Q: I’m interested in a new domain. I have an undergraduate degree in visual arts, but have recently developed an interest in web design, blogging, and digital marketing. My work experience has been in office management and purchasing. Are you recommending that I go back to school and get another undergraduate degree in digital marketing?
A: Going back to college and earning a second undergraduate degree is a big financial commitment, unless you have a very generous employer who offers a liberal tuition assistance program. Additionally, your tuition reimbursement program should be prepared to support your new career interests in web design. Most tuition assistance programs only support courses or programs related to employment in a current position, and therefore benefit both you and your employer. Your employer’s program may differ, so take the time to research how it works.
An alternative would be to pursue a certificate, which would be a shorter program aimed at those who have already completed an undergraduate degree or work experience, but suitable for students who wish to pursue a career in web design. Many of these programs have around six courses and are therefore less expensive than a second undergraduate degree. A certificate program is probably less expensive and a shorter time commitment as well.
Some or all of these courses may be available online. Before enrolling in such a certificate program, make sure that the program is an accredited program. It would also be a good idea to contact the college or university’s counseling office to ensure that the proposed program meets your needs and that you are able to meet the program requirements as well as the financial requirements. You can also ask if there is any financial aid available. Some of these programs also have relationships with employers, who may be interested in hiring graduates upon completion of the certificate program.
There are also learning opportunities through professional associations or digital marketing employers. Some may be marketed as “tech bootcamps”. It would be wise to research different options to ensure the program meets your needs and career goals.
We are seeing an increased demand for digital marketing skills, in almost every industry. Good luck in your transition to a new area of interest!
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