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Top 10 Media Strategist Certifications

This article explores the best certifications available for media strategists looking to further their knowledge and advance their career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are important for media strategists in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge, skill, and expertise in the field. Certifications provide employers with evidence that an individual has taken the necessary steps to become proficient in the area and can therefore be trusted to carry out tasks effectively. Furthermore, certifications help media strategists stand out from other applicants and increase their chances of securing employment. Additionally, certifications can open up opportunities for professional growth and development, which is essential for any career.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Media Strategists and explain how they can help advance a media strategist's career.

What are Media Strategist Certifications?

Media strategist certification is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of media strategy. It is designed to help professionals develop their skills and knowledge in strategic planning, marketing, research, and analytics related to media platforms. The certification helps those working in the field stay up-to-date on the latest trends in media technology and provides an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively utilize these tools for maximum impact. With this certification, professionals can demonstrate their expertise as well as establish credibility in the eyes of employers or clients. It also provides an additional credential for job seekers looking to stand out from the competition when applying for positions related to media strategy.

Pro Tip: Before pursuing a media strategist certification, be sure to research the accreditation of the program you are considering. Many certifications require that the program has been accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education. This is important for ensuring that your certification will be recognized and respected in the industry.

Related: What does a Media Strategist do?

Top 10 Media Strategist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Media Strategists today.

1. Certified Digital Media Strategist (CDMS)

Certified Digital Media Strategist (CDMS) is a certification program designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, implement, and manage digital media strategies. The certification is offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), an international organization that provides training and certification in digital marketing.

The CDMS program consists of three courses: Digital Media Strategy, Social Media Strategy, and Content Marketing Strategy. Each course takes approximately 10 hours to complete. Upon completion of all three courses, you will receive a certificate from DMI confirming your successful completion of the program.

To get certified as a CDMS, you must first register for the program on the DMI website. Once registered, you will be provided access to the course materials and assessments required for certification. You can complete these courses at your own pace but must complete them within six months in order to receive your certificate.

The cost of the CDMS program varies depending on where you are located; however, it typically costs between $750-$1000 USD.

2. Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS)

A Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS) is an individual who has received a certification from an accredited organization that validates their knowledge and experience in the field of social media strategy. This certification demonstrates the individual's expertise in developing and implementing effective social media strategies to drive business results.

It typically takes between 4-6 months to complete the necessary coursework and requirements for the CSMS certification, depending on the specific program. Most programs require applicants to have at least two years of professional experience in the field of social media strategy, although some may allow entry-level candidates with less experience. Applicants must also pass an exam demonstrating their knowledge of best practices and strategies for successful social media campaigns.

The cost of getting a CSMS certification varies depending on the program chosen, but can range anywhere from $500-$2,000 USD. Some programs may also offer discounts or scholarships for those who qualify financially.

In addition to demonstrating expertise in the field of social media strategy, having a CSMS certification can open up opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries within organizations that recognize this qualification.

3. Certified Advertising and Media Strategist (CAMS)

Certified Advertising and Media Strategist (CAMS) is a professional certification developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). The 4A’s CAMS certification is designed to provide advertising professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop effective media strategies. The program focuses on the fundamentals of media planning, including research, analysis, budgeting, and buying.

The 4A's CAMS program requires applicants to complete a series of online courses and exams in order to receive their certification. Applicants must have at least two years of experience in an advertising or media role in order to be eligible for the program.

The cost of the 4A's CAMS program varies depending on whether you are a member of the 4A's or not. For non-members, it costs $1,500 to register for the course and take all four exams. For members, it costs $1,000 to register for the course and take all four exams.

It typically takes around six months to complete the 4A's CAMS program. This includes taking all four online courses and passing each exam with a score of 70% or higher.

4. Professional Digital Marketing Strategist (PDMS)

Professional Digital Marketing Strategist (PDMS) is a certification program designed to help professionals understand the fundamentals of digital marketing and how to create effective strategies for businesses. The PDMS certification is offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), which is an international, independent body that provides professional certifications in digital marketing.

