The growth of Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization into its own field has made me think, will colleges and universities pick up on this field and offer specialized degrees or IT tracks that specifically target SEO?
It wasn’t that long ago when website design and development were only offered as online courses or in workshop type educational environments. Now degrees in web development and IT are offered everywhere. In fact, I’m taking additional IT courses at a state university in NY, and in the courses that I have taken, read about or experienced thus far, SEO has only been mentioned in passing.
I recently spoke with the department head of the computer science department and while the professor does have an active interest in this field, thus far it seems to be independent interests.
At this time there are no SEO degrees offered by colleges and universities that we could find, but there are various digital marketing degrees that cover areas such as analytics, social media, electronic marketing, content marketing, user experience and more. Some even have courses that cover search engine marketing. I am sure that SEO is discussed in some of the classes within digital marketing programs even if the track does not have an explicit SEO course.
And we do continue to find plenty of online programs offering education, courses and certificates on SEO. And maybe that’s the way it should be. Think about it – how much changes in the SEO world over the course of four years? It’s not hard to imagine that if there were a four year SEO program at a school that much of what a student learns as a freshman is outdated by the time they go to interview for a job. That’s not something the school or student would want to have happen.
As we know, to be a quality SEO strategist you need a broad range of skills that can come from a bunch of different places. The ability to analyze statistics; writing skills; passion; eye for detail; communications; ability to adapt – these are just a few I am thinking of right now. And these skills can all be learned and honed by students while they go down different degree paths that more closely align with what they love.
So without an SEO degree to earn from a college or university, our SEO strategist will continue to keep up with the latest in the field like we have done for the past two decades: attending conferences, learning from coworkers in the field, and just taking a deep breath and diving in.