Online Marketing Skill Wishlist?

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What skills are on your wishlist for an entry level Online Marketing employee? What are the top five? Basic HTML coding skills? An eye for online design, eDM experience and an aptitude for PPC? How about a rudimentary understanding of SEO as well? While we’re at it, let’s find someone who can analyse server generated statistics and knows their way around Google Analytics as well.

There is another question that is just as important as the skills with which their studies have equipped them. What have they never been exposed to? It is too easy to assume that the recently graduated are all familiar with every aspect of their chosen profession, from SEO to PPC, site design and email marketing. However, even basic technologies like RSS and server-side statistics may be new to some recent graduates.

Does university deliver what we think they should?

Unfortunately when you are in the fishbowl it is too easy to forget that what you take for granted is not common knowledge and may not even be mentioned in a thirteen week course. While miles of column-inches have been devoted to proclaiming the younger generations as computer savvy savants, very little attention has been given to what this might actually mean in terms of a marketable skill set. Years spent on Myspace and a degree with the words ‘online’ and ‘internet’ does not an online marketer make.

Staying up on the edge

What is important is something that is not, in my experience, taught in university: a drive to learn and experiment with new ideas. The tools to do this are easily accessible, and should be introduced at university as well. In the courses that I did part-time, very little of what I already knew was actually covered. In fact, a lot of what was covered was not up-to-date with strategies where I worked at the time.

Professionally in this field it is negligent to not spend at least some of your own time exploring new things and keeping up with the latest developments. Is this reflected within the universities, or is it something that the graduates are expected to stumble upon?

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