Specifically, she wanted to know if there were any training programs or courses she should go through and whether there were certificates that companies like ours look for on resumes.
As I started to scroll through my mental index of options, I was shocked at how many of them I dismissed. Here’s a snapshot of what went through my brain:
- Getting certified in Google’s products can be a helpful starting point, but we’ve come across an unbelievable number of people who have those certifications and still don’t know how to do things right on a real project.
- There are hundreds of courses out there about digital marketing, but almost all of them are focused on tips, tricks and tactics, not the philosophical foundation that should inform work. Plus, quality varies significantly and a huge number of them are simply bad.
- There are interesting courses like Demand Curve, but 2/3 of the content is focused on tactics (“skills and tools”), not business models, and best serve people aiming for roles at venture-backed software companies on the West coast or in major markets.
- Getting a job at a marketing agency is where many people start, but very, very few agencies actually understand comprehensive growth and tend to focus on creative, software, paid media or some combination of those.
The reality is that learning data-driven growth, the right way, is pretty hard to do. The resources that are out there are few and far between and tend to offer only pieces of a very complex puzzle. That’s probably why there are questions like this that go unanswered on Quora:
Here at Yield Group we feel the pain of an acute lack of training resources and understand why it’s so hard to hire experienced strategists. This market gap also helps explain why more and more companies are turning to us for help, but actually achieving growth means you need even more talent, which only makes the problem worse.
Oh, and if you’re still wondering how I answered the student’s question, here’s a paraphrase:
First, I’d start working on any project involving data that’s really interesting to you. Think about all of the data that’s out there, even just from the BLS. Turn your interest into a question, then create a project to answer it with data. Whenever we see projects like that, we’re immediately more interested in the candidate. Second, the absolute best way to learn this stuff is through a program like our Associate Program...
Presenting the Yield Group Associate Program
To help solve this problem for growing companies—both us and our clients—we started the Yield Group Associate Program, a 2-year experience where smart, intellectually curious, young professionals will tear apart business models and learn first-hand how the best companies in the world use data, software and creative strategies to grow.
Along with real, hands-on work, participants will complete rigorous training tracks that cover data/analytics, the math of growth, growth tech stacks and growth optimization.
Elizabeth Speaker, a former Yield Associate who we hired, had this to say about her experience:
This program gave me an invaluable understanding for data-driven growth. I had a desire to learn more about the inner workings of businesses. Marketing and growth seemed like the next logical step, but breaking into the field was daunting. I knew I needed more knowledge and more experience and going back to school wasn’t an option. The Associate Program gave me the ability to learn on the job, expand my skill set and gain experience.
The team here is dedicated to training and offers a range of different ways to learn: through one-on-one coaching sessions, tutorials, resources and exploratory projects. They truly believe in learning by doing. I worked on real projects that helped me gain an understanding for how collecting and analyzing data can positively impact a business and lead to growth. It’s amazing, but I now feel confident making recommendations to clients!
Associate Program details
Upskill and support the leadership team at Yield in executing work across the following categories (this is what you’ll learn by training and doing):
Tearing down and building up business models to identify areas for growth
- Data processing, normalization and analysis
- Report building
- Infrastructure for data routing
- Dashboards and business intelligence
- Marketing and sales software procurement and implementation
- Marketing and sales automation
- Project and client management
Who we're looking for
We’re looking for people who hungry to learn, ready to work hard and who want the best possible foundation for a career in data-driven growth. Here are a few details:
- Bachelor’s or Masters (doesn’t have to be a business degree!)
- Innate curiosity about how customers buy and how businesses make money
- Some post-college work experience preferred
- Motivated, curious and hard-working
- Interested in solving problems with data
- Ability to understand the big picture and dig into the details
- Quick learner
- Self-motivated, organized and productive
Building for the future
Selfishly, our goal is to train the people we want to hire at Yield Group, but the reality is that there will always be more demand from our clients and the marketplace. That’s good news for our Associates—this program will catapult you down your desired career path.
Our Associates will graduate and be offered roles on growth teams, performance marketing teams, marketing and sales ops teams, data analysis and business intelligence teams, conversion optimization teams, customer lifecycle management teams and more, depending on their interest and training emphasis. Jobs tend to be mid-level positions at successful, fast-growing eCommerce, B2B software, consumer app and even digitally transformed ‘traditional’ businesses.
If you’re looking to establish and accelerate your career path in data-driven growth, apply today!