Compare these two statements:

"79 percent of business leaders polled say there are 'noticeable skill gaps' on their teams--primarily in data, customer insight, and digital marketing techniques." --Circle Marketing's 2013 B2B Leaders report

versus

"Out of the 200 business schools we contacted in 2013, a surprisingly high 64 still weren't offering a dedicated class on digital marketing." --Stuart Draper, CEO and founder of Stukent

Does there seem to be a bit of a disconnect there?

Here's why:

The Wheels of Higher Education Can Turn Exceedingly Slowly

The U.S. is a global business leader, and internet marketing is a huge part of how business is transacted today. The idea that most American colleges and universities don't offer internet marketing coursework sounds ludicrous, doesn't it? It's almost like saying the Air Force is not teaching pilots how to fly.

For insight, we talked to the professors themselves, since they are on the firing line of higher education.

In your opinion, why do so many schools not yet offer a concentration in internet marketing?

Most schools are staffed by instructors who know nothing of internet marketing. The field is so fast and quickly changing they have no chance to learn anything useful and present it to students. Secondarily, they don't know where to find people in the field who can, or are willing to, part-time teach this field. --
The view in top business schools is that internet marketing is just 
like regular marketing, but with better data, different tools, and faster.
Digital marketing changes so rapidly that many "current" texts are not so "current" by the time they are published. It can be extremely challenging to construct your own content and curriculum for a course that is rigorous, relevant, and organized in a way that enhances student learning. --

The Top Six Reasons Colleges Don't Teach Internet Marketing

Stuart Draper, whose simulation and digital textbook Internet Marketing Essentials is now being used by more than 150 business schools eight months after publication, says his research pointed to six primary reasons why the very people who should be at the forefront of education are lagging behind:

What Is the Solution?

I teach entrepreneurship at the Academy of Art. Similar to internet marketing, there isn't a lot of organized material for teaching a course in entrepreneurship. Not every school can recruit accomplished company founders to come and teach. The same goes for internet marketing. As I wrote this article, and considered Draper's list of reasons why professors don't teach internet marketing, I couldn't help thinking that there has to be a better way. What are your thoughts? How can these traditional universities do a better job of teaching this crucial subject?

Published on: Dec 19, 2014