Recently, Econsultancy announced the news that over 90% of the latest graduates from its MSc programmes in Digital Marketing Communications and Internet Retailing achieved a merit or higher.

I can proudly say that I am one of these graduates. As I was recently asked to recount my MSc experience, I thought it would be of interest to those of you considering applying.

What was my motivation for joining the course?

I have been part of the digital industry since my days hand-coding websites in the mid-90s. Nonetheless, I had been primarily self-taught with little or no formal training. In 2009 I attended one of Econsultancy’s public training courses and picked up a marketing brochures for the MSc in Digital Marketing Communications.

The thought of achieving a professional qualification in a field that I already worked in, on a subject I was already passionate about, really interested me. 

In addition, the course included a wealth of professional training, something I had been craving for quite a while. A few phone calls, long discussions and even longer emails later I found myself enrolled on the course in September 2009. 

What was the most important thing I took away from the three years?

Critical thinking. I find myself questioning everything. Every decision, every element of a strategic plan, everything. Asking the difficult questions and justifying the choices made. 

Before starting the MSc I would not have had the ability or confidence to do this. Now it is ingrained in me and I believe that is a good thing.

How has the course impacted my day to day work and longer term career?

It has certainly had a major impact on my day to day work. As the course encourages the assignment papers to be short reports that can be (and have been) deployed within the business, it has:

  • Enabled me to improve our websites, email campaigns and social media use;
  • Given me the confidence to raise the bar in every digital delivery I manage;
  • Revealed a love of data I didn’t know I had and allowed me to use my existing graphical skills to improve analytics reporting that is of greater value to others in the business;
  • Helped me to understand how digital fits within an organisation and how I can use this to enhance its performance.

In short, I do not think there is a single aspect of my professional or personal life that it has not affected in a positive way. As for my longer term career? It’s too early to say yet, come back in a few years and ask me again.

What advice would I give someone trying to decide whether the MSc is right for them?

The only advice I would give is to seriously think how passionate you are about digital marketing (or internet retailing), whether or not you want the ability and knowledge to make a real difference in this field.

It is not an easy course to stick with, especially with work and family pressures. Nonetheless, if you have the willingness to give up holidays, weekends, nights out and (essentially) sleep as well as the willingness to learn, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Finally, for your amusement I have included a little infographic I created that demonstrates my MSc experience:

Infographic: Mark McGee's Econsultancy's MSc experience

In future posts I will be exploring some of the aspects of my MSc dissertation in more detail. If you have any questions about my MSc experience, please feel free to ask.