How to Choose a Digital Marketing Course in 7 Steps
We live in a time where there’s a lot of digital marketing courses to choose from, from short courses to ones that take several months to complete. There are also online classes, while others are live classroom discussions. Of course, having these many options is both a blessing and a curse.
The good thing is that many of these courses are great — some are even being offered for free!
The downside though is that it can be difficult to narrow down your options and choose just one.
But don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here are some steps you can take when choosing a digital marketing course:
Step 1: Determine your experience level
Are you a complete beginner? Have a background in digital marketing? Or are you a working professional looking to expand your expertise? The type, of course, that’s ideal for you depends a lot on your experience level.
If you have no prior experience in digital marketing, we recommend that you take an introductory course. This will equip you with the basics to start out, including industry jargon and using popular digital marketing platforms.
Experienced individuals, meanwhile, can take more specialised courses. You can, for example, focus on a specific field of digital marketing or a particular platform.
Step 2: Decide what you want to learn
At this stage, you probably have a good idea what your ideal digital marketing course looks like. Now dig a little deeper and be more specific.
Ask yourself: what would you like to learn exactly?
If you’re a complete beginner, you can choose from a myriad of introductory courses on digital marketing. They generally give you an overview of the skills you need and tools you will use as a marketer. You can, for example, take one that touches upon the fundamentals of social media marketing, search engine marketing, and blogging. Many of these courses are offered for free, although more intense courses are generally paid.
If you’re already working as a professional, chances are that you’re looking for a more specialised course or one that would complement an area that you already mastered.
Let’s say for example that you already know search engine optimisation (SEO). You can then choose to complement this skill by taking a course on Google Ads, making you a master of both organic and paid search domains. Or if you’re currently a digital marketing professional and would like to rise up the ranks in your organisation, you can take a course on strategy and planning, which can be a valuable skill for managers. Whether you’re looking to expand your skill set or seeking a promotion, getting certified for a more specialised area of digital marketing can be highly rewarding.
Whatever course you choose, make sure you review its curriculum to see the topics that will be discussed. Even more detailed curricula tell you exactly what you can expect to learn when you take the course. This helps you further narrow down your choices.
Step 3: Calculate how much time you can devote to learning
In general, you can choose between online and in-classroom digital marketing courses.
Online classes are ideal if you want the most flexible setup for learning or if you’re busy and can’t attend live classes. You can typically just download or stream courses when it’s most convenient for you and start learning. For example, if you work on weekdays, you can spend several hours every weekend studying.
Live classes, meanwhile, are great if your schedule allows or if you’re a full-time student with more time to devote to the course. They’re also ideal if you want a more focused approach to learning as you will be required to be physically present in class and finish the course within a set period, unlike online courses.
There are also courses that are a hybrid of the two, which has both online and offline components. For example, you can access most of the course materials online, but you’ll be required to meet regularly with mentors to discuss your projects.
Many courses are self-paced. This means you can take the course and study depending on your schedule. It’s great if you’re extra busy and would like to learn with as little pressure as possible.
Whatever learning method you choose, make sure you also set aside time for your projects and for reviewing for your exams and quizzes.
Step 4: Get to know the provider
The curriculum won’t show you a complete picture of the course. It’s also important that you research about the provider too.
Some of the things you need to find out are where the provider is based, when it was founded, how many students it’s had, and other courses it teaches. Based on these things, you’ll get an idea of the quality of education you’ll get from them.
Also, take a look into their teaching style. It may tell you whether or not you and the provider or their instructor will be the right fit for each other. For example, there are those that emphasise hands-on learning over theory, which can be great if you prefer to know by doing.
Step 5: Find out how much it costs
Of course, you also need to know how much the course will cost you. Many are free, but make sure that the quality of education they provide is worth the time you’ll be spending in taking the course.
Courses that cost several thousands of dollars require even more consideration. It’s great if you can get recommendations from other people who have taken the course or from testimonials on the course’s website. These will help you a lot in making sure you’ve signed up for the right one.
Think that the course that you want is too expensive? Some providers offer financing options you can avail of so you can still get a high-quality education without worrying too much about your finances. Or if you’re working at an agency or a company, you may also want to consider speaking with your boss about footing the bill for the course.
You may also want to check if the provider offers a free trial period or a money-back guarantee. These give you peace of mind about investing several thousands of dollars in learning how to become a digital marketer.
Step 6: Check out the extras
Some courses go beyond just teaching you about digital marketing. There are those that offer certifications, for example, as proof of your expertise, which you can add to your CV, resume, or LinkedIn profile.
If you’re just starting out and would like to work as a digital marketer, there are course providers that offer job placement assistance when you graduate. This is great because it allows you to hit the ground running and practise what you’ve learned almost immediately.
Step 7: Enrol!
After taking the first six steps above, it’s likely that you’ve already narrowed down your options to a few candidates. Or if you’ve already made your choice, it’s time to enrol!
It’s important that you act quickly if you’re taking a popular course because slots are typically limited, and it’s usually offered only several times per year.
So there you have it, our tips on choosing a digital marketing course. Whether it’s a free or a paid course, remember to spend as much time as you can comparing courses just to make sure that you sign up for one that’s truly worth your while.
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