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Generalist or Specialist: Which is Right For You?

Digital marketing covers a lot of areas. You can be a generalist with broad knowledge and skills in many or all areas of digital marketing. Or you can be a specialist focused on a very specific area, like SEO, social media marketing, or mobile marketing.

The Digital Marketing Institute addresses this, as it offers both generalist and specialist certification courses. DMI offers what it calls foundational courses like the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing for marketing professionals and entrepreneurs and the Professional Diploma in Digital Selling for sales and CRM professionals.

It also has specialist courses like the Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing for social media marketers, the Professional Diploma in Mobile Marketing for mobile marketers and app developers, the Professional Diploma in Search Marketing for SEO and PPC specialists, and the Professional Diploma in Digital Strategy and Planning for strat planners, agency heads, and heads of digital marketing departments.

How about you? Which course should you choose? Consider these factors to make your decision:

1. Your skill level

If you’re a beginner or have very little background in digital marketing or digital selling, definitely choose the foundational courses. The Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing is your best choice if you’re a marketing professional, business owner, or fresh graduate with zero or minimal digital marketing skills.

On the other hand, if you are already experienced in many aspects of digital marketing, you may want to consider to specialize in a more specific area. However, if you’re highly advanced in just one area, like SEO or social media marketing, but weak in other areas, it will certainly benefit you if you take a generalist course so that you develop broader skills and have a more holistic perspective of digital marketing.

2. Your career path

What you pursue as a career is also a key factor to consider. If you want to be a generalist, able to run social media, search, email, and mobile marketing campaigns for a brand or at a digital agency, take a generalist course.

But if you are already sure that you want to specialize in SEO, because you love SEO and you find social media or mobile marketing not your cup of tea, then go for a specialist course. Your career will be deep rather than wide.

3. Your occupation

If you’re in marketing, say a product manager, corporate communications manager, marketing communications manager, brand manager, and the like, and either want to shift to a digital marketing career or simply just want to upgrade your skill set, stick to a generalist course. If you’re a business owner who want to run your own digital marketing campaigns or want to work better with third party agencies or freelancers for your campaigns, do the same. If you have a startup or work for one, same thing. It doesn’t make sense to specialize in these cases.

But if you’re a digital marketer and want to specialize, then consider taking the foundational course if you need to broaden your knowledge and then pursue a specialist course.

In the Philippines, DMI has appointed Learning Curve (through its DMHQ division) as its Education Partner. Currently, we offer the he Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing as a 10-week, live classroom training program. We also offer DMI’s specialist programs as online courses for the general public and live in-house training programs for corporate clients.