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Want a Career in Social Media? Seven Degrees to Help You Get Started

Mar 25, 2013 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Education.org Columnist | 0 Comments

Social media is such a new field that degrees focusing specifically in that topic are not always easy to come by. But they’re out there. And social media draws on many other skills for which there are plenty of established degrees. Here’s a selection of degrees that could help you develop the skills you need to be an expert in social media.

A Bachelor’s degree in social media studies

They’re not always easy to find, but they do exist. Check out Ashford University’s Bachelor of Science in eMarketing or the Bachelor of Science in Marketing: Social Media Marketing at Southern New Hampshire
University—both online—as examples.

A Bachelor’s in journalism

Many journalism degrees these days don’t just focus on print media. Check out Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication as an example of a journalism degree that provides a focus on electronic communications.

A Bachelor’s in marketing

Even marketing degrees that don’t focus specifically on social media can provide you with some excellent skills—in branding, communication, and media strategy. These skills translate well into online communications. Check out Herzing University’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing for an example from an accredited online college.

A Bachelor’s in computer information systems

There’s more to social media than understanding how to communicate online. Understanding how these systems work—and even how to design one yourself—can be an extremely valuable skill. Check out Walden University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems: New Media Technologies as an example.

Graduate certificate in social media

If you already have a Bachelor’s in another subject and want to demonstrate your expertise in social media studies, a graduate certificate may be the ideal credential for you. These are post-graduate degrees that don’t take as long to earn as a Master’s—usually approximately one year, as opposed to two for a Master’s degree. The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers a Graduate Certificate in Social Media Essentials.

Master’s degree in social media

Another option for those who already have a Bachelor’s is to earn a Master’s degree. It will take a bit more time than a graduate certificate, but it’s also more valuable in the marketplace. Check out Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA with a Certificate in Social Media Marketing as an example.

Master’s degree in psychology

Understanding the psychology of social media communications can also be a valuable skill—for both individuals and businesses. There are a few degree programs out there that focus on this subject, including Walden University’s Master of Science in Media Psychology and Fielding Graduate University’s Master of Science in Media Psychology and Social Change.

A degree in public relations

Public relations skills can also be highly valuable in the field of new media. There are many different options here; check out Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing or George Washington University’s Master of Arts in Strategic Public Relations as examples.

Choosing a degree program isn’t easy—and there are plenty of options out there, even for a relatively new field like social media. The degree that’s right for you will depend on your existing level of education, the type of position you’re looking for, and your interests. But whether you’re into branding and communications, psychology, or the tech side of things, there’s a degree out there with the right combination of interests and specialties for you—that can give you the skills you need to launch a new career.

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