Minister Katherine Zappone officially launches a new BA in Digital Marketing Degree at ITT
On Monday 12th February, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and local deputy Katherine Zappone T.D. officially launched the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing (TA 117), a brand new, career-focussed Level 7 degree beginning full-time in September 2018 at the Institute of Technology Tallaght.
Developed in conjunction with representatives of Dublin’s vibrant digital community, this new degree boasts Ireland's newest digital marketing qualification and a host of subjects that are sure to attract the Instagram and Snapchat generation, as well as their future employers.
Following extensive research throughout Dublin’s Silicon Docklands and the wider business community, ITT’s Department of Marketing and Business Computing developed this brand new, employment-focussed degree, which is particularly relevant to the needs of Ireland’s fast-expanding technology sector, where ICT employers are growing their business operations at an exponential rate, with growing salaries to match.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Zappone noted that “Strategic partnerships are vital to develop Tallaght as a smart city of the future. I welcome the initiative of IT Tallaght in developing a Digital Marketing Degree through cooperation with the Silicon Docklands and the business community. I am confident that the work being undertaken now will provide Tallaght, Dublin and Ireland with future digital marketers, commentators and innovators.”
“By combining technical ability with the creativity of marketing IT Tallaght is paving the way for a generation of graduates who will be industry leaders. It marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the Institute’s 25-year history” the Minister added.
The new degree launched part-time in September 2017 with a small class. It is now offered via the CAO for full-time students starting in September 2018. At the same time, the part-time class will expand, as will the new special purpose awards: the Certificate in Social Media, Certificate in Digital Marketing, and Minor Award Certificate in Applied Digital Marketing. These short special purpose awards are primarily aimed at local industry and those looking for practical, industry-specific training in this field.
The Institute plans to continue to develop its links with this sector, as well as Irish and global business enterprise to create industry-ready, career-focussed graduates that are highly-skilled in the needs of the modern digital enterprise.
The new degree is a hybrid of digital and IT skills with international marketing and communications. “There are several key pillars or learning pathways of continuous core themes throughout the degree”, explains Glenn Mehta, Head of Department and IT Tallaght Marketing graduate. “We wanted to ensure it wasn’t just an IT or digital degree, or a pure Marketing degree, but rather offer a hybrid of these skills in one structured core degree, as these are the skills that employers are telling us are needed now and in the immediate future.”
The Digital Pathway runs throughout the degree, and develops key Digital Marketing, Marketing Technology, Social Media and Applied Global Digital Skills. Complementing this is the IT Pathway, focused on developing core IT, Database Systems, Data Analytics and Visualisation Skills, as well as Web and App development.
The Marketing Communications Pathway and International Marketing Pathway each bring a key marketing focus to the degree, and topics such as Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Business Development and Research Methods are covered. International Marketing Applications, Global PR and Trends in Culture and Societies are just some of the modules that bring a global flavour to this degree.
There is also a strong Business and Management Pathway throughout, with elements of Law, Economics, Behavioural Studies, Accounting, Statistics and Project Management forming a core pillar.
Students can then specialise with either a Languageelective pathway, or a Business Management elective pathway, or further enhance their marketing knowledge with a Media and Communications elective pathway.
“There’s a large amount of practical experience to be gained by partaking in this degree” explains Glenn Mehta, “as we encourage real-life project work as part of a continuous assessment approach, to reduce the number of final exams and assess real-life skills as they are in development. There is already an international interest in this, and the proposed add-on, the Level 8 Degree in International Digital Marketing, which we are busy developing at present.”
A welcome addition to the degree is Graphic Design, a core module to ensure that the graduate has a grounded knowledge in content creation as well as curation, in order to be part of all stages in digital marketing, from idea generation through content creation to execution, engagement and assessment.
Another core module is Marketing Technology Landscape, which will prepare students for the changing trends in digital marketing and the digital economy, and to keep on top of (and indeed ahead of) the fast-evolving trends in the sector, ensuring the longevity and relevance of their qualification.
In the final year, a Major Industry Project in the form of a Work Placement with a real-life digital enterprise will be the Capstone Project of the degree, showcasing the students’ knowledge and skills to the benefit of local and national enterprise, and offering the students the exposure to the real world of digital enterprise in preparation for their career.
Several reports icluding Teaching and Learning in Irish Higher Education (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) have identified digital skills as a key requirement in the Irish and global economy. This is also clearly identified in the European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (European Commission) and many other Irish and global reports, which discuss the need for enhanced digital and ICT skills for Ireland’s expanding digital workforce. This brand new programme goes some way to addressing this key skills shortage, and is launching this year in the fast-growing IT Tallaght campus, which has been serving the needs of the South Dublin region and beyond for 25 years.
The BA in Digital Marketing is now open for application on the CAO (TA117) and for part-time applications, both starting in September 2018.