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Learn to Work: Choose Your Education Wisely

By guest blogger Drew Griffiths, search engine marketer at MoneySupermarket.com

My name is Drew Griffiths, I’m 31 and live in North Wales. Although I live in the UK, I think that my story is geographically universal in terms of its theme and the lesson that I have learnt. I hope my story can help some of you choose your education wisely.

When I was deciding on a major at University, I was increasingly aware of the obesity epidemic in the UK. I decided that doing a degree in Sport Science was a wise investment of my time and money.  Despite a first class honours degree from Loughborough University (the best school in the UK for this degree) I was only able to land a job in a gym… a hotel gym. After so much hard work, I found myself in a dead-end job on minimum wage.

Feeling stuck and a little frustrated, I went back to study a Masters in Nutrition, thinking it would be a good complement to my undergraduate degree, but I was still unable to get a job.

In 2006 I started my own personal training business, which went okay for about a year. But after Christmas 2007— just as the recession was taking hold in the UK—I lost half my clients in the space of a few weeks. Requiring a full-time wage, I managed to get a job working at MBNA in collections.  At this point I felt like I had to cut my losses in terms of the time and money that I had invested in Sport Science and Nutrition.

Although the money was good for the area and many of my friends worked there, the job was not satisfying. Collecting money off people in financial difficulty is pretty unpleasant at times and I wanted to do something more rewarding.

After a few days of research on the internet, I realized that there were quite a few job vacancies out there in digital marketing. The Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in Digital Marketing was the most recognised qualification in the UK.  Fortunately this training was available via home learning.  It cost around £1500 in total and took me about a year to complete.
Unlike my other qualifications, the digital marketing course enabled me to get a great job at Europe’s biggest price comparison website. I’m not doing anything in the sports field, but I love the job I am doing now anyway. Today I work as a Search Engine Marketer at MoneySupermarket.com and enjoy every minute.

I do get to write the occasional article on fitness and I’m hoping to buy my first house at the moment— hopefully with a garage so that I can do personal training in the evenings and weekends.

For those entering college, here is my advice:

First, research the job prospects for the subject area that you are thinking about studying and research the job opportunities in your geographical area.  Do this before you spend four years and a lot of money on your degree.

Second, if you want to get qualified in Digital Marketing or a related field, I would recommend Google exams and the W3schools courses.  Those courses are relatively cheap and well recognized.

Last, you will also need some experience behind you to be a top candidate for any job opportunities that come up. I recommend approaching small businesses and asking if you can offer your services for free. For example you could build a website for a local business and then put into practice your SEO skills.

Best of luck and feel free to contact me on Facebook or @MMATraining1980 on Twitter if I can be of any help.

Learn how Emma Still landed a job in the SEO field via Twitter. If you are curious about the basics of search engine optimization, Drew shared some insights with us here.

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photo credit: Eric E Johnson via photopin cc

About Drew Griffiths

Drew Griffiths works in the SEO industry for a British financial website. He's also a martial arts enthusiast, with a degree in Sport Science and a Master's degree in Exercise & Nutrition Science. He has his own blog - BlackBeltWhiteHat.com