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Why Isn’t SEO a Major?

Inside Terakeet June 18, 2014


In the past 12 months, the SEO industry has grown tremendously, ranking in the top percentile of industry growth in the US. That growth is certainly evident at Terakeet as well, as we’ve added over 60 desks to our expanding office and have grown to over 100 employees in the past six months. As we focus on recruiting and retaining the top talent from local and far, many inquiring applicants wonder what type of degree or background will put them ahead of the game.

So, how many recent hires majored in Search Engine Marketing? The answer: none.

Why isn’t SEO a major?

In fact, in our Terakeet family, we don’t have anyone that has majored in SEO, and the same is probably true of any other SEO company. Why is that?

Point 1: Ever-changing Cycle

SEO is one of the fastest changing industries. This can be tedious and can cause major setbacks for clients and agencies. Google implements algorithm changes like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird that create nightmares for unprepared companies overnight.

However, Google is constantly improving the standards of quality. How would it be possible for any university, college, or professor for that matter to keep up with those significant movements? By the time you get out of college, a lot of the information you learned would no longer be valid. It’s clear this industry moves quickly and there is no stopping it.

Point 2: Encompasses Information Overload

According to Brian Sheehan, an Advertising professor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, “Search is a key aspect of digital success. You need other components like social, marketing [and] advertising in order for search to be successful, [but] if you cannot be found on the web, you really can’t be a success. Search is just one piece of the digital universe without social media, analytics and other resourceful tools it wouldn’t be possible.” With all the different subjects and courses that universities provide to students, it would be difficult for them to be combined. Search is much more dynamic than that. Sheehan says, “When we look at most major universities from a broad perspective, most courses are Arts and Science. Right now we do not have SEO as a separate major, but that doesn’t mean in the future we won’t.”

SEO is an analytic tool box with several different software options. Each university would have to follow similar guidelines that change over time and no professor would be able to choose a curriculum without having it change daily.

Point 3: More Than Just Content

SEO is a complex industry built around data and metrics that can be overwhelming. However, success is based on creativity. It is no longer about quantity, it’s about the quality that is being delivered to clients. On a daily basis, Terakeet employees are performing their best creative work. They create innovative ideas which lead to great content and outreach tactics.

Point 4: On The Job Training?

TKUThumbSo how do we become experts in a field with no guidelines? SEO has huge value that benefits relationships among people and businesses. We look for people who think in real time and can perform real-world communication with thought leadership. We see how it works together as one organic system.

Through several different workshops, with both training and development, Terakeet offers programs that help clients and employees grow with knowledge of the SEO world. Our training school, TerakeetU, is a program that helps our employees grow within the company. Jeff Simonds, a Brand Strategy Supervisor at Terakeet, describes TerakeetU as a “newly unveiled program aimed at developing leadership and other professional skills across all levels of the company. Participants attend weekly seminars designed to enhance skills that are necessary to keep pace with the changes that are constantly impacting our work.” Whether deepening knowledge of advanced SEO principles or refining skills like goal setting, time management, and leadership, all of these components help us to better serve our clients.


If SEO isn’t available for primary study in college, how can we still learn the essential elements of Search Engine Optimization? College degrees aid as a resource with real life experience, but it is not a direct prerequisite to breaking into the industry. It is beneficial to study marketing, business, design, communication and writing, while reading and following insights from top industry leaders.

But Terakeet doesn’t limit itself to specific majors when hiring new talent. We seek intelligent young minds that have excellent writing skills, and we want our employees to be able to talk to their peers on a human level. We pride ourselves in hiring people who are innovative and have excellent customer service skills. If you strive for excitement, challenges and a continuous change, then joining Terakeet is a step in the right direction for becoming an SEO professional.

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