The PDMS certification program consists of four modules: Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing. Each module includes topics such as understanding customer needs, creating a digital strategy, optimizing content for search engines, leveraging social media platforms, and measuring results.

It typically takes around three months to complete the PDMS certification program. To get certified, you must pass all four modules with a minimum score of 70%. You can take the modules online or attend classroom sessions at one of DMI’s training centers.

The cost of the PDMS certification program varies depending on your location and whether you choose to attend classroom sessions or take the modules online. However, it usually costs between $1,000 and $2,000 USD.

5. Certified Content Marketing Strategist (CCMS)

A Certified Content Marketing Strategist (CCMS) is a professional who has the knowledge and experience to create, manage, and measure effective content marketing strategies. The CCMS certification is offered by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

The CCMS program is designed to provide content marketers with the skills they need to develop successful content strategies. It includes topics such as developing an editorial calendar, creating content for different channels, understanding analytics, and more.

The CCMS certification requires completion of a self-paced online course that consists of six modules. Each module takes approximately three hours to complete, for a total of 18 hours of study time. There are also two additional exams that must be passed in order to receive the certification.

The cost of the CCMS program is $1,495 USD. This fee covers all materials required for the course and exams including access to CMI’s library of resources and webinars.

6. Certified Online Advertising Strategist (COAS)

A Certified Online Advertising Strategist (COAS) is a professional certification program designed to provide digital marketing professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to create, implement, and manage successful online advertising campaigns. This certification is offered by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

To become a COAS, you must pass an exam that covers topics such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, display advertising, mobile marketing, and social media marketing. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and includes multiple choice questions.

The cost of the COAS certification varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally, it costs around $300-$500 USD.

In order to get certified as a COAS, you must first complete a training course from DMI or an accredited partner organization. These courses typically range from one day to five days in length and cover all of the topics mentioned above. After completing the training course, you can then register for the exam through DMI’s website. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions for taking the exam, which can be taken at any approved testing center worldwide.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your official COAS certificate in the mail within four weeks of passing your exam. Congratulations! You are now officially certified as a Certified Online Advertising Strategist!

7. Certified Mobile Marketing Strategist (CMMS)

Certified Mobile Marketing Strategist (CMMS) is a certification program designed to help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners understand the mobile marketing landscape and develop successful strategies. The program is offered by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), an international non-profit trade association that focuses on the development of mobile marketing standards and best practices.

The CMMS program consists of two parts: a self-study online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as mobile technology, consumer behavior, mobile advertising, analytics, and more. It takes approximately 10 hours to complete the course. Once completed, participants can take the exam which tests their knowledge of the concepts covered in the course.

The cost for taking the CMMS program is $499 USD for members of MMA or $599 USD for non-members. To become a member of MMA, you must pay an annual fee of $299 USD.

Upon successful completion of both parts of the CMMS program, participants will receive a certification from MMA that is valid for three years.

8. Certified Search Engine Optimization Strategist (CSES)

Certified Search Engine Optimization Strategist (CSES) is a certification program designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to create successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. The program focuses on teaching the fundamentals of SEO, including keyword research, content optimization, link building, and analytics.

The CSES certification requires applicants to complete a series of online courses and pass an exam. In order to become certified, applicants must have at least one year of professional experience in SEO or related fields. The program typically takes six months to complete and costs around $1,000 USD.

To get started with the CSES certification process, applicants must first register for the program through the official website. Once registered, they will be provided with access to course materials and exams. Applicants must then complete all coursework and pass the final exam in order to receive their certification.

9. Professional Social Media Manager (PSMM)

A Professional Social Media Manager (PSMM) is a person or company who specializes in managing and optimizing social media accounts for businesses, organizations, and individuals. They are responsible for creating content, engaging with followers, monitoring conversations, analyzing data, and providing strategic advice on how to best use social media to reach goals.

