Is it worth taking a course in digital marketing? Are there any benefits from learning digital marketing through a course and getting a certification?
The short answer to the above questions is Yes, digital marketing courses are worth it. I’ve been a digital marketing professional for many years and during my career, I’ve been involved deeply in digital marketing training. I have reviewed several courses, talked with a lot of students, and eventually created my own courses.
The long answer is, that it depends on your primary objective of taking a digital marketing course.
- Is your goal to learn digital marketing?
- To enrich your CV with a good certification?
- To increase your chances of getting a digital marketing job?
- To become a digital marketing professional?
- All of the above?
And other factors like the cost and time investment required to go through a training program.
In this post, I’ll help you decide whether you should follow a course on digital marketing by explaining the benefits of enrolling in a course, the costs involved, and what to consider before choosing a digital marketing course.
Benefits of Digital Marketing Courses
There are several advantages to following an online course, classroom training, or even ebooks, and these are not limited to digital marketing courses but are applicable to all types of structured learning.
It’s a great way to learn digital marketing
If you don’t know what digital marketing is, enrolling in a course is a great place to start. There are many courses aimed at beginners that will teach you the basics and help you get a very good idea of how digital marketing works.
It’s more efficient than spending time on Google
Nowadays when you want to learn something, the first thing that comes to mind is Google.
While this is a great method, it’s not as efficient as getting all the information you need in one place.
A well-structured digital marketing course will teach you everything you need to know without spending your time reading hundreds of random blog posts, each taking a different approach to digital marketing.
It’s good for your career
Although a certification alone does not make you a digital marketing specialist, it’s good for your career. Employers like and encourage their employees to build new skills and getting a digital marketing certification can open up new career opportunities.
It can help you get an entry-level job
When you are a beginner and have no experience, one of the ways to prove to your future employer that you have the digital marketing skills needed for the job, is to get a digital marketing certification.
Best entry-level digital marketing jobs – a list of the best jobs you can get as a junior digital marketer. Includes salary and job responsibilities.
Learn from the experts
Courses created by industry experts will help you not just learn the theory of digital marketing but how to use it in practice. Through the course, you can learn tips, tricks, and secrets that they only share with their students.
Build the skills necessary to start your own marketing agency
After surveying our students on what was their goal from taking our digital marketing course, a large percentage replied that they wanted to build the skills to eventually start their own digital marketing agency.
The digital marketing industry is growing at a 9% compound annual growth rate as more and more businesses are moving online. This creates an increased demand for digital marketing professionals (both agencies and freelancers).
How much do digital marketing courses cost?
The cost of a digital marketing course is between $19 and $5995.
The main reasons there is a huge price cap are:
The organization offering the course – A digital marketing course from Harvard University (although it comes with no certification) costs $5995 but an online course from Udemy is $19.
The two courses are not the same (they differ in many ways) but you do pay a premium amount to Harvard because of their reputation.
The instructor of the course – Another factor is the reputation and experience of the course instructor.
The type of course – Online courses tend to cost less than classroom-based training. Courses with downloadable material and videos are more expensive than video-only courses.
Topics covered – a digital marketing full course is expected to cover all digital marketing channels including (SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing) and thus is expected to cost more than a dedicated course on SEO.
Here are some examples of the best digital marketing courses in the market and their cost:
- Digital marketing full course (by Reliablesoft Academy) – $312
- Digital Marketing Pro (by Digital Marketing Institute) – $1995
- Digital Marketing Strategy Program (by Harvard University) – $5995
- Digital Marketing Specialization (by Coursera and University of Illinois) – $1368
How to choose a digital marketing course?
What makes a digital marketing course worth taking? When choosing a digital marketing course, you should take into account the following factors:
- Delivery format
- Learning Format
- Course structure
- Course Syllabus
- Course instructor
- Cost and money-back guarantee options
- Support during and after the course
- Certification options
You have three options: Classroom training, on-demand online training, and virtual classes.
Classroom training – is usually offered by universities or local institutions. The course duration is, in most cases, 5 days, and the cost considerably higher than online training.
On-demand online training – this is the most commonly used delivery format. Once you register for a course, you can access the material online, anytime you want. Some courses offer lifetime access while others charge per month.
Virtual classes – this is the same as classroom training but instead of attending a course physically in a class, you watch the instructor through live streaming.
The best format is on-demand online training. It’s more flexible, it costs less and it’s more convenient. You can follow the course from home and at your own pace.
