I don’t know how many of you kenw this..
I have recently completed my Masters in Digital Marketing from Trinity College Dublin. As many digital marketers follow this blog, I thought I should write an article about whether the masters in digital marketing was worth it or not. Please note, everything that I will mention in this article are my opinions. You are to take that decision at the end of the day anyways and there are too many variables when it comes to taking a decision like doing a MSc in a foreign country.
It was back in 2017, I just finished my Bachelor in Marketing from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I was doing well with Passive Journal. I didn’t really need a job, so I didn’t need a degree to prove to anyone that I ‘know my stuff’.
Life was good.
However, by the end of 2017, I started to get bored of myself. You see, I always ran Passive Journal as a side hustle till then (I was studying as a full time student when I started Passive Journal back in June, 2016). This was the first time in my life when I had the opportunity to run my business and do nothing else.
I chose not to.
I wanted to explore Europe and doing a MS was the easiest way to make it happen.
You see, life of a third world country digital marketer is a lot different than those of you who follow this blog. If I wanted to travel around Europe from Bangladesh, I had to come to do a tour every other month from there. We all hate long flights and it would have been fun to get a MS degree in the meantime, too.
I will be honest. I got effected by the peer pressure too.
Families in Asia have this tendency of focusing on degree (not education) and even the young minds are not free from that school of thought. Even in 2019, most students in Bangladesh study what they study because they either have seen someone else studying that and doing well in life or their parents wanted it for them.
I am getting off-tracked.
Everyone in family wanted me to do my MSc. I am not one of those types who always listens to their family but I did. Because I wanted the same thing, in the back of my mind.
I wanted to do a MSc to stand out from the crowd and if I had to do it in one subject, it would obviously be digital marketing, right?
So I chose to do my Masters in Digital marketing.
Trinity College is world’s #1 ranked university when it comes to a masters in Digital marketing, so it was a no brainer for me. Ireland is not a popular destination for students in Bangladesh. It is far, it is cold and it is in the middle of nowhere.
Most people still think that Ireland is a part of UK.
But yes, I got on an Emirates plane, booked a stay with Homestay and moved here. My journey with Trinity has officially begun on September 21st, 2017.
Is Masters in Digital Marketing Worth It?
Now, once again, these are only my thoughts and I am basing everything based on what I have experienced. It is far from the absolute facts, so I recommend you do your own research. But here’s what I have understood.
Trinity is great and I don’t think there’s a better university out there to learn things. The history is there, the professors know what they are doing and everyone is academic enough to help you get where you want to.
But you got to know what you want to do.
I was already running Passive Journal and I knew enough about SEO & The world of digital marketing. So no, I didn’t learn much during my studies at Trinity. If you are someone who is self-taught, has run his own campaigns on social media and have sold sites on your own, I don’t think a masters in Digital Marketing will help you get better at those.
A Masters in digital marketing is all about understanding marketing and the high level concepts. It is all about those frame works and positioning your campaigns but if you are looking to learn how to setup a Facebook campaign for example or a well-designed website, you are not going to get it here.
I don’t know about other universities but there were students from all variety of backgrounds in Trinity’s program. So I had friends who were engineers, doctors, pharmacists and even journalists and dancers.
They are here for a career change.
So I guess, Trinity had to design the modules in a way so that these students can also learn the basics of digital marketing instead of targeting for people like me.
The Brand Value
Trinity College Dublin holds a very strong brand value in Ireland and across the globe. When I am writing this, Trinity is ranked 82nd among all the universities around the globe and they are #1 in Ireland (some say it is Dublin City University). However, the digital marketing masters program is definitely #1 in all rankings, but there’s a cache here.
There’s not enough digital marketing masters program in the pool to compete against. When I was doing my research, I found that only a few universities across North America, UK, Ireland and Spain offer this course.
Believe it or not, digital marketing is still a new thing in the academic world.
However, the Trinity brand value has definitely helped me and my career. Even today, almost all of my cold outreach emails mention that I am a Trinity graduate, because our potential clients value that.
I have tested it myself and saw that the response rate is much higher when I mention that I am a Trinity graduate.
I can also talk about my friends who graduated with me.
They now work at places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Tesla & Salesforce. I think about 60-70% of my batch got their jobs within 1-2 months of graduation. Trinity brand value has definitely played a role there because trust me, none of us has learnt much (I might get hate for this line).
This might sound weird. After all, how can you have good professors yet, you end up learning nothing, right?
We had professors from France, from MIT (for the entrepreneurship class), from actual digital marketing agencies and they were all brilliant. They knew their stuff and they knew it better than most of the world.
However, I don’t think it is possible to teach a newbie everything about Google Ads in 2 class who has never opened a MCC account before. It is not the fault of the professors, I consider this the fault of screening and selecting students.
Trinity should have had two different programs and what they taught us in digital marketing should have been taken care of in the regular marketing program. The digital marketing MSc should have been kept for advance strategies and implementations.
However, I don’t think I will be able to have a conversation with any of my professors in Bangladesh about opening a BPO agency or the future of voice SEO at a random bar that I had multiple times with my Trinity professors.
I really liked that experience. The accessibility and the ‘can achieve’ culture is what I appreciate.
Alright, there’s no point in increasing H2 headings on this article. Let me simplify everything for you.
Is a masters in digital marketing worth it for you?
The answer would be yes if:
- You are interested in doing a MSc and care about a degree
- If you want that brand value
- If you have a plan of being a professor later in your career (like I have)
- If you want to travel around Europe from an Asian country and need a base (I traveled about 9 countries so far in last 12 months).
- If you want to get an entry level job in the booming IT industry of Dublin (and the rest of the world)
The answer would be no if:
- You want to learn digital marketing
- You want to start your own marketing agency (you won’t get enough knowledge from the course to make that happen)
- You think this will make you a digital marketer
Considering everything, I still think it was a great decision for me to do the masters in Digital marketing. I don’t believe in formal education though. I am fairly confident that formal education is going to get a hit within 2040 and people won’t be going to colleges anymore. At least, not to learn technical knowledge like digital marketing. Also, the ever changing world of digital marketing does not allow you to get an academic degree from a prestige institute.
It is a piece of paper at the end of the day anyways.
The last line would be, I am happy that I took this decision, based on my circumstances but if your only goal is to learn digital marketing, there are better options out there than taking an academic degree.
What do you think?