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Can we make higher education relevant to the needs of the search & social media marketing industry?

Heinze, A and Fletcher, G 2011, Can we make higher education relevant to the needs of the search & social media marketing industry? , in: 6th Education in a Changing Environment Conference, Creativity and Engagement in Higher Education, 6-8 July 2011, Salford, Greater Manchester.

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      Abstract

      Higher education institutions are often criticised for their lack of relevant educational courses that will equip students with the skills to meet specific industry needs. The issue of relevant education has been of particular significance to highly dynamic business information technology related subjects. This paper presents a discussion that outlines the benefits and advantages of including “Search & Social Media Marketing” as a taught subject within higher education. The key argument presented here is that search and social media marketing not only provides relevance to an emerging commercial industry, but also represents an opportunity for delivering cutting-edge education that crosses a range of disciplinary boundaries by having the topic itself provide context and content. Search and social media marketing is a topic largely defined by the emerging need of marketing professionals to engage and apply their pre-existing knowledge and strategies to the context of search engines and social media. The data gathered in this case study is based on four action research cycles conducted during the academic years 2008/09 and 2010/11. Additionally, data was collected using an industry survey of 112 respondents who attended the Search Analytics and Social Conference (SASCon 2010), search & social media marketing (www.searchmarketing.salford.ac.uk) short course participants and UK-based marketing agencies. The key findings of this study are that a) the Search & Social Media Marketing industry is growing, but is still in its infancy and offers a great opportunity for collaboration between the industry and higher education but b) despite the healthy and growing career opportunities within the discipline, there is a lack of higher education provision to support students interested in the industry, demonstrating the need for academics to engage in this subject area.

      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
      Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Centre for Digital Business
      Publisher: University of Salford
      Refereed: Yes
      Depositing User: Dr Aleksej Heinze
      Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2011 10:44
      Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:03
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/16971

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