While digital marketing has long been a crucial tool for organizations to reach their target audiences, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of practices and skills that can enhance business outcomes and open doors to career opportunities.
As a growing tech hub that has attracted the likes of Amazon and Shopify, Vancouver provides a range of options for digital marketers. Yet, they require up-to-date skills and knowledge for navigating a fast-evolving technology landscape.
Jelly Academy addresses this skills gap by offering micro-credential programs for working with industry-recognized platforms such as Hootsuite, Google and Meta.
“The tech market is becoming very big, both in Vancouver and beyond, and digital marketing is part of it,” says Chris Penner, account manager at Jelly Academy.
“We know there is a high demand for these professionals. Based on a quick search on LinkedIn at the end of January, we found 86,000 open positions in digital marketing across Canada.”
Penner, who has a marketing degree, soon realized that to “dive into the world of digital marketing,” having a grasp on how to use specific technology is essential.
“In digital marketing, you're required to use all these tools with Google, Hootsuite and Meta,” he says. “For example, you need to understand the value of Google ads and Google analytics – and how they can be effectively used in the business world. Without learning these things, it's tough to get a job.”
That’s why Jelly Academy offers rapid re-skilling and 11 micro-credentials in the fundamental sectors of digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media, Instagram and Facebook ads, Google ads and Google analytics. The courses provide in-depth training virtually, producing industry-recognized credentials.
“We ask students about their knowledge level and share this information with our instructors who can then adjust their lessons accordingly,” Penner explains.
“We have a standard curriculum, but we also have the flexibility to include some foundational knowledge that can help prepare people who are relatively new to a topic before diving into more complex subject matter.”
Flexible course delivery also means students can complete their program while continuing to attend work or school.
“These credentials are available online, 24/7. The course is taught over Zoom, and we also provide our students with recordings, in case they're not able to attend class,” he continues.
Beyond enabling career success through skill-building, Jelly Academy is also committed to increasing diversity in the tech and marketing industries, which typically have a lower representation of racialized workers, including Indigenous people.
“In Canada, there is a very small percentage of Indigenous people in digital marketing or tech,” Penner describes. “We want to fill this gap and help people get into these roles.”
In order to increase Indigenous student participation, Jelly Academy has teamed up with organizations like the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business and the First Nations Technology Council. Efforts to make courses more accessible for Indigenous learners include offering scholarships and supplying digital and tech equipment through a partnership with Best Buy.
This collaborative approach “has really made a difference,” says Penner. “Last semester, we had 40 Indigenous graduates (or about 80% of our total graduates).”
The online learning environment also attracts participants from various ages and backgrounds, from high-school students looking to enter the job market and mid-level professionals seeking to update their skill sets – to entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to boost market reach and outcomes.
“Everyone's on Zoom together, so it becomes quite interactive, and there are lots of opportunities for exchanging ideas and experiences,” he says.
Combine this stimulating environment with instructors brimming in industry experience, and you have a recipe for success.
“With these credentials, our graduates can apply for these jobs with confidence,” Penner emphasizes.
“And employers know these new hires can make a difference from day one.”
To learn more or register today, visit jellyacademy.ca.