Under no circumstances, should one get a marketing degree.
We live in the age of too many choices; there’s too much data, too many devices and too digital channels. The journey of being a digital marketer has grown increasingly complicated. Despite this, the interest in digital marketing jobs continue to soar.
Universities and what they teach are simply out of touch, by the time you graduate, you have gone beyond the expiry date. Their marketing courses are outdated and don’t provide their student opportunities to build hands-on-world-experience. Such institutions need to adjust quickly to offer students the skills and training they will actually need in any workplace; more often than not, these are soft skills like communication, leadership and organisation.
A few of my young peers have been asking me pivotal career questions:
“How did you get into marketing?”
I looked straight in their eyes and noticed an apprehension for the future. I tell them; “dude, just find what you’re really passionate about as it will help motivate and drive you to be better practitioner. If anything, focus on your networking skills and keep being curious. Just set your own boundaries and be whatever you want to be.”
With the onset of digital, a trend of digital nomads and digital identity is growing. The idea of being stuck with a self-loathing career for 20 years is gone. The fleeting Gen Ys are not thinking about safety of a long term job or saving for retirement. They can travel around the world and make money while doing it. Build up curiosity and be exposed to different cultures, providing them and inspiring them with rich knowledge and experiences.
Some of the coolest marketers that I know are in the game because they are passionate about delivering a message, telling a story or are particular about digital data and technology. And most of them don’t even have a marketing degree. Mike, a friend, was trained as a chef and has quit because he felt under appreciated and unchallenged. He was dabbling in the social marketing and eventually more request came in that he was able to quit. Now, he is running a successful creative media agency.
Passion will follow, but don’t keep fluffing around, once you find something you like, keep honing those skills!
I was online and used social media to promote my art and design projects that friends and acquaintance began to ask me social media and marketing questions.
I didn’t study marketing, I actually graduated as an Interior Designer. For a few years I worked as a designer, but over time, I got bored and found creative outlet in delivering stories to an online audience. The lessons I learned at Uni didn’t go to waste — I think about the user and audience experience, all the time. What value and impact does this message or project give? The ‘learned’ creative tool and thinking is applied to cultivating communities and developing digital strategies. At Uni, I did an endless amount of presentation that I developed to be a storyteller. Telling stories online and being on point is what I do.
When I traveled solo, I learned to be accountable for my own actions, I’ve met and connected with people from different cultures. The world became my office.
Don’t get a marketing degree. Don’t end up being a dinosaur.
PS. If you’re in the marketing industry, what degree do you have? Comment below and share your experience
Written by Suzanne Nguyen
**This post was edited from a previously shared on medium.com/@stringstory