This is an important factor to consider when choosing a training course. The most commonly used format is video but it’s not the most effective.
If your goal is to enroll in a course that will not only teach you the basics of digital marketing but to use it as a reference when working on your campaigns, then you need to choose a hybrid course.
A hybrid course includes text material, videos, and downloadable checklists you can easily reference when in need. Video-only courses are good to watch once but not a good option when you want to go back and re-read a technique.
Digital marketing is a huge topic and usually something that cannot be covered in a single course. It’s a common practice for an academy to offer a digital marketing bundle, consisting of one or more courses.
While this is a good option, you should check that the different courses are related to each other. In cases of big training providers like LinkedIn and Udemy, they group several courses together to form a bundle but those courses are written by different instructors and this makes learning difficult.
It’s better to choose a bundle that was created by the same company and the same instructors. This way the material will not overlap and learning will be continuous.
A good digital marketing course should cover (at least) the following areas:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Keyword Research
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
Some courses cover some of the areas and some courses cover even more. If your goal is to take a digital marketing course that is worth it, then make sure that the above topics are part of the course syllabus.
There are many talented instructors, there is no doubt about that. When it comes to digital marketing training you should check the bio of the instructor and make sure that they have working experience with digital marketing campaigns.
It’s easy for anyone to study and then explain in a class the theory of digital marketing but working in the field and running campaigns for companies, it’s a totally different story.
An experienced digital marketer can teach you tricks and give you advice that a teacher cannot give you.
If your goal is to start a career in digital marketing or use the course as a way to get a digital marketing job, then following the advice of an experienced marketer will make a big
Cost and money-back guarantee options
As mentioned above, you can buy a course for as low as $19 or as high as $5,995. When making a selection consider the following:
The price does not always reflect the value you can get from a course – Companies price their courses differently based on a number of factors (already explained above).
What you should do is go through the course syllabus and assess the value of each course, the experience of the instructor, topics covered, student reviews, learning format, delivery format, access period, how updates and upgrades work, and choose a course that you feel it will help you apply digital marketing in practice.
Money-back guarantee – One way to understand how confident a company is with its course offering, is its money-back guarantee policy.
Companies have different policies, no money-back, 7-day trial, 14 days, or in some extreme cases (like our academy), 60 days.
From experience, companies that offer no money back or only 7 days (with many conditions) are not confident about their courses and they try to protect themselves from having a high refund rate.
Stay away from these, especially if you choose to pay more than $1000 for a course. You don’t want to register for an expensive course and then realize that it’s not what you want and have no way to get your money back.
We are giving a 60-day unconditional guarantee because over the years we know that students are happy with their purchases and our refund rate is way below the industry average.
Support during and after the course
When you buy a course from a big company, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of support, during and after the course. For them, you’re just another client. Even if they have a support center, you’ll get a reply from an agent based on a script.
This is especially true for companies where the instructor is just a contributor and has no other relationship with the company.
Smaller academies provide better support because they care about their customers and because they can offer one-to-one support. In most cases, the instructor is also a member of the company and for them providing support to students is the same as providing support to clients.
Some courses offer certification, some offer a certificate and some offer either. What is the difference and is a digital marketing certification worth it?
A certification is given for successfully completing the course material. This means at the end of a course (which can be a classroom or online training course), you’ll get a certification that you followed the course.
A digital marketing certificate is given to students that have completed the course material and successfully passed the course exam. This is more difficult to get because, in order to become digital marketing certified, you need to pass the exams.
It goes without saying that getting a digital marketing certification after passing an exam, is more valuable than getting a certificate of attendance or a certificate of completion.
You can showcase your certificate on your CV and increase your chances of getting a digital marketing job or getting a promotion if your company recognizes the certification.
My recommendation is to take a course that offers a digital marketing certificate. It will require more work on your part but preparing for the exam, is a great opportunity to understand what you have learned and how well you have learned a topic.
Digital marketing courses are worth it. Taking a course or multiple courses (in the case of digital marketing) is a fast and effective way to build new skills or enhance your knowledge about a topic.
From my experience, some companies tend to over-price their courses. A good price for a digital marketing course is below $500. Anything above that range does not add anything to your learning but you’re paying the extra money to cover their expenses and increase their profit.
When choosing a course, go through the syllabus and check the instructor’s bio. Buy a course (or a bundle) that was created by the same experience instructor.
It’s wiser to register for a course that offers a digital marketing certificate. It’s a better use of your time and you’ll have another great resource to enrich your CV.