Preparing the Next Generation of Marketing and Media Professionals

by Lisa Hanna

posted on 09-27-2018

Experiential education is widely viewed as the best approach to preparing college students for real-world careers and is a growing method among the nation’s colleges and universities. East Tennessee State University (ETSU) has taken a highly targeted approach to its experiential education model, with a focus on preparing students for successful careers in digital marketing.

Partnering with Adobe Experience Cloud, ETSU is giving students hands-on experience with some of the most advanced marketing technologies around. Its interdisciplinary Master of Arts program in Brand and Media Strategy is improving job prospects for graduates while also making ETSU a more popular target for private sector support, with 70 professional advisors from local, regional, and national companies currently engaging with the school.

ETSU narrows the marketing skills gap

With companies struggling to fill positions that involve marketing analytics and advertising technologies, ETSU decided to take the initiative and build a new pipeline of talent within its student body.

“We created the Brand and Media Strategy program to fill what we saw as an industry-wide knowledge gap,” says Stephen Marshall, Ph.D., Chair of the Media and communications Department at ETSU. “We help students understand the foundation of digital marketing and creating personalized experiences so that they can immediately contribute to their future employers’ success.”

Students use Adobe Experience Manager to create online content, Adobe Analytics to understand customer data, and Adobe Target to test marketing strategies and target content at different audiences.

“Employers aren’t just looking for degrees; they want to recruit people with applicable skills and experience,” says Dr. Marshall. “Companies recognize the value of hiring an ETSU graduate who already has experience working with Adobe Experience Cloud and is ready to help companies connect with customers using sophisticated digital strategies.”

Building this type of specialized program has already made a major impact on the school’s enrollment numbers and is helping to attract more private sector support.

Cementing ETSU as a leader in higher education

“Students are attracted to our experiential learning approach, demonstrated by the growth in the graduate program over the past two years,” says Melanie B. Richards, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and BucDigital Faculty Leader at ETSU.

Since launching the Brand and Media Strategy program, ETSU has seen its Department of Media and Communications graduate enrollment increase from 24 to 75 students. At the same time, it is taking an entrepreneurial approach to its funding that has yielded returns on investment through student, private sector, industry, and institutional buy-in.

“So many companies are working with Adobe Experience Cloud, but few programs bring our level of experiential education,” says Dr. Marshall. “We’re creating fantastic opportunities that attract hiring companies and new students alike because the work is real.”

Read the full story here.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Analytics, Experience Manager, Experience Cloud, Target