| by Robert Gordon University

Digital skills gap: Why we are launching an MSc in Digital Marketing

Jack Keenan and Dr Simone KurtzkeJack Keenan and Dr Simone Kurtzke

The shortage of digital skills in the current marketplace is unprecedented. It is estimated that by 2018, the US will lack around 1.5 million managers and analysts with digital know-how to make effective business decisions, while the UK needs an extra 745,000 digitally skilled workers within the next three years or it risks falling behind. Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen has launched an MSc in Digital Marketing to help address this talent gap, and Course Leader Jack Keenan talks about the reasons why, and how it will teach the marketing skills required in the digital age.

The last five years have seen a significant shift from traditional marketing approaches to increasingly digitally-focused strategies as customers are now digital and often mobile-first.

In this rapidly changing environment, businesses must embrace digital and social media marketing in order to connect with their customers and remain competitive.

The Digital Skills Gap
There is currently a considerable gap between business requirements for digital and the skill set of more traditional marketers – a recurring theme when consulting with individuals both from industry and academia when developing the course.

We have launched our new MSc in Digital Marketing to address this digital skills gap. The aim is to create a talent pool of digital marketing experts wishing to pursue a career in this exciting and ever growing industry.

From the outset we have designed the course with a focus on professional practice and developed its content in close consultation with the industry. The course teaches digital marketing strategy, digital PR, research methods and analytic tools, alongside a range of digital technologies and practices to produce content for digital marketing campaigns.

Ours is one of only a few skills-based Digital Marketing masters in the UK, and we believe that teaching the ‘tools of the trade’ is essential to being a successful modern marketer.

The Course Content
The MSc is delivered with significant input from industry partners and much of the work students complete on the course will be based on live digital marketing projects, including website and SEO audits, content creation and marketing, and digital PR. This approach ensures that the course content is relevant to the needs of industry whilst allowing students to develop a portfolio of real world experience as they study.

Trends in the digital world change very quickly – what’s in today might be old news tomorrow. Digital is an exceedingly fast moving area where constant innovation and rapid change are to be expected – this is what makes it exciting. It also creates a challenge as the skills you hold today are at risk of becoming obsolete tomorrow.

Meeting this challenge has been central to the course design where much of our focus has been on cultivating an agile philosophy responsive to change and continuous development. Importantly, our teaching staff are digital marketing professionals and academics with significant industry experience.

Fostering a culture of self-directed learning, a community dedicated to exploring the advances within this field and input from practitioners at the leading edge of their relevant industry ensures that not only do graduates leave with the skills relevant to today but the ethos and motivation which will keep them abreast of the changes and developments of tomorrow.

The Digital Economy
The Scottish Government has made it clear that the growth of the digital industry is central to its vision for the future growth of our country’s economy and digital marketing is very much part of that. Digital is a priority for the UK as a whole – the new Digital by Default standard for Government websites is one example of this.

The digital industry across Scotland is prosperous and is growing as part of a broader technology boom. Companies such as Skyscanner have put Scotland on the global map, and there is a strong network of agencies and a lively digital community across the country.

Who is the course for?
The MSc Digital Marketing launches in September and can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.

The course is open to anyone with an undergraduate degree, a passion for digital media and a flair for communication. We’re looking for people who can strike a balance between the creative, the technical and the strategic – the course will develop Graduates able to come up with engaging concepts as well as being comfortable tackling insights from digital analytics.

We believe that a professional qualification is a good way to start a career in this exciting and ever growing industry. Get in touch for more information, or apply online.

Jack Keenan
Course Leader
Robert Gordon University’s MSc Digital Marketing

Email: j.keenan1@rgu.ac.uk
Web: www.rgu.ac.uk/digitalmarketing

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