Growth Specialist Certification (Review)

CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree: Week 12

I completed CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree last week and will conclude the 12-week commitment of weekly posts with a final overview of the entire minidegree.

The minidegree had 33 courses, grouped into 7 modules. The length of each course varied from 20 minutes to 13 hours, each split into shorter topic-specific video lessons. In total, the minidegree had 385 lessons. Some courses had 1-hour lessons, other were split into short 5-minute videos.

My sweet spot was 20 minute video lessons in 1–3 hour courses. I watched on 2x speed, since most of the presenters spoke slower than the average conversational speed. So each 20 minute video took 10–15 minutes to complete (pausing to take notes and re-watch confusing or more dense sections), which didn’t feel too overwhelming or lengthy. As many people who take non-university online courses, I didn’t dedicate full days to going through the content, so the medium-length video lessons were ideal to focus on and schedule in between the rest of my daily activities.

I’ve alluded to usability issues in past posts with the website on which you have to watch all the CXL videos. You need to be on your computer with a strong internet connection to be able to load and properly see the videos. The site has a dashboard section available but it never accurately tracked my progress. The course overview page showed the percentage of completed courses, but given the wide range of course lengths, it wasn’t a helpful measure of progress. I had to self-track the hours of content I got through a week to ensure I stayed on track — nothing difficult to do but it seems like something the course home should include for you.

Once you completed a course, there was no straightforward way to move onto the next one. I had to navigate my way into the minidegree drop-down list, click the growth marketing page, open the modules drop-down, and then manually select the next course. Again, not that big of a deal but could have been easier to do.

Despite the interface and navigation issues, I appreciated the closed captioning under each video. Having the transcript scroll automatically with the video ensured I properly understood what was being said and captured less-enunciated words. It also allowed me to go faster, since my brain can digest more information with audio and visual inputs together. It also really helped when looking back through the material to find specific content. Not all the course quizzes provided an explanation for incorrect answers, and it would have been much more time consuming to re-watch the videos in full.

Out of the 33 courses, 23 of them granted certificates after passing a final exam (with a 90% or higher). That’s a lot more certificates than I can possibly add to my LinkedIn, but I found then to be helpful preparation for the cumulative final exam for the Growth Marketing Specialist certification at the end of the minidegree.

The entire content lineup is (module — courses):

Growth marketing foundations — growth mindset: growth vs. traditional marketing, building a growth process, user-centric marketing, identifying and amplifying growth channels.

Running growth experiments — research and testing, conversion research, A/B testing mastery, statistics fundamentals for testing.

Data and analytics — Google Analytics for beginners, intermediate Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager for beginners, attribution, excel and sheets for marketers.

Conversion — landing page optimization, product messaging

Channel-specific growth skills — Email marketing from basics to best-in-class, messaging strategy in public relations, Facebook ads, Google ads, content strategy and SEO for lead generation, retention: the most underrated growth channel, maximizing audiences for you PPC campaigns, SEO driven editorial calendar LinkedIn adverting, YouTube ads, technical SEO, data-driven influencer marketing, account based marketing.

Growth program management — GrowthMaster trainings workshop, optimizing your growth process.

Management — optimizing your marketing tech stack, marketing strategy, project management for marketers.

I can’t think of much in the field of marketing that isn’t covered by the modules and courses above. The module clusters didn’t always logically flow, as the minidegree seems to a group of stand-alone courses from CXL’s all-access marketing offerings. But together, they offer a comprehensive series of deep-dives spanning the areas of expertise of growth marketers.

I’m not sure how often the material gets updated, expanded, or retired, but as of 2021, none of the material seemed out of date or irrelevant to modern marketers.

As a wrote in my last post, this course was the perfect level for me and exactly what I was looking for after finishing a university marketing major. Based on my experience with the content, I would recommend this course to:

1. A recent college graduate who studied marketing, psychology, or business and is looking to learn about how their major relates to growth marketing

2. A channel-specific marketer interested in more general marketing strategy for growth

3. A non-marketer who has taken one or more basic marketing courses before and is now ready to dive deeper into growth marketing specifics

Plenty of others may benefit from the minidegree, but the above three come to mind as those who may be a particularly good fit.

Although stressful at times, I really enjoyed writing the weekly summaries. The deadlines kept me moving through the courses at a steady pace and encouraged me to take detailed notes for my content every week. I emailed my publicly-published posts to CXL by midnight on Sundays and received a confirmation a few days later — overall, an easy process.

The time commitment will vary per person based on your writing process and how creative and polished you want the posts to be, but I dedicated 2–4 hours to writing each week, on top of the 10–12 hours of watching course content.

The program not only enhanced my learning but also allowed me to access such a high quality course. I’m very thankful for the program and would highly recommend it to anyone else in a similar position.

P.S. :)

Recent undergrad business graduate with a passion for personal growth, professional development, and tech marketing.