Nov 30, 2022

What’s the Value of Accrediting a Marketing Program for Universities & Colleges?

by Digital Marketing Institute

The past few years have seen the demand for skilled marketers grow and change. This is due to the need for businesses to be active online but also to stand out against their peers in a competitive consumer space. 

As a result, more universities and colleges are offering digital marketing programs to tap into the number of people wanting to upskill in this area. But today’s students are discerning and want courses or programs that are tied to the needs of the job market and are up-to-date with developments and trends. 

The solution? Offer an accredited marketing program with ties to industry leaders and provides a certification that will help educators prepare students for today’s roles. Let’s look at why your university or college should do this and how it can be done. 

What’s the demand for digital marketing skills?

There’s been a surge in demand for digital skills by employers across industries as customers increasingly search and purchase online. 

LinkedIn job data found that the skills required have changed over the past few years. Skills like advertising have moved down the ranks and others like event planning have disappeared since 2015 to be replaced by digital marketing and social media marketing with new entries like SEO, Google analytics and content marketing. 

Top 10 marketing skills
Top 10 marketing skills

Google Trends data analyzed by Preply found the three hottest skills are data science and visualization (+76 percent), digital marketing (+35 percent) and data management (+34 percent).

This new subset of digital skills requires specific knowledge and technical know-how to be implemented in a business. It’s that specificity and detail that students are looking for and the challenge for universities and colleges is to provide that as part of their curriculum.  

As a result, alternative credentials are becoming more valuable to employers and students as they provide a flexible and simpler way to upskill in key areas that can kickstart or progress a career. 

Why do you need accreditation for your marketing programs?

As many universities and colleges tap into the demand to offer digital marketing programs and short online courses, there’s huge competition in the education space

Plus many employers believe that current graduates are not work-ready. A Cengage report that surveyed graduates found that: 

  • Half of graduates didn’t apply to entry-level jobs because they felt underqualified
  • 21 percent say their college didn’t provide them with needed job skills
  • 29 percent spent more than six months trying to find a job after graduation
  • Nearly half don’t believe their education was worth what they paid, and one in three don’t believe their education helped them land their job 

There’s also the issue of the pace of change in the digital marketing space. For example, Google’s algorithm updates pose a challenge to many businesses while SEO is constantly evolving as keywords and search phrases change. 

These rapid changes make it difficult for universities to keep their curriculum up-to-date and industry aligned.  

“In 2020-2021, marketing was the 17th most popular major nationwide with 52,916 degrees awarded” College Factual

What are the benefits of accrediting your marketing program?

There are a number of challenges in the education sector, but these can be solved by accreditation. The benefits of accrediting your marketing program or course are:

  • Integrate industry-validated content into new or existing programs to align your  curriculum with the industry standards
  • Offer relevant usable digital skills that make your students employable 
  • Allow students to be eligible to receive an industry-aligned and globally recognized credential on completion of a degree
  • Offer dual accreditation which could be a point of differentiation
  • Access premium content for educators and students from the latest case studies to micro-lessons, presentations, and toolkits, helping students to gain practical skills and educators with teaching materials. Have a look at DMI’s membership program to see what’s available. 

Did you know? 89% of graduates said DMI’s certification added value to the overall degree and 84% agreed it added practical digital marketing experience - DMI’s University Partners Student & Graduate Survey 2022

How can you accredit your marketing program?

The easiest way to accredit your program is to work with a third-party provider and integrate content into your marketing program. This will allow your students to earn the certification on graduation or even earn a dual certification that adds practical and job-ready skills on top of theory. 

The steps to take for accreditation and the benefits each will give you are: 

  • Mapping of the degree to a credential – validity
  • Recognition of existing curriculum – flexibility
  • Access to learning curriculum to supplement and complement – support 
  • Access to additional content such as research or blogs – relevance
  • Formal external verification process – quality

Examples of a successful accredited marketing program

As the competition for students becomes even more intense, many universities and colleges are looking to differentiate their marketing programs. 

Here are three examples of how accreditation helped boost enrollments and enhance the experience of graduates in universities. 

University Canada West

As a leading Canadian university, University Canada West recognized the need to update its MBA program by adding a digital element to its marketing courses. The aim was to get their students job-ready in an evolving Canadian jobs market where traditional industries were declining while digital industries boom.

dmi video thumbnail

Join for FREE to access this video

East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University wanted to keep their MSc in Digital Marketing and their Media and Communication BA & BS programs up-to-date and bridge the digital skills gap between academic learning and practical employable skills.

As a result of the partnership, ETSU reported:

  • Increased student enrollments
  • Increased student engagement
  • Increased staff satisfaction
  • Increased employability options for ETSU students
dmi video thumbnail

Join for FREE to access this video

University of the West of Scotland

The University of the West of Scotland decided to integrate DMI’s digital marketing content into its Master's degree to provide digital skills to its students. 

“The Digital Marketing Institute certification of our Master's program has been incredibly powerful for the university in terms of really helping us to promote and grow our reputation. It’s also had a massive impact on our student recruitment, satisfaction, and employability,” said Theofilos Tzanidis, Postgraduate Marketing Program Leader. 

dmi video thumbnail

Join for FREE to access this video

Boost the value and outcome of your marketing program

Accredit your marketing program to stand out from the crowd and offer skills that drive employability and career development. Integrate DMIs industry-validated and globally recognized digital marketing credentials into your programs to drive enrollments and improve learning outcomes for graduates. Learn more to find out how DMI accreditation can add value to your marketing program. 

Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.