Ohio Christian University (OCU) is partnering with education and technology leader Accelerated Retention Institute (ARI) to provide a first-to-market digital marketing and e-commerce micro-credentialing course designed to address training for the overwhelming demand for digital marketing jobs in the US and abroad. For more on ARI's educational products, click ARI.
ARI’s digital marketing and w-commerce micro-certification course is designed to be a complete immersive program offering 20 days of intense study. The firm deploys advanced learning, video-based technology giving students flexibility in how they receive the education. Students use three delivery methods: 1) Live instruction at OCU’s Business Innovation Center (OCUBIC) or one of its affiliate sites, 2) Live-streamed instruction to their office or home, and 3) On-demand training with courses taken as the student’s time permits.
Upon course completion, students may apply to receive four college credits with OCU that can be applied toward an OCU B. A. degree and receive an ARI certificate of completion. Anyone may participate in the program without being an OCU student. “Upon discovering the ARI micro-credential, we knew this program would advance our workforce development priority while simultaneously placing valuable, skilled digital marketing professionals where they are needed most,” says Craig Brown, Director & Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development.
ARI has developed a proprietary, forward-thinking pedagogy that offers students a mix of a micro-learning lecture format combined with experiential learning, a process through which students develop skills and values from direct experiences. All course content is focused on practical, applicable, and current methods designed to equip students with knowledge that can be immediately used in the workforce as an employee, independent contractor, or through owning their own digital marketing agency as an entrepreneur. Each ARI instructor is a current practicing professional in the specific area of study that they teach and owns or operates a business within that specific core competency.
Jack Holloway, President of ARI, explains that “The success of our students is measured in their ability to get digital marketing results for their employers or clients. Having instructors who work daily in the industry guarantees our students the most current up-to-date methods that create results.” Courses include the following: Social Media Presence, Internet Marketing Tools, Mobile Videos and Photography, YouTube Marketing, Facebook 101 – 301, Instagram Marketing, SEO, Google Adwords 101 and 201, Social Media Marketing Strategies, and more.
Demand for digital marketing jobs has nearly doubled in the last five years, according to Burning Glass Technologies, August 24, 2017 (https://www.burning-glass.com/blog/demand-digital-marketing-skills-doubles/). The article states that digital marketing skills carry a nearly $7,000 salary premium over other marketing roles and that digital marketing jobs take 16% longer to fill.
Five years ago, OCU realized that southern Ohio was severely underserved with respect to entrepreneurial resources, so that it could serve the growing demand in areas like digital marketing. As a solution, OCU created the Ohio Christian University Business Innovation Center. OCUBIC fosters and supports an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, venture acceleration, job creation, and workforce development by providing access to flexible space, training, mentoring, resources, and other business services in the achievement of increased regional economic prosperity.
Dr. Jon Kulaga, President of Ohio Christian University, explains that “Digital marketing changes so fast that by the time the ink is dry in a textbook the information is out of date. ARI is the first dynamic, digital marketing curriculum I have ever seen that is taught by real practitioners using real-time information. Hosting the first-ever micro-credentialing program at OCUBIC is directly in line with our mission to supply workforce development to Ohio businesses.”
The first social media and e-commerce micro-credentialing course begins July 16, 2018. OCUBIC has dedicated 80 seats for students on campus. Distance learning capacity is 300 students. “Interest in the program has been overwhelming. Our goal is to deliver a high-quality program that yields immediate results for students,” says Holloway. The next course is scheduled for late fall 2018.
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