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.

Graduates

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.