Facebook, City Colleges of Chicago team up to help you boost your digital influence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hey guys, Stacey Baca here!

I often use Facebook Live to chat with some of you, but what else is out there?

Do you know the ins and outs of digital marketing? How do you boost your profile, or maybe your company's profile?

Well, Facebook is now teaming up with City Colleges of Chicago for an online course where you can get a "Digital Marketing Certificate." Enrollment is open now, and the 24-week course begins July 29th.

Here's one example: Chicagoan William Jefferson Jr., 24, is an aspiring actor. He was thinking about getting a master's degree soon, but once he heard about this course, he made a different decision.

"When I saw this course and it said you can be done in six months I was like. This is faster!" exclaimed Jefferson, a Chicagoan.
Jefferson wants to work on his "brand" - his selling points to help him get an acting job.

"I think this can help me," he said, "for branding myself as an actor and just to know the terms."

Harold Washington College is the first Chicago college to offer the program. Across the country, Facebook has teamed up with 20 community colleges.

A Facebook study revealed that 77% of Illinois businesses believe being digitally savvy is important when applying for a job, a spokeswoman said.

"Facebook is committed to this course because they realize the digital skills are lacking in this economy. There's a change," said Nikki Newsome, Facebook Chicago's spokeswoman.

"We want people to get ahead, and we want to help them do that," Newsome said. "We know that there is a hunger for this type of content."
The course has six sections, which are broken into four weeks each, totaling 24 weeks. Jacqueline Callery is the adjunct faculty member who will teach the course.

"We start to talk about content, and think about your strategy. Think about your 'brand.' And then we are going to move into thinking about - how do I take this and translate it this into something actionable," Callery said. Something that "reaches out to customers and says - I have a solution for you!"

Ultimately, Harold Washington's president sees it as an opportunity to be a savvy marketer for yourself or for your company.

"These are real programs that are going to put you on a path to career and success," said Ignacio Lopez, president of Harold Washington College. "Really building that wealth for yourself and your community."

As for Jefferson, he's ready to launch his career, and he hopes this certificate will help him accomplish his acting dreams.

"Blast off!" Jefferson said. "I'm ready!"
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