What difference do digital marketing qualifications make?

‘I now have the confidence to apply for jobs I wouldn’t have done before. It’s like a security blanket, the ultimate tool in the arsenal.’

How it started

June 2015 graduate Reece Cargan came across Squared Online trying to turn a let-down into an up-swing.

‘I had applied for a Marketing Manager job at a university, and got down to the final two. In the end they went with the other candidate and when I asked for feedback, they said it had come down to the fact the other person had a professional copywriting qualification. So I decided to turn that around.’

And he didn’t do it by halves either. Reece enrolled on a digital copywriting course, and joined Squared Online to study marketing simultaneously. How did he do it? ‘A very understanding partner,’ he tells us, ‘I would basically come home from work, set up camp at the kitchen table and get my head down.’

He recommends that anyone considering further study makes the most of it: ‘don’t think you can be a passenger. With digital marketing qualifications like Squared Online you get out what you put in.’

Getting his dream job

And his hard work juggling work and study paid off: Reece changed jobs halfway through Squared Online, when his dream role came up at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

‘I didn’t do a marketing degree at university,’ he explains, ‘and for a long time in my career I had been trying to find my way back into film and media, which are my passions. When a Web Editor job came up at the EIFF, with my digital marketing qualifications behind me, I finally had the confidence to apply - which I wouldn’t have had previously.’

So what had his decision to study marketing changed for him? ‘Data. It was an area I’d never really understood and had always shied away from, but having done Squared Online I was able to go into the interview and talk knowledgably about how data shapes content and how I’d use data when creating content for the festival.’


Looking to the future

Reece is hoping to reprise his role at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival next year, but in the mean time he continues to see the benefits of his decision to pursue further study - not least in helping him define what he wants to do, and pro-actively plan to make it happen.

‘Digital marketing qualifications like Squared Online add gravitas to your CV: employers comment on it, recruitment agents pick up on it. It’s a two-way thing: you have increased confidence in yourself and you see that confidence reflected back at you by employers.

Reece is currently working as a Content Designer for the Scottish Government in Edinburgh, where data continues to inform his approach:

‘Interrogating and using data is key when designing content for people. Whether you’re looking at what people are searching for to add value to your proposition during the research phase, or looking at how articles performed, it’s now critical to what I do. But every area of the course has made an impact in some way. It’s like glass shattering: your perception and work practices completely change. No matter what industry you work in, when you learn marketing you’re developing actionable, transferrable skills.

He recently even came across a familiar face at the office during a recent contract at digital agency Blonde : Eleanna Sbokou, a fellow Square who appeared in Reece’s first ever Squared Online class to talk about her experience on the course, is a Content Marketing Executive at their London base. ‘We had a few stories to share at the Christmas party,’ he says.

Reece Cargan is on LinkedIn. If you're on the course, or considering joining, drop him a line @reececargan - he's more than happy to chat all things Squared.

No marketing degree? No problem. To find out how jumping aboard to learn marketing with Squared Online has helped other students increase their confidence in digital and progress their career, check out Viv and Sarah’s graduate stories