Education 2.0

As a current student I think I can provide an interesting perspective on the marketing industry, at least from the view of how it’s being taught to soon to be graduates.

Check out this article by Alana Taylor and pretty much replace the word “journalism” with “marketing”. That’s how I feel. Even as a student of one of, if not, the best marketing degrees in Victoria (modest, I know) the course is lacking. I can’t help but feel that a student who graduates in two years (like myself) is going to be so far behind the industry it’s not funny. Unless of course they’re researching this stuff independently or learning and blogging about it on the side.

I know as a blogger I’m far too bias towards the idea of blogging. But all evidence, according to my own personal experience, tells me that being active in this area is better than nothing. I imagine when I graduate I’ll be fine, but what about everyone else?

  • Wags
    Posted at November 9, 2008 9:58pm, 09 November Reply

    I like it when you post on this issue, Zac. Don’t complain too much, or things will change and you’ll lose your competitive advantage! 😉

    Alana’s post is great, and I agree fully with her and with you. I’ve started discussing this very issue at my new blog, RenewEd… I’d love to hear what you think.


  • Gavin Heaton
    Posted at November 10, 2008 8:10am, 10 November Reply

    I think too many students have the wrong view of university. It doesn’t and shouldn’t prepare you for a career. A university education should teach you to learn, to be curious and adventurous in your research and to be disciplined in your execution of ideas.

    I learned more in my first couple of years out of university than I had learned in the previous 10 … and continue to to do so. Interestingly, blogging has been a recent addition to my knowledge arsenal … but it is just one element. Those who engage in extra-curricular activities are always going to hold an advantage over those who don’t. Just keep pushing it … you’ll be amazed how far you can get 😉

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at November 10, 2008 10:29am, 10 November Reply

    @ Gavin

    Hmm, I’d never really thought of it that way. And, I suppose, it has made me curious enough to go looking into the social media area.

    However I would say the majority of students, like myself, believe we attend university to prepare ourselves for our career, or at least get the piece of paper so we can get a foot in the door.

  • Tannie
    Posted at November 10, 2008 10:45am, 10 November Reply

    I concur on this point. Melbourne Uni would probably be even further lacking due to its resistance to moving with the times.

    Gavin has pretty much summed it up right though. University is just a base. If degrees moved with the times then a 2008 degree may be worth more than a degree from 2006 but then worth less in 2010 when they had to teach something new. They teach us the things that don’t change in order to have anything the same.

    Then because of the field we’re in we still have to learn the new things. To be honest I have tossed this issue up in my head a lot. One of the defining moments was my frustration and embarrassment at the beersphere where I had no idea what any of the jargon referred to and when SEO is dropped every second sentence it’s really hard to not wonder just what you’re being taught.

    As much as a degree sets you up, it’s still no comparison to experience.

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at November 10, 2008 11:59am, 10 November Reply

    @ Tannie

    I wouldn’t stress over the jargon. Remember that the beershperes are made up with the majority of social media marketers. If it was Market Research or Direct Marketing, I’d feel the same way.

  • Adam
    Posted at November 10, 2008 2:43pm, 10 November Reply

    QUT in Brisbane is the same – the further into the degree you get, the more jaded you become with what’s being taught. The world is moving faster, and large institutions struggle to keep up. It depressed me a little when I realised that. I wish uni was a shining beacon of education, not some curmudgeon creature struggling to maintain relevance.

    Every semester since first year, I’ve picked a few class mates in my tutorials and asked “Why are you here?”? By third year, I stopped asking when I realised that 90% of the responses were “To get a piece of paper.” That’s not the point of being at uni at all.

    Uni is part of the journey, not the end result. It should provide direction, not definition. It supplies the bare basics of your education – it’s up to you to fill in the rest with what you want to learn, like extending our knowledge via the blogosphere. And education doesn’t stop when we graduate!

  • Morgan Coudray
    Posted at November 10, 2008 5:33pm, 10 November Reply

    Zac, what a great post!!! I feel the same way you do and my blogging experience has been there to fill that same void. I’m a 4th year Marketing student at Queen’s U, Canada. My studies, have been, in my pinion, way too general and theoretical that blogging is helping me learn significantly more about the industry!

    But best of all, Zac, is that you pin-pointed the perfect term for it: Education 2.0.

  • Daniel Oyston
    Posted at November 10, 2008 6:58pm, 10 November Reply

    I was a little concerned with Alana’s thought that everyone should have a blog.

    As new as I am to blogging I think it is dangerous to think like that. I have very quickly realised that a lot of blogs out there are complete gibber and offer no value apart from “that’s interesting”.

    Has anyone thought what employers think when they see a blog from a potential employee that is gibberish and has zero comments against most of the posts? Certainly wouldn’t fill them with confidence.

    I know people shouldn’t be at uni “just for the piece of paper” but I personally believe it says a lot about a person who can commit to it and finish it
    (everyone knows that it isn’t easy). I should know, I actually got kicked out of uni my first time around (Zac, that’s a story for over a beer).

    Zac, just get involved as much as you can and get involved in projects and businesses in your holidays. You will learn just as much from these things as you will in the classroom particularly because you will have some real experience to relate to – you will find it helps your uni learning because you become more critical of things rather than just accepting them. Trust me, I found my Master of Marketing while working full-time an absolute pleasure.

    And believe me, you will always be learning new stuff . Some of us remember when we had to do assignments on what the world wide web actually was! I remember ringing my old man from the library and asking what the http:// bit was all about. That’s disturbing.

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at November 10, 2008 9:56pm, 10 November Reply

    Great discussion, thanks for the comments guys.

    @ Adam

    Interestingly, Monash’s motto after Latin translation is I’m still learning. Do you blog yourself?

    @ Morgan

    Just looking through your blog now, I think I have a fetish for student blogs.

    My mentor and first marketing lecture actually tries to teach with Web 2.0, and recently started a blog on the very subject called RenewEd. It’s interesting to see both how it can be used to teach and how it can be taught (especially in terms of marketing).

    @ Daniel

    Not everyone should have a blog. But I know I threw out my resume last week and from now on will just link people here. I’m looking forward to that beer.

  • Stan Lee
    Posted at November 10, 2008 10:32pm, 10 November Reply

    Drum roll please….

    Stan takes the the pulpit and proudly proclaims:

    I never went to Uni!

    Didn’t finish school either.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at November 10, 2008 10:35pm, 10 November Reply

    Excellent advice for uni kids in this week's Monday Whip over at Junior>

  • Morgan Coudray
    Posted at November 11, 2008 1:27pm, 11 November Reply

    @Zac, Thanks for pointing me to your mentor’s website. He’s clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to envisioning the future of education.

  • Ben
    Posted at November 13, 2008 5:51pm, 13 November Reply

    Good discussion area.

    I presented earlier in the year a lecture on digital media to Masters of Advertising Students at RMIT … in their 5th year of tertiary education … they told me this was the first time they had been told about digital channels. I was shellshocked given the new marcomms/advertising environment.

  • Wags
    Posted at December 3, 2008 10:55pm, 03 December Reply

    I think this sums it all up very nicely.

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