Coding bootcamps have become a popular option for young people seeking to enter the workforce and alternative to traditional higher education. Many young people excited about employment opportunities find that after spending money on college degrees, they are floundering to find steady, fulfilling, well-paid employment in their field. As a result, many coding bootcamps have popped up to help ease students into the workforce, teaching a specific set of skills to get graduates hired.
But what if you don’t want to go into coding? Are there bootcamp options for people looking for exciting employment in other industries? This is where Highway Education comes in. Highway Education is a bootcamp focused on digital marketing training, and even more specifically, on marketing operations. It is invested in bridging the gap between employers and young talent after identifying a need on both sides.
Two Sides of the Marketing Operations Gap
The founder of Highway Education, Toby Murdock, has worked in marketing for many years. He founded his company Kapost in 2009, which helped marketing departments manage their content. After selling Kapost in 2019 for $52M, he reflected on a growing gap that he had identified while working in the marketing world.
He took notice of the growing wealth divide in America, and the way that it was impacting young people entering the workforce. He noticed that the new narrative that young people were expected to follow was that by getting a university education, they would be gainfully employed.
He thought that this simply wasn’t true. The unemployment and underemployment rate for college-educated people is still high, at 41 percent or grads working a job that doesn’t require a degree. Likely many of these people may also be in debt from their school tuition.
On the other side of this, Murdock had witnessed first hand the talent shortage in the marketing industry, particularly in marketing operations. While front-facing, social media, or SEO-based marketing skills might be more accessible, the shortage was more in the behind-the-scenes area: marketing operations.
He realized that there was no formal training for this kind of role. Additionally, as labor expert Ryan Craig says, companies today are expecting potential employees to “do the job before getting the job”, which can make getting a first job feel nearly impossible.
After identifying these two sides of the gap and admiring the format of the coding bootcamp, Murdock decided to create a marketing operations bootcamp to train young people to have the necessary skills to get an entry-level job in marketing operations, with mobility to grow their career from there.
What Is Marketing Operations?
Marketing operations, also known as marketing ops, is a term for the person who combines technology and practical execution of the marketing operation arm of a company. The role can take different forms and works with different types of marketing.
Marketing operations professionals describe it as the scaffolding: the baseline of procedures, foundational tools, and technology needed to propel revenue and keep a company running. They also describe it as behind-the-scenes work that covers everything from data, technology, and process that drives the business forward.
It’s also described as a machine that makes the company run on a day-to-day basis through campaign execution and analytics. If the business partners are the architects, the marketing operations team is the contractor and the builder carrying the plan to fruition.
Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies both require marketing operations teams. Because of how essential this branch of a company is, and because it involves many complex components that require training, the need for young talent in the industry has increased over the past seven years.
Given this high demand for talent, Marketing Operations professionals are highly compensated. Entry-level salaries average around $65,000 per year and grow to well over $100,000 after three to five years of experience.
Highway Education Curriculum
The Highway Education Marketing Ops program is focused on developing students’ experience and familiarity with marketing operations and develops a portfolio that demonstrates that experience to employers.
Each program topic ranges from one to three weeks of learning in the virtual classroom. They start at the basics, a high-level introduction to marketing and business skills such as problem solving and creative thinking skills. After that, students will learn about modern marketing strategies and why marketing operations is important.
The core of the program focuses on data. This part of the program includes the tools students will need to know, from marketing automation to CRM systems. This section is the majority of the program.
After students are comfortable using the tools, the program moves on to analytics. The program ends with more advanced topics like marketing to sales alignment, lead nurture, scoring, and account-based marketing. These are all topics that can help propel a career beyond an entry-level position.
Highway Education Modules
The topics covered in Highway Education’s bootcamp are:
- Introduction to Marketing and Marketing Operations
- Business Skills 101
- High-Level Marketing Strategy
- Intro to Analytics
- Data and Targeting
- Marketing to Sales Stack + Campaign Planning and Execution
- Lead Flow and Management
- Advanced Marketing Operations
The curriculum has been developed with companies that are looking to hire marketing ops and the taught by industry professionals.
Highway Education Program Structure
The Highway Education immersive program is structured like a full-time job, meaning it’s seven to eight hours a day, five days a week, for 16 weeks.
A typical day at Highway Academy begins with a lecture-style session to give students specific instruction and then moves on to real-world exercises and projects that can later be added to their portfolio. The assignments will be completed with the assistance and guidance of mentors, instructors, and advisors who are ready to help students in any way they need.
The program is delivered synchronously, meaning that everyone is on video and interacting throughout the day. Classes are also live, meaning students can jump in with questions or commentary throughout, prompting discussion in a group setting.
Expanding Career Opportunities and Inclusion
The mission statement of Highway Education is to expand opportunity and inclusion in the marketing world. The Highway team believes that the skill gap for young adults is a detriment to both young adults in search of entering the job market and businesses looking for marketing ops talent. Highway Education positions itself to be a bridge between these two groups, allowing for growth and better economic opportunity for both parties.
Putting It Into Action
Highway Education is doing more than just making statements—the bootcamp actively works toward a more inclusive and diverse marketing scene through a variety of initiatives.
Highway Education is a Benefit Corporation (BCORP), meaning that in the Highway Education charter is a legal obligation to expand opportunity and inclusion. It is part of a charter with the state of Delaware.
Highway Education Financing Options
To help make marketing education more accessible, it also offers different payment options aside from the $16,000 upfront payment. Students can opt for an Income Share Agreement (ISA), a deferred payment plan that allows students to only start paying back the tuition after making a minimum salary of $55,000.
Beyond that, Highway Education offers an Outcome-Driven Tuition (ODT). The structure is similar to that of an ISA but with slightly different features. With an ODT, students pay their tuition when they land a job making at least $55,000 in a job that uses skills learned through the program. The repayment rate will depend on the student’s income.
Starting a New Career with Highway Education
If you’re a young person interested in the world of marketing but not sure where to begin, or you’re looking to build a solid marketing ops resume, Highway Education can set you on track—no matter what your background is.
Highway Education is dedicated to being the bridge between your talent and the industry that’s looking for it. You can schedule a call for an info session and conversation with Highway Education.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.