Colleges Beginning to Offer Degrees in Social Media

(Image: Shutterstock.com)

Social media as a major is cropping up at institutions around the country. And although some might consider it on par with underwater basket-weaving, others see a marketable value in it as a profession based on current trends.

Newberry College in South Carolina has announced its new degree in social media, and it’s actually one of many colleges rolling out the new programs. But before you start to think students will be spending all their time posting pics and writing hashtag filled tweets for assignments, the interdisiplinary degree will include existing courses in graphic design, communications, business administration, psychology and statistics, as well as new courses to cater specifically to social media.

According to the college’s announcement of the major earlier this month, students will learn social media techniques as well as how it fits into existing industries that could get place them in a range of jobs, including Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, politics, sports, entertainment and more.

“Newberry has something that very few colleges have to offer, an exciting major that will prepare graduates to be pioneers in a cutting edge industry that will create critical thinkers and innovators,” Tania Sosiak, associate professor of graphic design and social media and founder of the program, said.

“I feel that a graduate from our program will be more competitive in the marketplace,” Sosiak continued. “Students will be able to do many things both analytically and creatively. Collect and study data, market, create, design, broadcast and develop are just some of the skills a graduate will have as a part of their social media toolbox.”

The local Fox station took a deeper look into the major. Watch its report:

The private, liberal arts college of around 1,100 students based the need for such a major on the recent boom of social media. It stated in its press release that according to analysis by Netpop Research social media has grown by 356 percent since 2006 and advertising through social media in 2012 was worth about $5 billion.

It’s not the only institution in the country establishing such a program though. Southern New Hampshire University has a social media marketing degree offered online, as does Lewis University in Illinois.  Austin Community College also announced an associate degree in social media this year. Watch KXAN’s report on the program:

And while some might think there’s not a need for such a degree, the market might just be there. The University of Michigan earlier this year hired a social media director with a salary of $100,000 (the original posting for the job came with a salary between $90,000 to $110,000). In recent news on this position though, the woman hired for it in February recently resigned when it was revealed she had not officially graduated from Columbia College in Chicago as her resume stated, according to AnnArbor.com.

As search on the popular classifieds website Career Builder showed 160 pages worth of jobs pertaining to social media.

Featured image via Shutterstock.com.

(H/T: Atlantic Wire)

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