As documented by Ewort Atkinson
Like many of us, I pursued a formal education while young, earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees—but that education didn’t stay current. Just like a doctor must learn new medical theories and procedures, an IT specialist must master new software, as a marketing professional, I realized that I must learn new skills and tactics to stay relevant, and keep on learning throughout my career to remain successful.
I earned my MBA from the University of Leicester, with a focus on Marketing and General Management, but that was back in 2010. the knowledge I gained then was no longer enough. In fact, with the increased importance of digital marketing, almost everything that I learned in 2010 was now obsolete. I decided not to get left behind in my career and give my career a huge boost, so I choose to earn a Digital Marketing Specialist Master’s certification from Simplilearn.
Knowing When It’s Time to Upskill
Having realized that I wasn't in a position to properly create and execute digital marketing strategies, I began searching for a way to acquire skills that didn't even exist when I was earning my degrees. Marketing had changed dramatically since I completed my MBA program, and I knew I needed a new skill set to keep my career moving forward. This led me to research options for online learning. I wanted practical learning, not theoretical, and it seemed Simplilearn offered the types of skills and expertise I was looking for.
Simplilearn offers both virtual and online learning which was perfect for my learning style. I chose to do the online courses because I have the self-discipline to do so and because I'm the type of student who likes self-paced learning. I don't like to be in a classroom or a structured setting. With the self-paced option, I was able to do the courses on my own time. For me, the only downside was not being able to ask a question of the instructor in real-time.
Simplilearn’s certification program fit both my desire to learn and the kind of high-quality and relevant education I was seeking. Not only were the instructors really good, they made it easy for me to learn. More importantly, the curriculum wasn’t just theory: I received hands-on practice and could apply what I was learning immediately. I also appreciated the prompt customer service. Every time I needed assistance, I sent an email and got feedback right away.
The instructors’ cutting-edge industry experience made it possible for me to learn best practices that are current for today’s marketing professionals. And even though we learned about the latest in digital marketing, the program offered a broad education. It wasn’t all about social media marketing, PPC, or other trendy marketing topics. We covered everything that has to do with digital marketing. So once I graduated, I felt confident that I knew every single aspect of what it entails.
New Skills Lead to New Position
I’m now the Digital Marketing Manager at Prism Communications, a full-service strategic integrated marketing and communications/advertising agency. It’s also Jamaica's leading advertising firm and part of Worldwide Partners Inc., the largest network of independent advertising agencies with 91 agencies in 57 countries.
Prior to that, I was the Group General Manager at FIMI Investments where I developed sales strategies, managed new product development, and reviewed and approved marketing plans. I oversaw about 200 employees across the Caribbean. Before that, my first job at Prism Communications was as a marketing strategist. And now, I’m back where I started, but in a completely new role based on my new skillset.
As the digital marketing manager, I help clients apply digital marketing methods in ways they were unable to do before. I lead a team of six social media coordinators and some graphic artists, and I plan to expand that team. By the end of next year, I see us operating with 20 personnel in the digital marketing space.
My long-term career goals include opening my own consulting firm because of my passion for marketing and communications. I think that by having the expertise I learned from Simplilearn, I’ll be able to do just that. The certification course has assisted me in getting that much closer to my goal.
In the meantime, the education helps with my job today at Prism. By broadening my scope of knowledge, I’m able to give clients up-to-date input on digital marketing methods like email marketing, marketing automation, conversion optimization, PPC advertising, as well as an appreciation for Google Analytics.
My education with Simplilearn also increased my confidence. In meetings and presentations, I'm able to speak as somebody who has the knowledge. I have that level of confidence. Everybody sees it, and now I keep getting questions about digital marketing– even from people visiting my LinkedIn profile.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
My previous employer wasn’t really focused on digital marketing, so I knew it was time for a change. My digital marketing certification led to the better position I now have at Prism and gave me the skills to leave a job that I know would have become outdated because of the company’s constant emphasis on traditional marketing and things like TV advertising.
Now, I think I'm well ahead of the curve by becoming an expert in digital marketing. And I have the opportunity to grow my own business inside this company until the day comes when I’m ready to open his own.
One’s career is carried out by expertise, not by going into one job and staying there. It’s like starting a business. It's life, and Simplilearn helped me make it happen.
Want to know more? Check out this introductory video on Digital Marketing Course.