Teaching Young Pups New Tricks

By Aaron Goldman, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

Last month, I posted a rant lamenting the state of digital marketing education in today’s colleges and universities. With “real-world” experience so hard to come by in an infant industry, it’s crucial that “higher education” begin to churn out candidates that can step right into our crazy little search world.

In my post, I observed how few institutions had built out coursework specific to interactive marketing so I was pleasantly surprised to read AdAge’s recent coverage of The Country’s Top Five Digital Media and Marketing Schools.

Apparently VCU, NYU, Art College Center of Design (ACCD?) in Pasadena, UT- Austin and the Miami Ad School all have pretty robust digital marketing curricula. To hear AdAge tell it, these schools marry cutting-edge technology with practitioners boasting true field experience, culminating in digital education nirvana.

Admittedly, I don’t know much about these programs nor do I know anyone who’s come through them but AdAge rattles off some big names in the biz that are either lending their time to the schools or have come up through the ranks, so something must be cooking on these campuses.

Unfortunately, I think the drop-off between the top five and the next hundred is pretty steep. I’d love to hear more about other schools with blossoming digital marketing programs so, if you’re aware of any, please drop a comment.

Closer to home for me, I know DePaul University has a strong e-business masters program and Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications track is one-of-a-kind. Additionally, IIT has a masters course on “Communications Strategies in a Digital Environment” (taught by one of the savviest online marketing pro’s in the city) and I just got word that the University of Chicago plans to offer a class in the fall on… gasp, Search.

Hopefully this is a sign of real momentum in the collegiate ranks and, someday in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to spend less time getting entry-level employees up to speed and more time on client-billable work.

Posted by: Aaron Goldman, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships


Diran Hafiz said...


IIT's MarComm program actually has 3 "Digital Environment" classes - Business Strategies, Networking Strategies & Communication Strategies.

I know Loyola also offers an integrated MarComm program that encompasses "Digital Advertising Media"...

Your point is super valid - there are 4,216 degree-granting institutions in the US; I doubt if more than 5% of those have any sort of option to study "Digital Marketing", in any form.

On a personal note, having worked for a while on the admissions and alumni committee for my alma mater, the demand for such classes/majors has never been higher. I frequently meet with prospective students who want to study or incorporate "internet marketing" in their potential degrees...

I know that demand doesn't always precede supply, but hopefully the education industry will do the right thing and heed this call for training.

Copyright © 2008 Resolution Media, Inc. All rights reserved.