10 Reasons Why a Professional Digital Marketing Certification Is Better Than a University Degree

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January 11, 2019 3:00 pm

10 Reasons Why a Professional Digital Marketing Certification Is Better Than a University Degree

Why should you choose Digital Marketing as a career?

Whether you’ve just graduated from high school, or you’ve been working in a specific industry for a while and you’re looking for something new, you’re likely exploring education options. A career in digital marketing can be an exciting one, and with digital marketing becoming such an important component of just about every company’s advertising efforts, there’s no denying that it’s a career that can allow you to grow and continue to offer you better opportunities.

When it comes to pursuing a new career, employers like to see that you have had relevant training, which gives them confidence that you’re skilled in that particular field. Like many people exploring education options, the big question you’re asking yourself is likely this: Is it better to just get certified in a specific field, or opt for a four-year college degree at a university?

Growing up, most of us are told that going to college is the optimal choice. We’ll learn everything we need and employers will favor that over a certification. But with today’s changing times, is that still the case?

There are certain occupations that require a college degree; there’s no denying that. But when it comes to digital marketing, it’s important to heavily weigh the pros and cons of a degree versus specific training. The fact is that digital marketing is not a commonly offered major through most traditional universities, and students will often have to opt for the next best thing, such as a generalized marketing degree. While they may learn some of the basic fundamentals of digital marketing, students may not receive a well-rounded and focused education that solely concentrates on internet marketing.

A digital marketing certification can teach students all the skills they need to succeed in the world of internet marketing, in less time and for far less the cost. Because a certificate focuses completely on a specific subject, students don’t have to waste time learning about things they don’t care about, or that are irrelevant to their desired career path.

Still not convinced?

The following are 10 reasons to choose a professional certification instead of a university degree if you’re pursuing a career in digital marketing:

1. Career-focused

A professional certification in digital marketing is great when you are looking to achieve specific career goals in a short period of time. Focused courses geared toward SEO, PPC, content marketing, or social media, for example, provide curated content for professionals to upskill in those specific areas versus a broad marketing education, for example. University degrees also have a much longer, and undefined return-on-investment, as they are not always geared towards specific goals.

2. Save time

A digital marketing certification will generally take between one to six months to earn, depending on how many skills you are looking to acquire. A degree in digital marketing from a university, on the other hand, can take up to four years or more. If you are looking to further your education with a professional degree, you are looking at more time on top of that. It’s questionable whether all these years in school are necessary when pursuing a career in digital marketing, as a certification course can offer you all the skills you need to succeed.

3. Save on cost

Digital marketing certifications don’t cost as much as university degrees for several reasons:

  • The certification courses are of lesser duration, so naturally, any operational costs around faculty are smaller.
  • Also, most renowned digital marketing certification courses like Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist are entirely online, so there are no operational overhead costs. Students also don’t have to worry about transportation and living expenses when it comes to getting to class. Earning a university degree, on the other hand, often requires on-campus visits, which can add to the overall education cost.

4. Developing a specific skill

Most digital marketing certification courses build a specific skill set, such as PPC, SEO, content marketing, web analytics, or social media marketing. Each of these skill sets map to job roles that are in high demand. A university degree in marketing or digital marketing, however, will provide more theoretical knowledge about marketing principles. Though useful to know, such theoretical knowledge often doesn’t help in practical on-the-job situations. For example, it is good to know the principles of segmentation and targeting. But if you haven’t learned specific digital marketing skills, such as how to set up and maintain a Google Ads campaign, then theoretical knowledge isn’t going to help much. That’s where the practical knowledge from a professional certification in PPC and SEM comes in handy.

5. Flexibility

One huge advantage of receiving a digital marketing certification is that most courses are available online, and you can study from anywhere if you have a good internet connection. Whether you’re at home, commuting to or from work, or are on vacation, online learning affords you the flexibility to learn anywhere, and on any device.

6. Widely accepted and recognized

Today, many digital marketing certifications carry even more value and credibility than many university degrees. One reason for this is that large multinational corporations are recognizing the value of these professional courses and are entering into agreements with certification providers. Companies are struggling with a skills-gap crisis, with a dearth of suitably skilled professionals who have received industry-oriented training.

7. Always state-of-the-art

Conventional education, such as university programs, typically isn’t designed to cope with the changing needs of industry. Online certifications, on the other hand, are devised specifically with this end objective in mind. As these certification courses are created and designed by professionals in the field, you can generally expect that these courses would be up-to-date with the latest changes and trends in the industry. This is crucial in the world of digital marketing, with things constantly changing and evolving.

8. Highly engaging training

All renowned online certification providers rely on student feedback to determine which instructors are good and which aren’t. They use this constructive feedback as they design future education programs. With universities, it can sometimes be a matter of luck. Experienced and knowledgeable professors with years of experience at the university may still not offer the learning experience you’re looking for, or the personalized attention you’re seeking.

9. Opportunities for all

Students who are also parents (or have elderly parents to take care of) may find it difficult, or even impossible, to drop everything in order to attend classes in person. Online courses offer a wonderful alternative to those with obligations. This method of learning is also useful to those with physical challenges. You can complete the certifications just by sitting in your home and without stepping outside at all.

10. Individualized learning

Online learning can help students harness their strengths and minimize weaknesses by focusing on various projects, labs, and guided assistance through well-known teaching assistants, such as the ones that are provided in Simplilearn’s courses.

Once you’ve decided to pursue your digital marketing certification, it’s time to choose an education program that best suits you. At Simplilearn, their digital marketing courses and certification programs are second-to-none, with foundation, advanced, and masters programs to suit professionals at every stage of their careers.


Training that covers the full spectrum of digital marketing includes their Introduction to Digital Marketing Certification Training and their Digital Marketing 101 courses, as well as the more advanced Digital Marketing Specialist program. For training in a particular niche, take a look at Simplilearn’s specialized programs that focus on Advanced Email Marketing Certification Training and Advanced Content Marketing Certification Training, among many others.

Feel free to browse their entire catalog of digital marketing courses to find the one that’s best for you. If you have any questions about their courses and where to begin, they’re always available to help.

Guest author: Awestruck by Star Trek as a kid, Jake Anderson has been relentless in his pursuit for covering the big technological innovations which will shape the future. A self-proclaimed gadget freak, he loves getting his hands on every piece of gadget he can afford.

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