Location: United States


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Case Study | Educators

East Tennessee State University


As a leading state university, ETSU recognised the need to keep both their MSc in Digital Marketing and their Media and Communication BA & BS programs up-to-date and to bridge the digital skills gap between academic learning and practical employability skills.

The Digital Marketing Institute is the global standard in Digital Marketing Certification. Our mission is to support students to achieve their learning ambitions and help them realise their full potential. Our content is validated by representatives from the world’s leading brand while our global certification is recognised by the world’s largest employers

A highly regarded state institute with a stellar reputation the Digital Marketing Institute was eager to partner with ETSU being our first Accreditation partnership in the USA we needed a highly responsive and innovative partner to work with. 

The Challenge

The rising demand for digital skills among local and global employers is becoming increasingly evident, with over 74% of industry leaders reporting that digital marketing is facing a critical shortage of digital talent.* (Economist Perpetual Evolution Report (2019.)

According to Professor Stephen Marshall, ‘there’s a huge gap that’s what is happening. The gap between the academy and the industry is real. As an institution, we are preparing students to be lifelong learners, independent thinkers, global citizens, problem solvers. These are all essential skills for higher education to teach. But industry folks are also looking for graduates with skills that need to be applied immediately when they are hired….DMI has helped us bridge this gap’

The Solution

Following a comprehensive and consultative pre-planning, application, mapping, and validation process, ETSU became a ‘DMI University Accredited Partner’. ETSU could now access the benefits of DMI accreditation including:

  • ETSU faculty gained access to a large library of industry-validated curriculum which is credited rated and quality assured to a Higher Education standard.
  • ETSU faculty and students gained access to ‘DMI Power Membership’ with articles and case studies from the world’s leading brands and a range of other content including short courses, videos, webinars, tools, templates and podcasts, from some of the foremost subject matter experts in digital marketing.
  • Finally, students were certified to a Certified Digital Marketing Associate (CDMA) standard through ETSU’s own assessment which DMI mapped to and approved.

The DMI’s, CDMA certification is recognised by the world’s leading employers.

The Result

As a result of the partnership, ETSU has reported:

  1. Increased student enrollments.
  2. Increased student engagement.
  3. Increased staff satisfaction.
  4. Increased employability options for ETSU students.

Within the first 6 months of commencement of the partnership, there have been 150 ETSU students taking the DMI accredited courses plus 90 certified. It is safe to say that partnership has already exceeded both parties’ greatest expectations despite the huge challenges faced by both in 2020. Following the initial success of the partnership to date has already resulted in expanding our partnership with ETSU to include professional training on our Certified Digital Marketing Professional program which carries a dual-certification with the American Marketing Association. We also have some exciting new plans to grow the partnership which we will be announcing very soon. We look forward to a long and very successful partnership with ETSU.

Location: United States


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