This is an advanced programme of study which is suitable for people who have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of three years work experience in digital or marketing.
The content has been developed in consultation with the industry – via 172 hours of workshops between Google and over 30 agencies and 300 marketing professionals – to address specific digital needs and skills gaps. And it doesn’t stop there: we’re in continued conversation with top brands to understand their needs and help them anticipate change in this rapidly evolving industry.
A certificate endorsed by Google, the IPA (Institute of Practitioners of Advertising, one of the most established trade bodies in the advertising industry) and the Home Learning College (UK’s number one in distance learning).
In addition, Squared Online is endorsed by the IAB (the Internet Advertising Bureau) and accredited by the CPD Standards Office, who are overseen by an expert advisory board comprising professional experts drawn from academia, employers and professional bodies. We hope you’ll also get a great network of like minded people, and a few experiences along the way.
The course provides a strategic overview of the digital landscape and focuses on helping students to join the dots and understand how the various elements fit together.
Squared Online covers a variety of topics from the nature of digital disruption and social consumerism, to digital integration, gaining insights from data and trend spotting.
Along the way we’ll dip into specific platforms, such as Adwords and Analytics, to provide an introduction to these valuable tools. However, the course is not tactical so if you want to become an expert in a particular channel then you may wish to continue your studies in that area after finishing Squared Online.
Alongside the digital aspects of the course you will also be presented with numerous opportunities to develop your ability to work effectively in virtual teams, to become self reflective and to give and receive constructive feedback – all skills which are essential to become a digital agent of change.
Since launching in 2013, Squared has seen success with employers who send their people on the programme, and some of their testimonials feature on the website. Squared Online as a curriculum is also crowd-sourced, and based on what employers in the digital marketing industry have told us they want from their teams.
But what do our graduates say? From our latest survey of Squared Online alumni:
(Sample size of 155, 2014).
We’ll give you digital marketing projects to work on which are real, or based on real-world scenarios. This is to make sure your time on the course is as practical and relevant as possible, and you have a chance to apply the knowledge you gain through your live classes. As an example, we have given previous students access to our own Analytics account, so they have an opportunity to analyse real data-sets within the tool.
Squared Online is ideal for anyone who meets our entry criteria and is interested in honing their understanding of digital strategy and collaboration skills. Typical Squared Online students are marketing managers and executives across brands, agencies, SMEs and the third sector.
Many of our students have some marketing or digital experience and are often working in related executive or managerial positions. Having said that, we also welcome those who are new to digital alongside more senior people who may have been working in marketing for years but want to acquire and brush up on their knowledge.
This broad mix of students is something we actively encourage and which we believe offers a valuable opportunity to develop a broad professional network containing a wide range of differing opinions and experiences.
Google leads the digital marketing programme but designed it in partnership with the industry. The Squared team is committed to providing an independent perspective, and discussing a good representation of core digital products and services in our curriculum.
The digital revolution is fast-moving, and you’re responsible for your own learning. We give you a framework but Squared Online is all about finding the answers for yourself and active, ongoing participation. You will be continually placed in situations where you are required to research, collaborate, debate and share information. We believe that this is a robust approach that ensures you’ll be well prepared to adapt to the constant change you’ll be challenged with. So if you want to just sit in lectures, take notes and work through a reading list, this course probably isn’t quite right for you.
Specifically, the course is split into modules which in turn are broken down into weeks. Each week comprises a set of required online activities and an online live class covering a particular topic. These classes are interactive and discursive sessions in which students are encouraged to share their views and questions based on the activities associated with that week.
Running alongside this weekly activity are projects that have to be completed during each module. Four out of five Squared Online projects are completed within groups and require the submission of a collective piece of work.
Personal and group reflections are also required elements of each module and form an essential aspect of the assessment criteria.
It is recommended that live classes and recordings are accessed via a wired device with a working microphone and speakers. Pop-up blockers should be turned off and the latest version of Flash player installed. Participants wishing to watch classes via a mobile device will need to install the Adobe Connect app.
Squares will retain access to all learning materials on the Virtual Campus for eight months from the course start date.
The Squared Online support team is key to the whole experience. They are available by phone, email or forums on the Virtual Campus to answer queries, provide assistance and stimulate conversations.
We understand that life sometimes gets in the way of study, so they are the first port of call if you experience a situation that may affect your ability to complete the course. They’re also the people who help keep the group work flowing smoothly and who are involved in every live class alongside the tutor where they respond to questions and facilitate some of the activities.
The support team take pride in their own digital knowledge, but if there’s something they can’t answer then they refer that question to a tutor or subject matter expert who swings into action to provide the necessary response.
We think this digital marketing course should take you eight hours a week, including classes and time spent on assignments, so you would need to allow for this in your schedule. There are six months of classes and you’ll get breaks during the course to help you catch up if you fall behind. You’ll also have a dedicated support team who will help keep you on track. Don’t forget that all materials and recorded classes are housed in a live campus, so you will always have the flexibility to catch up.
If you want to get the full benefit of sending your staff on the programme, then preparing them for the eight hour weekly time commitment is essential. Employers who want to get the best results for their teams would ideally be prepared to support their staff in taking the time to complete the programme to the best of their ability.
Squares work in groups for four of out five modules throughout the programme, so holiday which falls during a project will need to be communicated to fellow team members, with work allocated accordingly. Participants must also catch up on any live classes they have missed by watching the recordings which will be available on the Virtual Campus.
Cohorts start each month and vary in size from around 200 to 400 students. We receive thousands of enquiries every month, and our admissions team take great care to ensure that those who successfully enrol have the mindset to become agents of change.
The digital marketing course is focussed around group assignments. We think that in this rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever to be able to work well in a team, share information, and get to a great result. So yes, you will need to participate in group work in order to pass the programme.
Squared was originally developed by Google in 2012 as a full time six week face-to-face course which was designed to develop digital leaders of the future. This focus on the combination of digital knowledge and collaborative skills is a fundamental aspect of Squared and the cornerstone around which all of the content is built.
Squared Online launched in 2013 as the part-time, online learning version of that programme. It’s developed with Google and powered by Home Learning College. What does this mean? Home Learning College runs all of the day-to-day operations associated with Squared Online, from marketing and admissions to delivery of the course. The course content is an equal collaboration between both organisations – we jointly discuss and agree on all aspects of the course, from the syllabus and learning objectives to the tutor recruitment and the teaching style.
Home Learning College is part of a wider online education business called Floream which has partnerships with a number of well known organisations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) amongst others.
Up until four weeks before the course start date (when log-in details are sent out for the Virtual Campus):
Collaboration and sharing knowledge with others is a key part of Squared Online, and the Squared Network exists to stimulate those discussions both during the course and long after graduation.
In addition to various forums and activities on the Squared Online Virtual Campus, we also create an exclusive Google+ community for each cohort. Students are encouraged to use this space to post news and interesting articles, seek advice and secure feedback from their peers on all kind of topics, from interview tips to finding beta testers for new business ideas.
Having successfully completed the course, Squares are invited to join an alumni community on Google+ where they can develop the same relationships with graduates from every online and face to face cohort. This lively community is growing rapidly, and is a hot-bed for ideas and professional opportunities.
Alongside Google+ there are other social spaces where students and alumni can chat and share information such as LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as various events and initiatives throughout the year such as parties, networking sessions and focus groups.
As with all things digital, the Squared Online course is continually iterated. We’re always on the hunt for feedback from students and take every opportunity to feed that back into our development of the course.