At a digital marketing class yesterday, I was asked if Nigerian universities offer digital marketing courses. Are there any, for example, where someone can apply to study Blogging as a course. Perhaps one or two universities do, but I do not know of any.
Study Blogging As A course?
You might be wondering what there is to study about blogging. When I teach blogging in digital marketing classes, my students are surprised to discover how much depth there is to the subject and how wrong they were that it is an easy thing to pull off.
Forget the imposters who lift and reproduce content all over the place. A competent blogger must be able to write (note that writing for the Web is different in a number of points from writing for print). They must be able to take good photographs, edit images (and/or videos), factor in SEO, as well as observe and analyse.
And if they are blogging for a niche, they must have adequate specialised knowledge of that niche, among other tasks. Blogging is actually a multi-disciplinary field. There is much that goes into competent blogging.
But I digress. Let us get back to the crux of this article.
Of Proper And Improper Professions
The reasons why our higher institutions are not embracing digital en masse are not far fetched. Do you know how much battling it takes for young men and women interested in acting to convince their parents that what they want to go study in school is Theatre Arts? Note that Theatre Arts has been available as a course in a number of institutions for many years.
The default position of Nigerian parents is, “That is not a proper profession”. They nudge their children towards Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Accounting, and the “more professional” courses.
Now, imagine what the reaction would be you to find the liver to tell them that you want to study Blogging or Social Media Marketing or anything along those lines. You are looking for trouble.
Where am I taking this narrative to? Those who run the country’s education belong to that same generation – parents and grandparents who look down on anything that is not a “professional” course.
In other words, our educational administrators do not see the value of new media yet. They have little appreciation of its place and value in modern society and so will see no need to include it in the academic curriculum.
We are talking about the same people who chide young people for being on the laptop or smartphone “all the time”, though they are on a newspaper all the time. Yet, those of us who are digital citizens know that an internet-connected smartphone provides far more up-to-date information than any newspaper ever can.
Do you see my point?
Our educational administrators do not get it yet. Perhaps we will find a handful of them who do, but what a small minority those will be.
Needed: A New Generation Of Institutions
Software development is a much more mainstream field, and even that is almost non-existent as a course in our higher institutions. Thankfully, we have new, visionary institutions that are addressing that sector. Think of Andela. We will need more institutions to take care of these other fields of digital business.
In the meantime, I wish you good luck telling your parents or guardians that you want to study Blogging or any other arm of digital marketing. May the force be with you.
- a black graduate