It typically takes about 3-4 months of training and experience to become a PSMM. This includes taking classes or courses in social media marketing, developing an understanding of the different platforms and their capabilities, learning how to create effective campaigns and strategies, and gaining hands-on experience by working on projects.

To get certified as a PSMM you must complete an accredited program such as the Certified Professional Social Media Manager (CPSMM) program offered by Hootsuite Academy. This program requires completion of several courses including Introduction to Social Media Strategy & Tactics; Advanced Social Media Strategy & Tactics; Content Marketing; Analytics & Reporting; Paid Advertising; Branding & Engagement; Community Management; and Digital PR.

The cost of the CPSMM program varies depending on which courses you take but can range from $500 - $2,000 USD.

10. Advanced Digital Media Strategy Certification (ADMSC)

Advanced Digital Media Strategy Certification (ADMSC) is a certification program offered by the Digital Marketing Institute. It is designed to provide digital marketing professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to develop and implement effective digital media strategies. The curriculum covers topics such as content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, email marketing, mobile marketing, and more.

The ADMSC program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 8 weeks to complete and includes video lectures, quizzes, and assignments. The exam must be taken in person at one of the approved testing centers.

To get the ADMSC certification, you must first complete the online course and then pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your certificate within 4-6 weeks of completing it.

The cost of the Advanced Digital Media Strategy Certification program varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $2,000-$3,000 USD.

Do You Really Need a Media Strategist Certificate?

When considering whether or not to pursue a media strategist certificate, it is important to assess your own career goals and the value of the certification. A media strategist certificate can provide valuable credentials for those interested in pursuing a career in media strategy and can help you stand out from other applicants in the field. However, there are also several drawbacks to consider before committing to the program.

The primary benefit of obtaining a media strategist certificate is that it can demonstrate your commitment to the field and demonstrate that you have received formal training in media strategy. This can be especially useful for those looking to break into the industry or advance their careers. The certification may also give you access to exclusive job postings or networking opportunities with other professionals in the field.

On the other hand, there are several drawbacks associated with obtaining a media strategist certificate. For one, obtaining a certificate requires time and money investment, and it may not guarantee employment upon completion. Additionally, employers may not always recognize certificates as legitimate qualifications; some may prefer experience over certificates when evaluating job candidates. Finally, many employers prefer applicants who have already established themselves in the field rather than those who are just starting out with no prior experience.

Ultimately, whether or not you decide to pursue a media strategist certificate will depend on your career goals and needs. If you are looking for an edge when applying for jobs or want formal recognition of your knowledge and skillset, then obtaining a certificate might be worth considering. However, if you already have ample experience in the industry or if financial cost is an issue for you, then pursuing a certification might not be necessary.

Related: Media Strategist Resume Examples

FAQs About Media Strategist Certifications

1. What is the role of a media strategist?

A media strategist is responsible for creating and executing effective media plans that drive results for their clients. They identify target audiences and develop strategies to reach them, create budgets and negotiate contracts with media outlets, analyze data to measure success, and use insights to improve campaigns.

2. What certifications are available for media strategists?

Various certifications are available in the field of media strategy, including Certified Media Strategist (CMS), Digital Media Strategist (DMS), Social Media Strategist (SMS), Broadcast Media Strategist (BMS), and Mobile Media Strategist (MMS).

3. How long does it take to get certified as a media strategist?

The amount of time required to become certified as a media strategist varies depending on the certification chosen, but typically takes anywhere from 6-12 months of study.

4. What is the cost of getting certified as a media strategist?

The cost of becoming certified as a media strategist can range from $500-$2,000 depending on the certification chosen.

5. Are there any online courses I can take to become certified as a media strategist?

Yes, there are several online courses available that offer certification in various areas of media strategy such as digital marketing, social media marketing, broadcast marketing, and mobile marketing.