Ask the Experts

Digital Disconnect

Everyone wants a high-paying job with an Internet company. If I am not coding, is marketing the best major to have on my resume?

We chose your question because you only learn the answer with experience. Online marketing was fast becoming one of the pillars of business before you were born. Every student has been a consumer for digital marketing. However, the specific skills sought by online employers are less clear cut than other professional fields. With that in mind, what are you supposed to study to prepare yourself for this industry? Most students agree on this simple answer. Focus on grasping the basics of digital: learn HTML, major in a marketing field, promote yourself on social media, and build your personal brand. These routes are valuable, but one factor is clearly overlooked… creativity!

This is something that is often neglected in college, as many students take a traditional path, rather than the arts. However, the ability to come up with inventive solutions to problems is integral to your success online. Marketing used to mean aggressively placing ads in your face. Now, you have to have create content that attracts readership, says Lauren Feeley of Clickx, an SEO software.

Recruiters for online companies increasing seek students with non-traditional skills, who can bring a new perspective to a problem. No mention of a marketing degree.

What jobs are being filled? Brand promotion through search engine optimization. The skills for this role are journalism, rather than marketing.

Pay-Per-Click marketing entails learning how and why people click through to your website. Psychology and sociology are needed to get into the minds of your customers.

I focused on Psychology at Penn State and developed skills that were valuable and unique in the digital world, stated Kristopher Jones, Founder of digital agency LSEO.

While marketing courses are important, do not limit yourself to conventional business knowledge. Follow your passion, because that is where you will excel.

Psychology is cool again.

Sam Shepard is a marketing specialist with digital marketing agency, Digital Next.