How to choose a marketing qualification

This blog is designed to help you choose a marketing qualification, no matter your level of experience or education in marketing.

Continued learning in marketing is vital to keep up to date with new thinking, regulations and guidelines. There are many types of course available to you and really it is about deciding what you need your outcome to be.

If you are looking to start a career in marketing

I’d recommend you look at a degree in Marketing, or in Business Studies with a specialisation in Marketing. Marketing is never a standalone subject to be carried out in isolation, so if you are looking to enter the industry then gaining a broad commercial understanding of business will help if you don’t already have this. I did my BA Hons in International Business degree at The University of Brighton what seems like a very long time ago now, but it was rounded course and a useful springboard into employment as a 21 year old.

If you are looking for an introduction to marketing, and have business experience

You maybe run your own business or are established in your own area but want to understand marketing in more detail. I’d recommend you look for an award or certificate level qualification from either the CIM which traditionally has been the standard qualification, or from the IDM. This will give you a good base level, from which you can choose to top up on specific subject relevant to your career.

You are already working in an agency or client side in marketing but want to hone your skills

In this instance you need your learning to fit around work, and to gain a recognised qualification. If you need specific areas of learning like social media strategy, email marketing or Google Analytics, then 1 day courses and awards should be your port of call here. You can either look at your local provider such as a college, or for a more professional approach and a qualification you can use Google IQ certified exam. You can also pay £400-to £500 for one day training from more generalised digital training providers such as Emarketeers , Webcredible, and Econsultancy. There are several of these trainers available, so do your homework on what you want your outcomes to be from the training and get a personal recommendation if you can. The IDM and CIM also offer single subject training.

If you are looking to expand your marketing knowledge and move your career on

If career advancement is your main driver, then consider a diploma from either the CIM or the IDM, as the qualification can be listed on your CV and will be well recognised. I completed the CIM Post Graduate Diploma (now updated to the the Postgraduate Diploma) shortly after leaving University, and found it to be a reassuring tick in the box for prospective employers.

I’ve recently completed the IDM Post Graduate Diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing (and was delighted to be awarded a Distinction, Top Student and the Founders Award- goodness!). This was great choice for me as I studied the year long course online, so could access my study whenever I wanted to. There were 10 modules, 2 assignments and three 3-hour exams. I learnt some new theory and filled in some gaps in my knowledge, particularly on digital marketing latest thinking.

The 10 modules were well covered in the three core texts, and easy to access on the IDM MyLearning site. I worked purely on my own remotely, however you can also take this as a part-time qualification, or intensive qualification at the IDM headquarters in Teddington. I enjoyed working remotely as I could do it at my own speed, although it can be hard to stay motivated for a full 12 month course. This course can also be used to fast track onto selected Masters in Marketing qualifications.

So, as a final note, remember this quote from Michaelangelo, who at age 87 said, ‘I am still learning’. Continue to improve your marketing knowledge and understanding throughout your career, and you will reap the rewards.

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