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Exploring the Possible: the Digital Pilot’s Licence

Exploring the Possible: the Digital Pilot’s Licence

Posted on 15th December 2020

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The recent launch, by Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University (in partnership with Jump Digital) of their Digital Marketing Accelerator (DMA) might seem like simply another university seeking to carve out a niche in an important business arena.  However, it is far more than that. 

Digital Marketing is a key module in a much bigger programme: the Digital Pilot’s Licence (DPL).  The latter can perhaps best be thought of as an updating of, or indeed a potential replacement for, the European Computer Driving Licence.  It has five modules, including data and even climate, and is a global first in many respects. Developed in Scotland and supported by SDS and the DataLab, the DPL is based on the simple premise that such qualifications should not be sedentary beasts, unchanging from year to year.  Instead, to keep up with the burgeoning world of technology, the modules in the DPL will be updated constantly, with practitioner-led content aligned to both the professional and academic worlds.  A focus on business and a willingness constantly to question both the goals and the means by which they are achieved, underpins the entire enterprise. By doing so, it’s hoped that the DPL will be future proofed by constant, practical updating and influenced by the potential end-users of the qualification. Perhaps equally importantly, the DPL is also a channel for those who wish to become an Online Marketing Certified Professional by passing the OMCA exam – the global standard for the digital marketing industry. 

The DPL is currently being credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, with one of the objectives being to see how it might fit into a wider programme of work-related qualifications. This is a reflection of the centrality of digital in every area of business; a process that will only accelerate as the destructive/constructive forces unleashed by the global coronavirus pandemic create change in virtually every area of the economy. Alex Clyne of Jump Digital (the company that has developed the DPL), believes that in the future every moderate-sized company will have to have a CDO, while even SMEs will have to get on board with the application of digital technology and digital marketing to make their businesses smarter. 

Now you might be wondering why we’re giving this particular programme space on the Be-IT’s news pages. The reason is simple: we are delighted that Be-IT was one of the principal companies involved in testing the content of the course as it was being developed and, we are told, our feedback (as a company with unique insights across every area of digital employment) was central to the ongoing development and refinement of the course. A number of my colleagues worked through several iterations of the course and all have reported back to say how much they enjoyed it and how useful it is has been for them, not just in their daily work but also in terms of their overall career development and knowledge. We currently have two members of our team still working on the final stages the programme. We wish Edinburgh Business School every success with this new venture and can see just how valuable it might be in helping transform Scotland into a digital-led economy.

Michael Phair, Be-IT

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