5 Certifications Marketing Students Should Consider Completing Prior to Graduation

As a student, we strive to stand out among our peers. Especially when we have begun the stressful, but exciting job hunt. Many of us have even been told that continuing education will not stop once we have secured a job after graduation. So, why not go ahead and acquire some of that extra knowledge and skills that could potentially help land you in the resume pile that might actually reach the hands of the hiring manager at your dream company. In fact, it also might give you a head start and an easier transition from being a full-time student to beginning your new professional career in the marketing.

Outside of my own research on certifications, I’ve networked with multiple marketing professionals over the past year and asked for their advice. Many of them have recommended certain certifications that they believe would be a great addition to any future marketer’s skill set that would set them apart from the average student.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool that all digital marketers should understand how to use. Using Google Analytics will help you better understand your customers and learn their behaviors. It tracks the traffic for your website using metrics and gives you a better understanding of how effective your website is.

Obtaining this certification is free of charge. In fact, if you create a Google Analytics account and link it to your personal website, you can practice implementing the skills that you learn while studying for the certification exam.

Google Adwords

You know that little green box that says “Ad” when you Google something? Well, that is a great example of Google Adwords. Businesses pay Google to display their ads on the search engine. Here is the catch, they only pay Google when someone actually clicks on their ad.

This is such a great tool for businesses to use to reach out to potential online customers. It’s pretty effective because the people who are searching for those specific keywords that relate to your business really want your service and will most likely click your ad because it’s what they are already searching for.

So why not get certified in this as well? It’s also free to take the certification and to practice for this exam.


Act-On is a marketing automation tool used by marketers who want to provide a great experience to their customers while measuring the results that can help provide insights on who their customers are and understand their descriptive attributes. You can also create automated campaigns through this software that your whole team will love.

I became certified in this software over the summer through my work with DCD Marketing. I received my certification through Brainshark and really learned a lot about Act-On.


Another certification that I recommend is with Hubspot. According to their website, “Hubspot is inbound marketing and sales software that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.” This tool is all about engaging with the customer.

This certification is free of charge, and you can begin preparing for the course here. Similar to the other tools, all you have to do is create an account, study, and then take the exam.


As businesses are becoming more familiar with the use of popular social media platforms, it is vital for them to not only provide relevant content on these channels but also remain active. Hootsuite allows users to easily manage their social media accounts and schedule posts in advance. The company provides five free online courses on their website for individuals to use at their discretion. However, in order to become certified, you must pay a one-time fee to take the certification exam. Each fee varies depending on which test you are taking.

Hootsuite also provides other resources to help further the social media knowledge among their users. For instance, their blog consists of learning topics such as Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Instagram Marketing, and Video Marketing. Another great source of learning assistance comes from the Hootsuite Help Center. This resource is designed to display common questions and answers as well as accept specific questions that you may have.

My Call to Action for You

Get certified as soon as possible! Of course, there are many more great tools that marketers can get certified in, but these are the top 5 that in my opinion are worthwhile to obtain prior to graduation. If you are currently enrolled in a college degree program, I highly recommend researching the courses that your university offers. For example, this semester at East Carolina University I am taking a class called Marketing Technology and Automation, and I will leave this course with certifications in Google Analytics and Act-On.

So, research your classes and take advantage of the opportunities that your university offers. If you can’t find one that offers certifications, then be proactive and dedicate a weekend to getting certified in something that would enhance your resume.

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