This article originally appeared on the Business2Community website
New Years resolutions. Like opinions (and something else less family-friendly I’ve heard used in this adage), everybody has ‘em.
This year, mine is to dive deeper into digital analytics and become a ninja rock star (can we please retire both of these superlatives?) in Google Analytics and all things digital marketing measurement in general. What’s yours?
Come on…I know you have one. Maybe it’s learning how to code or sharpening your copywriting.
Good news, Resolution Maker, these days the web is awash in low-cost or no cost online instruction in tons of digital marketing skills. Below are just a few that you might want to check out in case your resolution survived your hangover and you’re serious about learning something new in 2014.
(In no particular order…)
This online digital marketing and business strategy collective touts itself as ‘turning thinkers into creators’. Which is great for those among us, myself included, who have no shortage of fantastic ideas about integrated digital marketing campaigns, but wouldn’t know the first thing about how to, oh, develop a mobile app if our lives depended on it.
General Assembly offers both in-person (in select cities) and online video training in the following areas:
- Business Foundations
- Data Analysis
- Digital Marketing
- Mobile Development
- Product Design
- User Experience Design
- Web Development
General Assembly offers an array of content consumption options. Users can take either 8-16 week courses on topics, attend in-person classes and seminars, take a class online, stream live video instruction sessions or watch videos on-demand.
Courses are taught by active industry experts and practitioners. Y’know, folks who actually do this stuff for a living and who can teach you how to do it, too.
Full, intensive courses, such as the 10-week Front-End Web Development course where I live in Washington, DC, can cost as much as $3,500.
Individual video on-demand courses, such as Code on Your Own, are available for as little as $10.
For $25 per month, General Assembly offers “Front Row”, which is pretty much unlimited access to live stream events and courses and their video on-demand library.
Google Analytics Training & Certification
Let’s face it, knowing at least a little bit about Google Analytics is pretty much a necessity these days. Your company may not use it for all digital properties and/or campaigns (but, then again, you may…), but its features and functions are key to understanding digital marketing measurement in general and are broadly applicable across platforms.
Google provides free Google Analytics Training & Certification (all the better to get the world to use their product, of course).
In addition to plenty of online videos and, of course, help forums, Google also offers Analytics Academy, “…a free online learning platform that offers comprehensive training in Google Analytics and data analysis.”
Take the courses in Google Analytics Academy, take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test and BOOM! – you’re certified in Google Analytics.
According to Lynda it/herself, “lynda.com is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, design, and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. With a lynda.com subscription, members receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials. New courses and topics are added every week at no extra cost. We carefully select the world’s top experts who are the best in their field, passionate about their subject matter, and know how to teach. Members tell us that a lynda.com subscription instills self-confidence and unlocks a sense of accomplishment that they have not found anywhere else.”
While you can certainly take general digital marketing strategy and tactical courses, such as Data Analysis and Social Media Marketing, Lynda shines with deeper dives into programming with modules for developers in a variety of common languages including C++, Java, jQuery, etc.
Lynda operates on a subscription model and features a range of different subscription levels, from $25 per month to $375 per year.
MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses
What’s a MOOC (moo-k)? Massive Open Online Courses are, well, exactly what they sound like. They’re basically free courses on a variety of different topics that you can find online and consume as you wish. Even better, some of them are affiliated with leading institutions of higher learning such as Harvard, MIT and the University of Chicago.
The courses tend to be a little more academic than professionally focused, but take a look at Udacity’s Mobile Web Development and EdX’s Building Mobile Experiences and decide for yourself if they’re a fit for you.
Most are free. Free!! Thank you, world wide web of knowledge.
Courses are broken down into individual lessons and modules that you complete as you learn the subject matter. They’re also geared toward moving students to apply their new skills. The HTML/CSS course, for example, encourages students to create their own website upon completion of the material.
Let’s put it like this…in Codeacademy’s own forcefully stated words, “Codecademy is free and always will be.”
With so many free and low-cost options for learning new and increasingly valuable digital marketing skills, the question certainly isn’t whether you can afford to do it, but rather how to find the time and which course to choose.
What’s your New Skills Resolution for 2014? And how are you planning to fulfill it?