By Jonathan Mayes
Congratulations!! You’ve made it to the last week of classes in what has been an
undoubtably strange, and often times, never ending spring semester. In normal times, people would be leaving a classroom setting and exchanging it for an office setting for their internship.
However, in times like these, it seems like internships in the communication and
marketing industry are few and far to come by as many companies can’t afford to hire interns due to economic effects brought on by the pandemic. If you’re like myself and are still on the hunt for experience to gain this summer, there are other ways you can continue to sharpen and learn new skills in the industry over the summer, even though you don’t have an internship, or even if you do.
One way that you can continue to refine and expand your skills is through registering for and completing communication and marketing certificates. There are many certificate programs available from a variety of institutions and universities. Here are my top three certificates that I think you should look at earning this summer.
1: Kirwan Institute’s Implicit Bias Module Series
The set of training will not earn you a formal certificate, however, it will make you a
better and more equitable and inclusive leader after you finish the training. The Implicit Bias Module Series offered through Ohio State’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity is free for anyone to take. Over the course of four modules, participants will learn about how implicit associations are created, as well as discover what some of their own implicit biases are and how they can go about correcting them. Understanding your implicit biases and correcting them in order to become a better leader, who welcomes and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion through their leadership style and work, trumps any other professional development that you could do. That is why I’ve listed this one first.
Link to access training modules: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/implicit-bias-training/
- Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification
While we may be familiar with and know how to use popular social media apps like
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok for our personal life, do we know how to shift and use these tools effectively from a business and marketing perspective? By gaining this certification, you’ll be able to help any company you intern or work for in the future gain more followers and increase their engagement across their social media platforms. According to Hootsuite, there are multiple reasons why getting the certificate through them will be beneficial to you in the long run, including “industry-recognized certification” that will get you noticed by companies. Once you earn the certificate, you’ll earn a digital icon that you place on your resume or portfolio showcasing to perspective employers that you took the initiative and time to learn and earn the certificate.
Link to access certificate’s website: https://education.hootsuite.com/courses/social-marketing-certification
3: Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate
While you won’t be able to complete this certificate over the span of summer break,
beginning this certificate in the summer is a perfect time to knock out a good chunk of the training without worrying about school assignments and other work you normally have during the academic year. According to Google, their data analytics certificate will teach you how to “collect, transform, and organize data in order to help draw new insights and make informed business decisions.” While many of us in the communication industry close our eyes and plug our ears when we hear anything about numbers and math, the truth is that marketing and communication professionals deal a lot with numbers and analyzing consumer data on a day-to-day basis in order formulate the best marketing and communication strategy for the company/brand. Showcasing how you already know how to look at and analyze data will give you a big edge in the job candidate field.
Link to access the certificate’s website: https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-data-analytics
Not having a job or an internship for the summer may feel like the end of the world.
However, one of the main things that employers look for is that you’re constantly seeking to learn and grow. By enrolling in and earning these certificates, you can proudly demonstrate to future hiring managers that you’re always eager for a challenge and are committed to continually learning and growing your skill set in the industry.