Digital Combat Academy, Why We Value Skills Over Experience

Federico Sbandi
Apr 24, 2017 · 4 min read

Straight to the point.

There’s a lack of practicality throughout the whole academic system. Both universities and colleges are broken. When it comes to Communication & Marketing, students worldwide pay tuition fees every year to get nothing in return.

Let’s be honest.

Students basically pay for the right to be in class along with a white-hair dude yelling at them some old-style theories. It’s a like a ride on a train — one pays for the seat. The key difference is that the train brings one from A to B. While your Master’s Degree brings nowhere.

Obviously Europe and United States have different issues.

European countries — especially the Southern ones — mostly face unemployment downsides. Italy, Spain and Greece keep cutting education off from their public expenditures to keep the unemployment rate under control. As a result, middle-class students experience a low-cost university path.

Some classes literally fall apart. Some teachers don’t get paid enough to make a living from their job. Southern European universities look like a messy environment driven by demotivated people.

United States are probably even worse. Ambitious parents collect debt for decades to give their children a shot in the college — aka legalized racket. Baby-boomer parents have been told that anyone can succeed in life no matter where he or she starts from.

George Carlin used to say that the American Dream it’s called so because you have to be asleep to believe it.

Unfortunately some parents get caught along this narrative. They are willing to save up t0 $100.000 to invest in their kids’ education. The problem is that high-potential Startups and Digital Media Agencies don’t care that much where former students graduated from. They are more likely to check if his or her working skills match their business needs.

But here’s the point. Skills must be developed. And a Master’s Degree in Communication & Marketing doesn’t share with students any practical skills.

Students may attend Business Writing courses but they will never learn how to optimize a web page for search engines (basic SEO Copywriting).

Students may attend Statistics courses but they will never get to know the latest Google Analytics functionalities (basic Data Analysis).

Students may attend some bullshit Marketing courses but they will never learn why a 45 year woman is more likely to buy a bag on Pinterest rather than on Facebook (basic Social Media Management).

So I ended up building an alternative to Master’s Degrees. It’s called Digital Combat Academy.

It’s a Digital Marketing private school for both young graduates and experienced workers.

I know, the word “private” sounds awful. But here “private” simply stands for the opposite of “public” — aka waste-of-money. My business partner and I obviously make a profit out of the school. But as you may have heard, making money while managing a company is the cost of entry in business. And businesses can be good for people — when ran by good people.

Now let’s see what makes Digital Combat Academy different from a Master’s Degree.

First, we hire highly-competent professionals to teach our younger students practical skills.

Second, we provide a valuable network for those students who want to speed their career up.

Third, we give our students the study material for free instead of punishing them with mandatory books.

Fourth, we hold our students in school for no more than 3 months — which we set as an ideal time period to gain practical skills without slowing down anyone’s life.

Fifth, we rent classrooms instead of buying campuses.

It all leads to one thing. Education affordability.

Our students pay 600 euros for a 100-hour 3-month Digital Marketing course. No need to collect debt, no online bullshit lessons lacking human interaction. It’s a ROI positive educational investment.

By the time our students attend all the lessons they meet 12 talented professionals with proven track record and get to study Social Media, Web Design, Content Marketing, SEO & SEM, Web Tools, Journalistic Tools, Web Analytics, Growth Hacking, Company Consulting, Personal Brand Consulting, Digital Coaching, Startup Management.

We teach those subjects because they mirror all the practical skills people in Communication & Marketing must learn nowadays to look attractive for companies.

We just opened up our 1st school in Rome (Italy).

We’ll open our 2nd school in Milan (Italy) by 2019.

We’ll open our 3rd school in San Francisco (California) by 2022.

Follow Digital Combat Academy through its journey.

Federico Sbandi

Written by

Social Media | Advertising | SEO

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade