Is College Education Worth It? Higher Education versus Real-time Education
During the 1950’s it was possible to get a well-paying job without a college degree, but now, not only do you have to think about attaining a college diploma but also incorporating relevant work experience into your school schedule. The workplace dynamic is constantly changing and there is an increasing need to be well versed in multiple areas of your career.
For example, to go into the marketing realm you may not only need to write well but also know design, data analytics, strategic communication and more to be considered a prime candidate for a position. Optimum7 has partnered with Florida International University’s Global Strategic Communication (GSC) Master in Science Program for the past 5 years to give students the opportunity to experience real-life work in the digital marketing industry. More specifically, with their Creative Track, as it aligns perfectly with the work seen at a full-service digital agency like Optimum7. The partnership has flourished to become one of the main features of the curriculum and will continue to work toward educating in a real-time education manner. This enables students to learn about marketing products or services, email marketing, search engines, digital products, and social media marketing platforms.
The Current State of Education
The reality of the current education system is that it is outdated and is failing our students. Students are not learning about the industry pressures found in the workplace, the need for diversified skills, and knowing how to branch out and work with related programs of your major. The education system needs to integrate real-time education into their curriculum in order to provide truly valuable skills for their students. There are only a few universities and programs that have taken the first step into this new era of education (internship programs, work experience placement, etc.)
Right here in Miami, Florida, we have the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine working toward providing medical students with “real-world, hands-on” relevant experiences in their very own teaching hospital. Medical students not only come out of the Miller School of Medicine with an MD but also with years of real-time experience working alongside physicians to guide them through various medical procedures. In other words, highly employable to hiring managers in the world of work.
Equally important, Goldman Sachs, a Fortune 500 investment banking firm began their 10,000 Small Business philanthropic initiative 10 years ago. This program has helped numerous small businesses in all 50 states by providing them with greater access to education, capital and business support services to 7,600 graduates. On average, business owners have seen a 4% increase in business by completing the 10,000 Small Businesses Programs and adding it to their work history.
Real-time Learning from a Real-world Partnership: Optimum7 and Florida International University
Optimum7, an international full-service internet marketing agency with an office in Miami and one in Turkey has been a local pioneer in syncing real-world experiences with real education. The company has been partnering with the Florida International University M.S. in Global Strategic Communication – Creative Track Program since 2014 to provide students with real-time skills, workshops, and speaking engagements.
Duran Inci, CEO of Optimum7 and Grizelle De Los Reyes, GSC Director believe the students of today need to come out of their degree confident to step into their chosen roles in the digital and creative sectors. This is done by educating students on complex information while teaching them how to transform this information into actionable tasks that can be implemented to produce positive results. Students come out of Duran Inci’s workshops with a wealth of knowledge on the latest technological trends, how to use digital marketing strategy to your advantage, and key characteristics every business student should have when entering the workplace. This creates tremendous value and possible work experience for students since everything discussed in real-time.
The fast-paced internet marketing company that is Optimum7 has been in the field for over 15 years and has worked with hundreds of companies in almost every industry. In 2019, employers are looking for “growth hires” or people with t-shaped expertise meaning they are an expert in one area but skilled in many.
The M.S. in GCS Creative Track partnership with Optimum7 harmonizes creativity with communication to create a one of a kind program that offers students salient skills on digital marketing, copywriting, designing, and more. This program gives students the resources to develop their t- shaped expertise while doing real-time work. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to dip their feet in a myriad of sectors of communication, marketing, and design. Some careers to look into are:
- Art Direction
- Content Marketing
… as well as many other careers that can be pursued with the in-demand skills you gained from this blend of higher education with digital marketing gurus.
Contending in a Global Job Market
The global marketplace is a force not many can keep up with no matter how many years of schooling you might have. The key is to always encourage yourself to learn more. Take time to learn something new every day. Do the courses, certifications, and programs to further develop yourself. In only 10 years 50% of the labor force will either not have a job or not have the proper skills to keep their current employment.
This reality may be surprising but with technology and other forms of learning, this number might possibly increase as the years go by. The emergence of real-time education lends itself to another workplace reality – self-taught professionals who are potentially earning triple the salary compared to their college-educated counterparts. This shows how in this day and age only a small portion of what you learn in class will be enough for you to provide valuable assets to your company. Real-time learning yields a higher chance of financial stability, an accelerated learning objective, and a curiosity for what makes you click. All this in a higher education setting all provides an invaluable network of colleagues and mentors plus a degree to validate what you know.
