Stellenbosch Open Day.

Book your seat for Stellenbosch’s Open Day on the 30th of January 2021. RSVP before the 27th of January 2021.

Online registrations close 15 March 2021. Register now.

Stellenbosch Open Day. Book your seat for Stellenbosch’s Open Day on the 30th of January 2021. RSVP before the 27th of January 2021. RSVP now.

The trend towards shorter, specific, skills-based courses in 2020.

The trend towards shorter specific skill-based courses in 2020

The first thing people associate with university degrees and diplomas is a guarantee of financial stability, but in recent times this association has been proven insufficient. Some employers are of the opinion that short course qualifications that are recent, relevant and specific of a person’s current skills requirements are of utmost important as an addition to a qualification which if received years ago may have become outdated.

While the demand for degree, diploma and higher certificate programmes hasn’t declined, there does appear to be an increase in demand for short courses and more specifically skills based online short courses.

What exactly is a short course? It is any non-accredited course offered by higher education institutions outside their formal structured undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. So, it doesn’t lead to a qualification on the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework (HEQSF), but it is typically more practical and will certainly equip you with the workplace-relevant knowledge and skills needed to land a new job or advance your career.

People of all ages take short courses, either as a knowledge refresh, or to learn something completely new. Even people with families and steady jobs do it to improve their skills.

Why are short courses more popular and what benefits do they hold?

Lower cost- short courses are prices much lower than for examples a three-year degree or diploma from a university or college. It also usually includes all costs like course notes and seldom required a textbook.

Flexibility and convenience- with deadlines looming and an overloaded r schedule, it’s a great feeling knowing you won’t fall behind with your work, because your study time is flexible. Most short courses are online which means you can work from any location and at any time.

Fills the gap – short courses are a great way to fill the gaps in your knowledge and gives you an advantage when it comes to job promotions. Not to mention it gives you confidence to speak up and participate in meetings about topics that you previously shied away from.

Test run – short courses give you the opportunity to test a career path to see what type of skills and knowledge it requires before studying a full-time degree or changing careers altogether

Stay on top of the game – short courses are relevant, current and specific helping you to get to and remain at the forefront of your field.

Employable – It makes you more employable giving you skills that could qualify you for an entry level position.

Turn your hobbies into a career – Short courses can be a way of discovering new hobbies or turning your current hobbies into something more. Remember short courses aren’t always about serious stuff like business management or project management. For example, the IMM Graduate School offers a short course in developing your personal brand.

Information retention – Short courses help to retain information better because they make use of different techniques such as visual aids, videos, lecture videos and scripts.

Revision – Recorded lecture videos can be used as revision.

Finally, it kills boredom – When you have lots of spare time on your hands it is always be a good idea to do a short course. You will benefit greatly from any course that you do.

Popular short courses include business management, project management, marketing management and social sciences.

What does IMM bring to the table?

We are a distance learning institution with students from more than 20 different countries around the world. You can complete your masters, postgraduate, degree, diploma and higher certificate through our institution.

The important part is that we have an amazing online short course and express course programme designed for easy access and comfortable learning. You can choose to do these before signing up for one of our degree programmes, while studying or for top up skills after your graduate.

Our short course programme includes the following:

  • 16 short courses in marketing and advertising.
  • 5 short courses in supply chain and export management.
  • A general short course on personal branding.
  • And 20 one-week express courses for only R475 each.

Coming soon is a course in Project Management.

We have also developed a unique licence package option that allows businesses to buy bulk online short course packages for their staff. Choose any of our online short courses and save money.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

So, if you are aiming for that promotion, need to keep up to speed or just have some time to kill then short courses are a great way to expand your skill set. Visit our website for more information on our short and express courses https://www.imm.ac.za/onlineshortcourses/

How to ‘wing it’ as an ‘accidental’ project manager

You get into the elevator and your boss says, “Can you just run this project?”. You say yes, of course, but now what? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could snap our fingers and Voila! things – just – happen? In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. Organisations must use projects to drive change, step-by-carefully-planned-and-implemented-step.

 

What is project management?

Projects are how organisations make things happen. They process and deliver the changes that improve services to customers and increase organisational and operational effectiveness.

More formally defined, project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints (usually scope, budget and time).

 

What is the role of the project manager?

A project manager is a person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. Construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology and many different industries that produce products and services use this job title.

 

While there is no single way to ensure project management success, we have managed to scrape together these tips for you from proofhub.com. We have summarised them for you here:

 

  1. Know the project inside out

Identify the clients and the stakeholders and understand their interests and expectations regarding the project. Then develop a solid project plan where the roles and the job responsibilities are clearly defined. To make planning more effective, you can establish measurable and trackable success criteria to make sure if the project is on the track or not.

