In my last post, I mentioned that my end-of-year goal was to become certified in digital marketing through the American Marketing Association (AMA). Last week, I took advantage of the “Career Advice Hub” offered by LinkedIn and my first response provided interesting insight into my next steps. Here’s my question:
I have less than a year of experience in marketing communications and am interested in pursuing this path further. How beneficial might an AMA membership and certificate in digital marketing contribute to my career prospects? What other skills should I acquire to accelerate my career growth and professional development?
And my respondent’s suggestion…
The AMA membership will help you to grow your network, but at this stage (just starting) it may net be that necessary, perhaps you can get your employer to pay for it if you present the idea to them in the right way (and they see the value for their company). Digital marketing is the new normal and being an expert is not longer a matter of training but being active. However the certification at an early stage on your career will help you separate from those who have experience only, you should pursue this. There are also many good trainings that are offered by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft that could help you stand out from the rest and you may even be able to get them paid by your employer or some sort of free training. Good luck!
He made several good points. A membership to any organization is going to be expensive and it may be worth an employer’s time to fund it. However, I was exploring the idea of funding my own membership and certification test as there are no current opportunities at my employer for me to advance and justify an AMA membership and certification.
Recently, I’ve been researching opportunities at other employers and minimum qualifications for titles such as “marketing assistant” and “marketing/communications coordinator.” Many of the advertised entry-level jobs require a degree in marketing and 3+ years of experience in particular areas, such as SEO, Google Analytics, Photoshop, etc–these are skills I do not have. At this moment, I feel stuck between hoping to advance and learn more at my current employer and finding opportunity elsewhere.
The advice offered by this LinkedIn mentor was enough for me to register for a free online Google Analytics course. When I complete the course, I will receive a Google Analytics Individual Qualification certificate of completion, which will demonstrate my proficiency in the area. GAIQ is different from the GACP (Google Analytics Certified Partner), which consists of stringent requirements to become an approved authorized consultant. I’ll settle for the earning the GAIQ for now.
It turns out that Google Academy is filled with many other free courses and discussion boards on AdWords, Website Analyzer, Apps, Digital Sales, Mobile Sites, etc.
I’ve also discovered Google Digital Garage! A lesson plan was customized for me to learn digital marketing and obtain the Digital Garage Certificate of Online Proficiency.
I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the number of programs available just through Google. I still have no idea which area in the marketing field I should pursue. Let’s start with Analytics…
Topic Library, Google Digital Garage-https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/topic-library
Google Analytics Academy- https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/
About Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)- https://support.google.com/partners/answer/6089738?hl=en