Work Experience Through Partnership
The major impacts of this partnership come from the 4 workshops hosted by Optimum7 to the students of the GSC Creative Track. Technology is expanding at an exponential rate, meaning the experiences we had over the past 10 years ago is worth ones we will have 2 years from now. Each and every workshop focuses on how important technology and innovation is to communication, journalism, and marketing. The workshops between Optimum7 and the GCS Creative Track are comprised of a series of three prime objectives and deliverables.
- The team of digital marketing experts at Optimum7 conduct training on content strategy and copywriting where students are given real-world topics from clients the company handles.
- The students then go through a process with the lead copywriter at Optimum7 to educate students in a diverse skill most employers are looking for in any industry – copywriting and editing.
- With this, students are able to adjust their writing for different topics and types of writing styles.
CEO, Duran Inci interacts with students first-hand by delivering seminars on technology and the digital marketplace. It is very important for the students to understand how the digital marketplace is handled in full context. He accomplishes this drawing from his over 15 years of experience working with hundreds of companies to improve their organic traffic, increase conversions, and overall expand their e-commerce company. During these seminars, Duran emphasizes how Optimum7 is an internet technology company because the company strives to build brands and businesses by knowing where technology is headed.
The team at Optimum7 provides students with audience-focused workshops and seminars in order for students to evaluate, analyze, and produce creative work that will be valuable to employers. This Real experience working with an established company like Optimum7 will differentiate students in the GSC Creative Track from the rest because Optimum7 is one of Miami’s pioneers in providing Master’s seeking students with the opportunity to develop their portfolio creative real-time work for the internet technology company.
Commitment to Excellence from FIU and the Miami Ad School
The GSC Creative Track is specifically designed to enhance the skills creatives will need to advance in a career in communications. In this highly selective program, the student body averages between 35-40 students with 9-10 students graduating per semester. FIU collaborates with the Miami Ad School, a premier portfolio focused school to ensure job-ready graduates. With the techniques and skills taught by Optimum7 and the data-driven curriculum of the GSC Creative Track graduates have an advantage over their competitors when entering the job field, on average students have a nearly 100% success rate when finding a job after graduation.
These are some of the responses from students about the workshop conducted by O7 and the experience of writing a search optimized blog article under the supervision of a digital agency/senior copywriter.
“Having the experience to write a blog under the guidance of a senior copywriter allowed me to understand the importance of an outline, as it makes the work much easier. It gave me insight on how to create more tension along with my writing, allowing me to create more interesting, motivating and valuable content for my audience. And, last but not least it showed me that well-written blogs are an amazing tool to drag your audience attention.” – Leo Fonseca, Florida International University Student 2019.
“Working with an experienced copywriter is an experience that not many have the opportunity to take advantage of. Jennifer pushes your limits and your mind to get out of your comfort zone and create work you never knew you’d enjoy. This opportunity has taught me how to think like a copywriter and be meticulous with my writing. Throughout this experience, I learned that constructive criticism may be hard to hear when you’ve worked so hard but taking it all in and doing another round will make you fall more in love with your end product. I can proudly say that from how I started to how I finished, I have matured as a copywriter and grown immensely.” – Natalie Castro, Miami Ad School Student 2019.
“The workshop inspired me to dig into new digital trends, which are key factors in the advertising world. If we search something and we really understand what we are talking about, words come naturally and therefore we create good content.” -Maria Nasser Afane, Miami Ad School Graduate 2019
College Done Right Is Worth It
The reality of the job market today is that as the years go by and technological advances widen the gap between those with experience enough to adapt, employers are seeking out potential employees with a ready-to-go diversified skill set in digital media, online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and many other digital channels.
There is a need for variability in what new graduates have to offer to a company. With the real-time education students will be attaining while participating in the GSC Creative Track, students will have true knowledge on the importance of communicating, adapting and being innovative to effectively compete with other creatives.
People seeking relevant full-time work experience while fulfilling their need for a creative outlet can get their hands dirty and their brains fueled with the resources this ingenious partnership. Get in contact today to get your degree while obtaining gainful work experience.