 

  1. Identify the project requirements

Project resources are the key factors that contribute in making a project successful. Once the plan is developed, create a team capable of implementing the plan effectively.

 

  1. Get a qualified project manager

In order to make sure the project is progressing in the right direction, it’s essential to appoint a qualified project manager. A project manager who is credible enough will leave no stone unturned to make the project a success. With the right training, this could be you!

 

  1. Define critical milestones

The success of the project depends upon the identification of the defining moments throughout the project. This can be done by providing the life cycle of a project which includes the main phases such as initiation, planning, execution and closure. You can perform an evaluation test after every phase.

 

  1. Communication is the key

To run a project smoothly, consistent effective communication needs to take place between the stakeholders and clients and new changes should be communicated to the team members to avoid ‘surprise attacks’.

 

 

  1. Tap into team members strengths and weaknesses

An effective manager will always make an effort to get to know about his team members inherent strengths and weaknesses so that he can allocate work accordingly. Tapping into the strengths of team members will definitely ensure faster task completion and better time management. With everyone in a team putting their best foot forward and making the most of their strengths, the project will be nothing less than a success.

 

  1. Use a Project management tool

Technology has given many gifts to the project managers with online project management software topping the list. The software acts as a big store-house of all the relevant project information. From files to documents, file-sharing to giving feedback, effective communication to seamless collaboration — project management software acts as a centralized platform for everything and everyone in the team.

 

  1. Manage potential risks

Risk management being one of the imperative project management practices today is essential for project success. Risks are the potential threats that can creep anytime and can jeopardize the whole progress in a project. To make sure your project is successful, potential risks need to be identified beforehand so that effective measures can be taken if they arise in the need of the hour.

 

  1. Test deliverables

To guarantee project management success, the deliverables should be tested at every critical milestone. Doing this gives you a fair idea whether the project is what it was planned to be. Testing deliverables are crucial to determine whether it is meeting or exceeding the expectations. If any fallacies are encountered, corrective measures can be taken immediately to bring it back on track.

 

  1. Evaluation of project

Each project can be a learning tool. An effective manager will always review the project as a whole, as well as analyse various project components. By doing so, he can note down the successes in a project, what went wrong in the project, and what can be improved for future projects.

 

If you want to take your project management career a little more seriously, then it’s time to upskill with the IMM Graduate School’s online short course in Project Management. This online short course will give you a broad understanding of project management, taking you through the cycle of a project (from conception to completion) and the requirements needed at each stage. You’ll explore a range of tools, techniques and standards developed by professional organisations for effective project management and you’ll take a look at your own organisation’s project implementation process. With a focus on the harder skills required in project management, you’ll master the practical capabilities necessary to define, create, plan, implement, control and complete a project successfully.

 

Because employees in all types of roles participate in projects, this course is suitable for people across the workforce. So, if you’re new to project management and wanting to lead or to contribute to projects more effectively, this course is for you. It’s presented by The Open University, a UK-based online learning and research university and an industry leader in executive education and upskilling the workforce. Their ultimate goal is to be world leaders in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning. How about making your next project personal…? You! Sign up, invest in yourself and learn to implement change personally and professionally with the IMM Graduate School. Go to:

 

During this course you will have the capable Christa Bonnet to mentor you.

 

Christa Bonnet: Head Tutor, Executive and Business Management Professional, Business Strategist and Transformative Trainer

While you study this course, you will be supported by your head tutor Christa Bonnet, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Christa will be your go-to person, facilitating online tutorials and discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your work-based activity.

Understanding Strategic Brand Management

The IMM Graduate School | Understanding Strategic Brand Management webBrand terminology and marketing jargon baffles even the most seasoned marketers. In today’s post we attempt to clarify commonly confused terms like branding, marketing and marketing communications.

What is Marketing?

If you are confused by ‘what marketing is?’ it’s because marketers often define what they do differently. The definition that makes the most sense to us is that of Dr. Philip Kotler, who defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.” If you wish to explore more definitions of marketing, you can find a list of 72 right here.

What is Marketing communications?

Marketing communications is essentially a part of the marketing mix. The marketing mix defines the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Price and Promotion). It is within the ‘promotion P’ that you will encounter the term and activity of marketing communications and the marketing communication mix. Marketing communication in simple terms is the message your organisation is going to convey to your market.

What is a Brand?

A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organisation or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

In a marketplace saturated with products and services to suit every taste and every consumer, from a chic young urbanite who knows what he wants to an aunty who won’t budge in her brand loyalty, your brand needs an identity strong enough to stand out from the crowd. Strategic Brand Management adds value to an organisation’s products or services by creating a unique identity in the marketplace. This signature identity, or “brand stamp” if you like, allows a company to differentiate itself from its competitors and communicate its message and positioning in a consistent, integrated way.

