"Those who CAN...do. Those who CAN'T...teach." Not anymore!

"Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach."  

I'm sure you've all heard that famous adage.  I used to use it myself!  Not anymore.

A few months ago I was following a discussion on LinkedIn about why many universities don't yet offer marketing classes in social media.  The majority of the responses in the discussion seemed to be in agreement:

That many tenured marketing professors don't know much about social or digital media because they didn't exist when the educators were learning about marketing, and very few of them use digital platforms themselves. 

However, social and digital media can't continue to be ignored as new marketing channels.  So where do universities go to find teachers who can educate students on their use in the business world?  And if universities continue to disregard social media, where do students go to learn about it as a marketing tool?

The second of these two questions is easy, since students are doing it already.  They attend professional workshops through organizations like the American Marketing Association that offer programs on social media almost monthly!  With the cost of student memberships in professional associations being very reasonable, more and more scholars are turning to professional practitioners to educate them on new strategies and innovative models that they can't learn in the classroom.

But what about the answer to the first question:  Where do universities get teachers to educate their students on the use of digital and social media?  The answer is... the same:  Adjunct faculty - professional practitioners who are successfully using new channels to enhance marketing strategies, improve the customer experience and generate new revenue streams every day.

Real world experience is the best teacher.  Case studies can provide excellent examples of both expected and unexpected scenarios.  Marketing professionals can read through suggested text books to identify whether the content is accurate or a bunch of philosophical garbage, and thus focus on those pieces that will provide the greatest value to the student.

I'm not dismissing the importance of a knowledgeable professor.  But with technology moving literally at the speed of light, sometimes an experienced grunt is more valuable than a highly educated officer.

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