketing students learn to stay competitive? Take a look at eight in-demand marketing courses you can take during your time in college.
1. Digital Marketing
If you go to a university with a robust marketing program, they likely offer digital marketing. In fact, a recent LinkedIn report noted employers have a high demand for digital-first marketers in 2021.
In a digital marketing course, you can expect to learn the foundations of search engine optimization, social media, paid search, and other areas. Instead of diving headfirst into a specific topic, taking a digital marketing class will help you better understand the entire landscape.
2. Marketing Automation
Currently, the marketing automation industry has seen huge growth. Companies understand the value in automating processes often delegated to coordinators. Now, thanks to companies such as Salesforce and HubSpot, technology automatically runs entire campaigns.
Because of the value of marketing automation, the industry is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.67%. And up-and-coming marketers ought to look into marketing automation courses offered by their universities.
If your school does not have a specific marketing automation course, consider looking into computer science courses. After all, computer topics including machine learning and artificial intelligence all feed into marketing automation.
As college students, we write a lot. But writing papers does not mean you can write emails, social media posts, and articles well. In other words, taking a copywriting course while in college will better prepare you to write more casually.
According to PowerPublish, businesses have started outsourcing writing to freelancers more recently. Why? Because they lack the writing chops needed internally. If you come out of college with a solid grip on writing for every day people, companies will flock to you. You can even start freelance writing as a side gig.
A great marketer with awesome writing skills makes for a competitive job application. So, look into your marketing, writing, or journalism department to find courses on copywriting.
4. Data Analytics
In the past, marketing relied on a lot of intuition – and it still does. But companies want to shift its focus on data-driven decision making. Through data analytics, marketers create better campaigns, save money, and serve their customers in the best way possible.
In fact, Emerson College noted marketing analytics as a highly growing space within digital marketing. Moreover, through an analytics course, you can pretty much work in any industry you want.
You can likely find a data-oriented course in your marketing or data science department, depending on your school. Even if it falls outside the realm of marketing, understanding how to use data will set you up for success after graduation.
5. Graphic Design
Marketers usually fall into two categories: strategy and execution. But if you know how to do both, you become a critical employee for businesses. And graphic design skills enable you to play two roles at once.
While graphic design jobs have grown at an average rate, the field of marketing has not. For smaller companies, especially startups, having a marketer with multiple skills really helps them stay nimble.
If you take a graphic design course while in college, you can think of ways to market a product visually and execute those ideas. Knowing graphic design also comes in handy when building your personal brand.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Companies rely heavily on inbound marketing. Through SEO, business create content to drive traffic and sales by ranking higher. Search engine optimization (SEO) often plays a massive role in the success of inbound marketing.
SEO revolves around the curation of relevant content to drive traffic to a company’s website. So, if you ever search on Google, the top results come from businesses with a solid SEO strategy.
As a marketer, understanding SEO really puts you a cut above the rest. And SEO professionals are in high demand currently, so look into courses offered by your university.
7. Paid Search
Paid search marks the other end of search engine marketing alongside SEO. And while handling paid search campaigns on Google may sound boring, the industry has boomed in recent years.
Unlike SEO, paid search typically has a larger budget. Specialists will select optimal keywords on search engines such as Google – ensuring their business hits one of the top organic results.
Interestingly, Paid Search Specialists have an expected growth rate of 20% – “much faster than average” compared to other jobs. So, if you want a high-paying job, consider looking into search engine marketing courses at your university.
8. Social Media
As a college student, you likely understand social media. We grew up with Instagram, Facebook, and everything in between. Now, companies want to tap into the power of social media. In fact, social media marketing even made CNN’s top 100 careers with large growth.
Social media marketing involves managing a brand’s accounts on different platforms. You get to interact with fans, potential customers, and, at times, haters. You get to manage a community and really develop a company’s online brand.
Given the importance of social media, many universities offer courses on it. While you might understand social media, a course on the topic will take your skills to the next level.
Alternative ways to get in-demand marketing skills
As noted, colleges have trouble keeping up with marketing trends. So, especially at smaller universities, you might realize they lack the courseload you want to take.
As an ideal alternative, consider looking into free online certifications. We created a helpful guide on taking certifications provided by companies including HubSpot and Hootsuite.
Many recruiters and marketers view these courses as legitimate. By taking them in your free time, you will build the skillset needed to become a marketer in 2022.
Now that you have a solid understanding on classes you can take, check out your university’s marketing department for further information. You might even find something more interesting or useful not listed here.
Just remember to think about courses in the context of your career: how will this class help me develop as a professional marketer?
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