An honest review from an Udacity Digital Marketing Nanodegree graduate
Let’s tackle the less important out of the way… Udacity e-learning platform has a clean and simple UX design, courses are presented through HD video lessons, quizzes and projects.
You have access to discussion forums and direct communication to a mentor through a chat interface which is straightforward and allows you to exchange files in case you need to.
Besides desktop you can access the material through a mobile app who has been constantly improved and will help you keep up with the course while you are on the go.
The content was co-created with industry giants Facebook, Google, Hootsuite, Hubspot, Mailchimp and Moz.
In a nutshell, you can rest assure that the content is presented in high quality professional production. So if that is an important variable for you at the time of deciding, you will like this course.
Now as I said, to me that is not the most important aspect when deciding to engage on an online course and I will go further as to say that even the information contained in the lessons isn’t the most important aspect either…
Why? Because there’s no shortage of content about digital marketing in 2017 that you can’t find for free online.
So for what reason I think the Digital Marketing Nanodegree is valuable?
First, the opportunity to have hands on experience running live campaigns on platforms such as Facebook Business and Google Adwords, taught me the most and allow me to cement the concepts presented in the lessons. (Which you would quickly forget if you don’t systematically apply them).
Second, the projects that you have to complete at the end of each lesson, help you confront your assumptions, internalize and organize the topics covered, and experiment the type of work you will be requested to perform in case you decide to pursue a career in Digital Marketing.
Third, having a mentor who helps you navigate the material and walks beside you when you get stuck, is invaluable. I regret not having interacted more with him since it would have saved me precious time. Please take advantage of this feature!
Fourth, a subtle characteristic that’s helpful reaching graduation is that despite being self-paced, you have a deadline of 6 months. I think the idea is to give the student extra time in case something unexpected happens but at the same time have a psychological limit as to how much time you have available to complete the course. For me, it worked!👨🏻💻🎓
Fifth, the course feature three companies which are used as a mean to show you how to apply what you learn in both B2C and B2B contexts which helps you to see the marketing tactics in action. This is further reinforced by asking you to promote Udacity Nanodegree and Udacity Blitz (learn more) as part of the projects.
I believe this to be beneficial for both sides as students get hands on practice and Udacity creates buzz on social media even when the campaigns aren’t as effective as if they were run by experts with bigger budgets. (For obvious reasons the budget allowed for each student is low)
Sixth, learning summaries are a very useful resource. They help keep the key ideas fresh in your mind and they function as a guide when doing projects avoiding going back and forth through the material. I skipped them almost entirely and in retrospective I think they would have saved me headaches and resubmissions.
Now as an student I would like to comment on what can be improved of the course;
Quizzes tend to be a little simplistic and I believe they should encourage the student to test the concepts on the platforms to see results, LIVE!
Some of the platforms would benefit with more “lesson time” as they are only featured as part of the overview of social media channels. They could even also be incorporated as part of a new project. (What about a video campaign on Snapchat vs Youtube or vs Instagram?).
Last but not least I hope they keep producing Digital Marketing talks… the single episode they upload with Jennifer Dulski, president of Change.org was both inspirational and insightful demonstrating how through digital marketing you can achieve significant impact on the things you care about.
Wrapping up, I think that the value you’ll obtain from the course lead by Anke Audenaert is that you will acquire a 360 degree understanding of Digital Marketing, you’ll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty with the most powerful digital advertising platforms to date, and you will obtain a well laid out roadmap which will guide you on your digital marketing journey.
I hope you find this review useful and let me know about any question you may have about this course and please if you are a graduate , I would love to hear about your experience and recommendations!