Are Udacity Nanodegrees in Digital Marketing worth it? Does it increase my employment chances?
I see some billboards around the Bay Area and Facebook/Instagram ads about this program. I am currently a senior at SJSU studying advertising. I am starting to plan for my life post college. I am willing to do anything to be more competitive in my career field. I either want to work in the Advertising or Marketing fields. Should I supplement my college degree with one of these Nanodegrees or is not really worth it? Any advice is appreciated thanks! :)
This is a great question, as there are so many new options for online courses and it is hard to know which ones are the best out there. I took a Udemy Digital Marketing course and I did find it very helpful. I think that the kind of skills that you learn in these courses are often not covered in traditional education since companies like Udacity and Udemy are both very tech-focused and career-focused in their courses.
I would recommend doing a search on You Tube and Google for reviews on the course that you are looking to take before you spend any money on the course. Also, start off taking some free or low-cost classes on Udacity or Udemy and see how you like them. This will help you to find out if this type of learning is right for you and if you feel like you are gaining knowledge from the course material. If you do like the style of learning and the content after giving it a try, it may just be worth it to do that Nanodegree since Udacity does offer an option to help find you a job after you have completed the course. If you do get an opportunity for an internship or some other type of work experience in your field, however, I would say, do not choose the Nanodegree over an internship/work experience.
I hope that this is helpful! It sounds like you have a lot of drive to get your career going, so wherever you end up focusing your energy, that drive and enthusiasm will certainly help to give you a competitive edge as well.
I work in digital marketing and hired several people to join my team over the course of my career. Honestly, I never valued those certifications really. What was more impressive to me was candidates who were Facebook Blueprint Certified, Google Adwords Certified, Google Analytics and had some experience at prestigious companies. Facebook offers Blueprint modules for free and then you have to take 2/3 tests at a testing center, each test costs about $300 I think. That will make you standout and give you a huge advantage over other candidates, and probably even some colleagues once you're hired.
When a candidate fully understands the role and confidently explains how they can be an asset to the team, that's when I know it's a winner. A lot of that confidence comes from experience and being part of successful companies. As you are just entering the work force, you're naturally at a disadvantage in that regard. That's where the certifications are going to help, because you'll know the practical, everyday type of work you'll be doing.
Another tip I'd offer: know your industry. If you're applying for a position on a marketing team for a product in the pet industry, for example, know the comparable companies and the recent events in that industry. For example, you'll want to know if a certain similar pet-tech company was recently acquired and by who. Being able to drop that information in an interview makes the person realize that you know something about the bizz, and that's certainly an attractive quality in a candidate.
So read, read, read. I'll usually scan through a few subreddits on Reddit.com or some Google searches on a particular industry if I'm looking to join another team.
Also, I always suggest this: build your resume in Excel, and obviously one page. Excel lets you space things out so much better and it looks so much more clean than anything I've ever seen on MS Word or the like.
And just be applying to jobs everyday. AngelList.co should be the first place you start.