Many colleges are adding social media undergraduate degrees and MBAs to their roster of majors. If you want to work in PR or marketing, you may want to consider this major for your Bachelor's or Master's to make yourself more marketable now and in years to come. You shouldn't assume that you can succeed in social media for business without formal training - it's a far different animal than Tweeting and Instagramming for your own personal use. Check out these five reasons a degree in social media may make sense for you.
#1 Social media use for business is thriving
90% of companies now use social media to promote their brand and 70% of companies use data from social media to offer insights into their products, practices and service offerings. This year alone, social network ad spending will exceed $23.6 billion. Businesses are investing heavily in social media so it logically follows that investing in a degree in this field could be a wise move for your future.
#2 Social media is apt for any industry
Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers showed how even industries that seem an unlikely fit for social media are using it to extend their reach and grow sales. He found that plumbers, lawyers, cupcake purveyors, dentists and even retirement homes benefited from social media activity. That means that no matter what industry you're interested in, social media already is (or will soon be) a factor in success.
#3 Social media is here to stay
While it will likely never supplant traditional marketing, social media is here to stay. While Twitter and Instagram may not exist in a decade, a subsequent iteration will rise to take its place. Case in point is the decline of MySpace and growth of Facebook. Just as other degree fields must evolve (science, engineering, etc.) so too will social media and, thus, a degree in this specialty won't grow irrelevant.
#4 Social media job growth is booming
CareerBuilder.com last year cited the specialized fields most likely to see job growth in the future and social media, along with mobile and cloud technology, topped the list. Because social media cuts across the swath of all industries, as the economy grows, so too will opportunities in the field. And, if you want to work in marketing or recruiting, social media will increasingly become a necessity.
#5 Social media MBAs can compliment other degrees
If you already have a Bachelor's or are close to completion, picking up a social media MBA may be just the thing to make you more competitive in an already-competitive job market. A Master's in this growth field can help you make more of your BA in marketing or communication. And, if your degree is a decade (or more) old, a social media MBA can demonstrate your relevance in today's market.
Colleges and universities are increasingly expanding social media education. Even venerable Rutgers has added an online Mini-MBA in social media marketing to its offerings. And many online schools now offer free laptops to ensure students are well-equipped. This can be essential to those learning cutting edge-fields like social media. Finally, if you're considering pursuing a social media graduate or undergraduate degree, it may be wise to evaluate a potential college's social media presence to see if they're practicing what they're teaching!