We talked to Morgan’s CEO, Antoine Abou Samra to find out more about their move into digital certification and plans for training professionals in 2017 and beyond.
As a certification provider at the forefront of innovative education products, Morgan International is an education leader in the Middle East. Focused on addressing the shortage of digital professionals in the region, the company wanted to offer global qualifications that can bring graduates and corporate organizations together to provide job opportunities that transform careers.
Since your foundation in 1995 as the first provider of the Certified Public Accountant qualification in the Middle East, what were your reasons for expanding into other less traditional disciplines such as digital marketing?
The decision to expand into different disciplines was based on two major factors:
From your extensive experience in the professional certification sector in the Middle East and beyond, what do you think of the level of digital skills in graduates and professionals?
In the Middle East, graduates definitely lack digital skills because these specialist topics are not covered in the curriculum in higher level institutions. Therefore when students graduate, they have only been exposed only to traditional marketing channels. However this seems to be gradually changing, and I can see that in the next 2 years, universities and colleges will start to integrate digital disciplines into their curriculum.
For professionals, although many work in the digital space, their skills need uplifting. They are not exposed to the many tools they can use to make their job easier or enhance the quality of their work.
You have had great success offering the Certified Digital Marketing Professional program from the Digital Marketing Institute. What do you think the reasons have been for this?
There are a number of reasons for the certification’s success:
How would you describe the student base that enrolls for digital marketing certifications?
Our classes are made up of a variety of individuals from all walks of life. The make-up of our usually looks like this:
Have you found a particular demand in certain countries/regions?
Students get excited when they hear about digital. Particularly as they know the discipline is booming in our industry. As a result, we have found there is growing demand in other markets in like the UAE and KSA.
What made you decide to partner with the Digital Marketing Institute? What do you think differentiated them from other digital education providers?
We did our research and identified a few reputable organizations that can supply us with relevant digital content and support. However, we chose to partner with the Digital Marketing Institute for several reasons:
How have you found the partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute from the on-boarding process to now?
The Digital Marketing Institute have been very helpful and cooperative since day one. At every single class, the team is ready to provide support and advice which makes communication with them very easy.
You recently started to offer a specialist diploma, the Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing. Why did you decide to offer this course and what are your plans for the certification?
The course has a lot of potential in the region since the area of social media is experiencing huge growth. When we piloted it people attended the workshops to learn the fundamentals of social media but there was also a niche who really care about earning the qualification for credibility particularly to secure freelance projects.
Following a successful pilot launch in 2016, we will be integrating it like the PDDM as part of our portfolio.
Morgan International recently took a global online license. What were your reasons for this?
We have been getting a number of requests for corporate online training. Our team is very familiar with training online and part of our offering for the corporate market is to provide a hybrid model that is made of live support with online features.
In recent years we have witnessed a shift towards hybrid models and want to ensure we meet our customers’ needs in regards to online training. We now offer both services and it is up to the candidate to choose the method of learning based on their learning style.
What future plans do you have both as a professional certification provider and with the Digital Marketing Institute?
Our strategy for the future is to grow the demand in the region and create awareness of the benefits of professional digital qualifications. We are also looking into supporting our candidates’ beyond training and helping them with their career goals by linking successful candidates with opportunities in the corporate market.
We have also launched our global career platform called Morgan Connect, which allows our certified students to post their CV’s and access job offers globally.
How would you describe your partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute in one sentence?
A very successful partnership with a big potential for growth.