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After three years of intensive study, Econsultancy’s first graduates received their MSc awards this week, making them the first in the world to gain a postgraduate degree in Digital Marketing Communications.
Here at Econsultancy towers, we’re thrilled. The MSc has been a long term investment for our delegates and their results have set a fantastic benchmark for those coming along behind.
Equally, the course has been a significant investment for Econsultancy. Teaching a (still) relatively new and quickly evolving subject has had its own challenges and we’ve learnt a lot.
For example, we’ve learnt that a formal qualification has value for even the most senior digital marketers. Our MSc courses were always aimed at professionals, but we didn’t expect the high proportion of delegates with over a decade of experience.
It’s a trend that’s continued throughout subsequent intakes, and feedback suggests that for those who have ‘found’ themselves working in digital, the course provides a valuable framework within which to evaluate their knowledge, and an excuse to take a step back, spend a little more time getting ahead of the curve, and make some far reaching changes to their business practices.
We’ve learnt that digital marketers are after very different things from their training now than they were four years ago. The core digital marketing building blocks are becoming well established, and well documented. Demand for expert guidance and insight is now focused on strategic considerations and the ‘big picture’ with the result that our training provision has already seen a radical shake up. Thankfully our plan to provide constantly evolving content was already in place.
And we’ve learnt that your peer group is your most valuable resource. Everyone, at every stage in their careers has invaluable insights, innovative ideas and areas of expertise to share. Teaching digital skills at this level is not about teaching facts, it’s about providing an environment within which people have the resources and support to rethink the question, and figure out their own way of doing it.
Of course, we’ve also learnt that some things never change. No-one has time to do the reading, assignments will always be handed in three minutes before the deadline, and writing to a word limit is frustrating and significantly harder than it looks, whether you’re 18 or 58.
At the end of our first three years we’ve done plenty of hard work on the programme, and the nature of the subject means that the hard work will continue, but the calibre of our candidates, their passion, commitment and high expectations have stood us in good stead to continue to improve and deliver an industry-leading qualification. After all, we’re only as good as the people we teach.
Congratulations to all our graduates and good luck to those embarking on their dissertations in 2010.