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Apr 16

Category: Career Advice, Marketing & Business Development, Social Media, Technology

The marketing and communications sector is in a constant state of flux making it more crucial than ever for candidates to keep their skills up to date. What are the best online courses out there right now?

Here at 3Search, we’re huge fans of career development and learning new skills in order to stay up to date. If you sometimes think that it’s hard to keep up in today’s fast moving and constantly innovating marketing and communications sector, then the rapid growth in online courses suggests you’re not alone.

There are so many learning opportunities out there now that it can be hard to choose the courses that are most likely to boost your employment prospects. That’s why we’ve put together details of our favourite online resources covering five of the most in-demand skills today.

Writing content

It’s been said that ‘content marketing is the only marketing left’. Having team members who are able to write high quality and engaging content is increasingly the number one priority for marketing departments. But how do you write content that really engages your target audience?

Well, there’s a MOOC for that. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and they’re becoming huge in the US and beginning to take off in the UK too. The concept is really simple: a provider, often a leading university, makes a short structured course available online for anyone to take at their own pace, and normally at no cost.

There are loads of options at the sites of the major providers: EDx, FutureLearn and Coursera. A particular favourite, designed specifically for professional marketers, is Coursera’s Content Strategy for Professionals. Why not check it out?

Social media

It’s astonishing to think that LinkedIn only launched in 2003, Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Social media has really gone from being a just a second thought in the early 2000s to being at the heart of most marketing efforts today.

However, given the pace of change in the sector it isn’t always easy to know your Instagrams from your Pintrests – particularly if you’re not one part of the so-called ‘digitally native’ generation.

That’s where online courses like Hootsuite’s Hootsuite University come in. They host a wide range of webinars and courses, deep diving into topics like Social Media 101 for Business and Growing your Online Community.

Design

The latest versions of Adobe’s main products – Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign – have come down so significantly in cost that many marketing teams are choosing to bring a lot of basic design tasks in house.

The result? Marcomms candidates who know their way around these products are in demand. Think you might need to brush up your skills? Well don’t worry, Adobe have created more than 200 online tutorials ranging from masterclasses in InDesign for just £69 to a really great free course introducing Photoshop.

Presentations

When was the last time you attended a meeting or presentation that didn’t include some sort of PowerPoint presentation? The slide-making software is fast becoming the default programme not only for providing a visual aid to talks and speeches, but also as a way of presenting projects and reports. Knowing your way around it is crucial in the modern business environment.

One of the reasons it is so popular is because it offers so many options to replace boring text with interesting and engaging visuals: charts, diagrams and illustrations. However, it isn’t easy making PowerPoints look good without losing any of the vital information you’re trying to communicate.

Fortunately, Microsoft have provided more than 20 video tutorials on their website to help. They range from beginner topics like creating speaker notes through to advanced skills like inserting music and videos into your slides.

Analytics and online marketing

Understanding how marketing efforts are performing and using data to better target content is crucial. With literally billions of internet users, getting your message out to the right people is harder than ever.

Don’t worry though if you need a little help understanding which keywords are going to work best for your campaign, how to measure how your campaign is performing and where to target your efforts: Google provide a huge wealth of educational resources. Check out the Training & Certification pages on Google Analytics to see if there is anything you could add to your skill set.

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to move into a new position in the marketing and communications sector? Check out the latest opportunities on the 3Search jobs page or get in touch to discuss how we can help you advance your career.