The degree with a 91% employment rate
The old saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ seems to be redundant in the digital age. It wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows in the marketing community if it changed to ‘familiarity breeds sales’. When we arrive at a buying decision, we are far more likely to buy something we have heard of before than something we haven’t. And the way we hear of things now is by fleeting – but repeated – mentions, messages, images and hashtags on social media. This is why companies and brands need to create and maintain a constant barrage of digital marketing messages via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media.
Even if we haven’t heard of a product or brand before, we can do a quick check of its social credibility by seeing how many followers it has on Twitter, how many people like its Facebook page, or by delving deeper with all manner of analytics tools. The science fiction writer Cory Doctorow, in his novel Down and out in the Magic Kingdom, sees a not-too-distant future in which a person’s social capital is instantly viewable by anyone because people all have a brain implant that interfaces with the Net. He calls it ‘whuffie’, but come back a few years to the present and it’s already here in the form of social media capital.
A product or brand needs to have a big whuffie score if it is to prosper. The people who create and maintain (among other things) the social media capital for the product or brand are called Digital Marketers, or more restrictively Social Media Marketers. They are in very high demand. Many will have a degree in the subject, and students of one degree course from the University of Portsmouth, England are reported to have a whopping 91% chance of entering employment or further study in the year after graduating.
Portsmouth’s BA (Hons) Digital Marketing includes a one-year placement in a paid full-time role. If that goes really well, it does beg the question of why you would return to study when you have already effectively launched a career. But some will calculate that the added value of a completed degree will improve their skillset and prospects for the future. And with that 91% job / further study success rate, that seems to be a safe bet.