So you want to take an online certification course to amplify your skillset? Google generates a plethora of options to choose from. Where do you start? Here’s my personal review on trying out two separate courses from two major learning platforms!
1. Huspot Academy: Free online training for sales, marketing, and customer marketing.
2. Udemy: Online education provider for professionals and students enhance career development. https://www.udemy.com
As we all know, 2020 has been one heck of a year. The fact that for months on end, we’ve all been creating a new routine in quarantine has been INSANE. Finding normalcy and motivation has been a struggle. I don’t know about you but after graduating in the midst of a pandemic, I needed a time out. Time to myself. No school, no job hunting, no responsibility other than wearing a mask and socially distancing. Also, to my 2020 grads, pat yourself on the back for that one because it was a wild ride.
After giving myself that much needed break, I was ready to start exploring for jobs. I was updating my LinkedIn and trying to think of ways to revamp my resumé. I felt with the roles I wanted, I needed more under my belt. I had a strong desire to learn about Marketing, specifically Digital Marketing and Social Media, as I had worked on projects in the past and loved it! Next thing I know, I’m googling “best free and paid marketing courses.” After a multitude of indecisiveness, recommendations and reading reviews, I went with HubSpot Academy’s “Social Media Marketing” certification course and Udemy’s “Canva Graphic Design for Entrepreneurs - Design 11 Projects.”
Here’s my breakdown of each:
1. HubSpot Academy offers free online certification courses. I took the Social Media Marketing Course, a lengthy six hours course that is broken up into sections, making it easier to learn and retain the information. Its layout was filled with vibrant pre-recorded lectures and slides. It’s stocked with lots of information and a great introductory on the basics of Social Media Marketing. From understanding the differences of ‘B2B’ vs ‘B2C’, analytics and the differences between how each platform engages with their audience or client. Not only were the slides visually appealing, but the instructors were very engaging. Some guest speakers from Brand Development and Social Media sectors within both large and small businesses shared their strategies which was insightful. Overall the course was aesthetic to the eye, easy to follow, and I didn’t have a problem navigating the course especially when note taking.
Hubspot Academy: Social Media Marketing Course: Get Certified in Social Media Strategy
2. Udemy, on the other hand, was a paid course and featured a very similar format with a more interactive approach. There were 11 chapters with each chapter focusing on a design ranging from creating a Facebook Ad to a Pinterest Graphic, and more. The instructors provided self-recorded videos of themselves; however, the majority of videos shown were shared screen recordings of the instructors’ PC/laptop. Ideally as you are watching the course, you would be following along by having a separate browser open for Canva. In each chapter, you were tasked to upload your final product creation to the community wall for peer and instructor feedback. An issue I faced included layout differences of the instructor’s version of Canva versus mine. The Canva shown in the course was slightly outdated. It took some playing around with the website to figure out where all the new tabs locations were placed. Other than that, I enjoyed this hands-on approach to learning and found it as a very useful guide. Definitely was very beginner friendly to anyone who isn’t familiar with many social media platforms or creating designs. I loved how Canva does not require a software installation while showcasing a wide variety of templates.
As this was my first attempt at trying an online certification course, I am pleased with the outcome. If I had to choose between the two, I would recommend HubSpot based on its ease of use and the value (hello -- Free!). Udemy charges for their curriculum and offers a range of prices to fit your budget constraints. Overall, I was highly satisfied on both platforms and would encourage anyone who is interested in Social Media and Digital Marketing to check these out.
About the Author:
Sydney is a recent graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is working to pursue a career in Social Media, Brand Marketing and Events; she is interested in working in the entertainment, food, or tech industries. Her best quarantine buds are two French Bulldogs named Brie and Bleu (yes, after the cheese). You can connect with her through email firstname.lastname@example.org or on instagram @sydfishback!