The average college degree costs $19,074 at a four-year public university, and $36,918 at a private college. You’ve probably heard of many stories of students with much more debt than that.
In addition, college graduates are having a harder time finding a job these days. Approximately 11 percent of those with bachelors degrees are looking for work, according to the Atlantic. This is up from 8.4 percent just 20 years ago. The silver lining in this cloud is that college graduates still have much better prospects than those with just a high school diploma.
If you’re like many young adults and their parents, you question the true value of a college degree. Your concerns are valid. Is one of the newest degrees available, an online marketing degree, worth the cost instead?
How Prevalent Is Marketing?
It’s probably more prevalent than you realize. Some of the most common things you do on the web — blogging and using social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ — are actually a part of marketing, whether you think of them that way or not.
Posting status updates, even if unrelated to your profession, shows potential employers you understand the new media. It also shows your personal character, which could have a significant impact on their hiring decisions.
Here are some ways individuals and businesses use the web and social media to promote their brands:
- Promoting a business
- Showing your professional profile to prospective employers and connections
- Using a personal social media profile to promote your ideas
- Creating a blog to attract readers and discuss your viewpoints
Twenty percent of colleges now offer online programs, according to College Online, LLC, but the real question is, do you really need an online marketing degree to be professionally successful in online marketing now?
What Industry Experts Say
An online marketing degree certainly doesn’t guarantee you will advance in your career. But a degree can open doors that wouldn't otherwise be in front of you. It teaches you specific valuable skills and signifies you are serious about your career choice. And that degree will come in very useful when applying for a high-profile internship
You can increase your chances of advancing in your marketing career by focusing on your strengths. By tweaking your resume, knowing the products and services you will sell, and by specializing in a specific aspect of marketing, you can raise your chances of landing a job now, or taking that next step up the ladder.
So, What can an Online Marketing Degree Really Do for You?
Two-thirds of for-profit institutions say online learning is critical to their long-term strategies, College Online, LLC. reports, but does learning have to come in the form of an online degree?
Online universities often offer unique programs and benefits and claim to provide concrete results. But, that still doesn’t mean a marketing degree is necessary, since marketing is more about creativity, which is often a skill that cannot be taught.
To be successful in marketing, you might only need any college degree, not just a marketing one. As long as you can show proven results you can market, that might be enough. If you have hundreds of LinkedIn connections or thousands of Twitter followers, for example, you may be able to convince your next employer you can handle a social media marketing job without demonstrated professional experience.
As is often the case in life, it’s mostly about what you do with what you have — marketing degree, or not.
Do you know someone with an online marketing degree? Share your thoughts in the comments.