Lots of negative tweeting around today about the announcement of a social media degree programme at Newberry College in South Carolina.
Social media degrees are a great idea.
I did a history degree. But 5x more people use Facebook every month than there were on the entire planet at the end of the Roman Empire.
Exhibit A: facebook.com/nike. And it’s not just cool consumer brands. Apparently 73% of Fortune 500 cos have an active Twitter account.
The world internet population doubled in the last 5 years (just as it did from 2002-2007). What do you think will happen in the next 5 years? It will probably double again. It’s the ultimate growth sector!
Impact + Brands + Money + Growth = a great set of prospects.
And it’s not true that because everyone uses social media, everyone can do it well. Everyone learns how to write at school, but not everyone can do it well. Everyone learns how to do maths at school, but not everyone can do it well.
The key with turning any degree into a job is figuring out how to get good enough at something that you can charge others for it.
For the past year I’ve earned my living by advising colleagues on how to use social media for TV shows like The X Factor, Got Talent, and Idol.
It’s not that my colleagues can’t use Facebook or Twitter. It’s just that using them really effectively is actually not that straightforward. You have understand both content and the platform. You have to be alive to changes and biases in the platforms and how they display information. You have to know about discovery and recommendation and algorithms and CPIs and all sorts of other things that regular users don’t think about.
When everyone is saying the same thing, look in the opposite direction.
That’s where the most interesting opportunities are to be found.
And they’ll be back!
For more, and to get personal advice, follow @mediauniadvice on Twitter.