According to the American Marketing Association, a certification is one of the hottest trends in today’s adult learning and employment space.
Over the next couple of decades, there will most likely be a shift from getting advanced college degrees to getting certifications.
However, the value of digital marketing certifications fluctuates wildly within the industry.
One certification may be well-regarded, while another certification may not help you.
The difference lies in the amount of work and study it takes to achieve your desired certification.
Questions to ask yourself
There are some key questions you should ask yourself before signing up to get a digital marketing certificate.
1. What is your motivation for getting a certification?
If becoming a certified digital marketer is one of your career goals or if you think being certified will help you attain your career goals, then you should obtain one.
But there’s no guarantee your career will automatically advance with a digital marketing certification.
2. What is the cost to obtain the certification?
When considering getting a certification, consider the following costs:
· Annual membership fee with the certifying organization
· Courses required to take the certification exam
· What the final certification exam looks like
· Re-certification requirements such as additional testing expenses, obtaining continuing education credits, or doing volunteer work
· Travel costs to classes, volunteer work, and examination sites
· Time away from your job and family to obtain the certification
You won’t have to consider all of these costs with all certifications, but some of these costs will be associated with obtaining a certification.
3. How long will the certification stay valid?
It is important before getting a certification to know how long it will be good for.
For example, Google requires re-certification after 12 months.
Before you sign up for a certification, make sure you know how long it will last.
When you post your certification on LinkedIn, it will ask you when you obtained it and when it expires so it is important to do your research and know how long your certification will be valid before you get certified.
4. What is the reputation of the organization giving the certification?
Ask your co-workers and friends what professional organizations they like or have joined.
If you’re looking at certification or certificate courses at a for-profit company such as HubSpot, make sure you check out their reputation online.
Search for positive and negative reviews from people who have taken the certification before.
For traditional academic organizations, reputation is based on their track track record in top media outlets.
5. Who teaches the certification?
As a general rule of thumb, the more professional experience a teacher has, the greater chance he or she will have vital knowledge to pass on to you.
The best way to determine the skills and experience of the teachers in the certification program is to talk to them before signing up for the certification.
If that’s not possible, check out their LinkedIn profiles or ask for advice from past students.
Before you invest in a digital marketing certification, think about who is providing the teaching.
Just like in a regular classroom, the quality of learning is usually dependent on the quality of the teachers.
Not every certification course is worth it or respected in the industry because it depends on the teachers giving the certification.
You can’t improve your digital marketing skills and knowledge from poor teachers.
6. How convenient is the certification program?
Digital marketing certifications come in a variety of forms such as online (on-demand, scheduled or virtual classroom) or in-person via traditional classes or a boot camp.
Depending on your situation, certain forms are beneficial and certain forms are not.
It goes back to what you want (question #1) and what you want to market about your certification.
Consider the kind of educational situation you want before you commit to a certification.
If your looking for a certificate that only takes up 5–10 hours/week that is cost effective and allows you to build up your portfolio at the same time, head over to Udacity Digital Marketing Nanodegree Program.
Their comprehensive team of professional marketers and helpful service to connect you with top tier employers will give u a head start in your Digital Marketing career.
So don’t wait and sign up now!