If you want to learn more about how to make your brand stand out in an arena where everyone is jostling for attention, then consider signing up for the IMM Graduate School online short course in “Strategic Brand Management”. In this course you’ll be given practical tools to create a distinct identity for your brand and successfully position your brand in a relevant, meaningful and dynamic manner.

You’ll also get an in-depth look at the brand identity development process and brand positioning, brand architecture and the creation of the customer brand experience, consumer behaviour and its influences, and the competitive advantage of strong brands. Designed for those wanting to make their market place “mark”, this course is perfect for anyone in branding, marketing or marketing communications, or small business owners and managers wanting to create brand awareness and cement loyalty. So how about you put your hand up for this short course and let your brand stand up, stand out, stand strong and stand true!

During this course you will have the capable Karen Roos to mentor you.

Karen Roos Course Designer & Head Tutor Expert Course Developer, Specialist Lecturer, Facilitator and Consultant in Strategic Brand Management While you study this course you will be supported by your head tutor Karen Roos, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Karen will be your go-to person, facilitating online discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your assignments.

The scope of a Digital Marketing Career

Marketing is an integral part of any business, so it makes sense that only the best of the best would be tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness and promoting a brand. It’s a highly lucrative career, but only if you have the right skills and training. Of course, there’s no shortage of guides and how-to’s online that promise to make you an expert in the marketing world – but these only scratch the surface. Industry experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and Jeff Bullas have all dished out a lot of articles explaining key marketing techniques and trends, but we wanted to find out why digital marketing specifically is a good career path. Sruthi Veeraraghavan addresses the question

“Why Choose a Career in Digital Marketing?” – we have summarised it here for you: 

The digital marketing industry is always advancing

The marketing industry frequently adapts to new strategies and best practices which means that marketers need to stay up to date with the latest trends. Because digital marketing has so many moving parts that are always changing along with technological developments and changes in consumer needs and demands, it’s hard to list every aspect of the industry. Some of the key components of digital marketing include:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Apps
  • Mobile marketing, including SMS
  • Content marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Growth hacking

Each of these can become a specialist area for a digital marketer to branch off into. However, a common trait of good digital marketers is the ability to communicate with people and get their online audiences to listen.

Digital Marketing Is the Future…

Digital marketing is here to stay, it’s the way things will be done from now on. One of the reasons for this is that digital marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing techniques. Another is that, instead of doing customer surveys and or research, marketers can track user response rates and measure campaign success in real time. This will ensure that your next campaign is planned effectively. Businesses that cannot adapt to the new marketing climate won’t make the cut. This highlights a need for digital marketers that have a feel for numbers and statistics. An essential requirement in any digital marketing role.

 Digital marketers are in high demand

With both large and small industries moving away from traditional marketing methods alone, digital marketers are becoming highly sought after. Digital marketers should find it easy to get employment and/or freelancing positions in their area of specialisation.

According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies (2017), four out of 10 jobs listed in marketing now call for digital marketing skills. In addition, the report states:

  • The demand for digital marketing skills almost doubled between 2011 and 2016.
  • Demand for content marketers rose 450 per cent during that time, while demand for digital analytics skills increased by 152 per cent.
  • Forrester Research predicts digital marketing will account for 35 per cent of all marketing spending by the end of 2019.
  • Digital marketing positions take 16 per cent longer to fill.

Digital marketing branches out into various categories, so take your pick – there is something for everyone.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a push messaging and outbound marketing tactic that consists of sending emails to customers as well as prospective customers (leads). The goal of these emails is to interact with the recipient of the email and advertise a product or service. Campaigns constantly need to be planned, conceptualised, developed, implemented and measured.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank well on search engines. SEO professionals analyse, review, and implement changes to a website and its content so they are optimised for search engines. SEO specialists are tasked with generating traffic and increasing the number of organic visitors to a website.

Copywriting

A Copywriter writes promotional text with the purpose of advertising a product or service as well as other forms of marketing. Their responsibilities include writing advertising and marketing copy, public relations copy as well occasionally editing and ghost writing. Sometimes they also write taglines, direct mail pieces, web content, online ads and email and consider the use of keywords and keyphrases so as to improve SEO.

Content writing

Copywriting and content writing are two different things. Content writers are tasked with producing interesting, engaging content with the purpose of drawing readers to a website, turning them into loyal followers and keeping it that way. Professional content writers have extensive knowledge of the internet as well as different writing techniques and are well versed in writing various forms of web content.

These are just a few of the fields you can pursue with a marketing qualification from the IMM Graduate School or by upskilling yourself with an online short course. At the moment the IMM Graduate School offers five Digital Marketing specialisation courses online. In just 12 weeks you could be steering your marketing career in a whole new direction. Find out more information here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/