The amount of time that I spent on Facebook in my dorm room instead of studying probably could have gotten me an honorary degree in college. I’m kidding – I did study a lot, but it’s true that social media was a big part of my college experience.
So while all I got in college because of Facebook was less sleep than I should have, some students at Newberry College in South Carolina will actually going to get course credit for getting their social media skills on.
Newberry is introducing a social media major and minor for the Fall 2013 semester. According to the school, the social media curriculum is going to be made up of a bunch of classes from all different departments (ranging from business to psychology), plus a few newbie classes just for this program. Seems pretty sweet, right?
I was a journalism major, and I really, really wish I wish I had more experience with social media in college. I don’t know if I would have necessarily switched my major to one entirely focused on it, but social media skills are a big plus – not just in journalism, but a lot of different fields. Think about it – probably nearly all the companies or businesses you can think of have a Facebook page these days.
In my experience, using social media in your job requires different approach than you would use with your personal profile. I definitely feel that learning those strategies has a place in the classroom, and it’s cool (and useful) that it seems like students will get to think about social media from a bunch of angles with such a variety of classes.
According to the Huffington Post piece where I first read the news, some people have expressed that they’re a little dubious about if this new major is a good idea. Is it something that will be useful for graduates or is it just trying to be hip and trendy for the young, techie crowd?
I don’t think I have to tell you guys how fast technology changes (guys, I remember a time before email, let alone Facebook), but to me, it seems the school has really considered the demands that will be on them to stay up to date in order to make this degree and experience a worthwhile one for students. When a local news station interviewed Newberry associate professor Tania Sosiak (who designed the major), she said: “Each semester the technology is new, so the textbook is obsolete, so I’m challenged, as well as all the other professors.”
We’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out, but let the record show that as it stands now, I “like” this bit of news (click!).
Would you ever consider a major in social media? What sorts of skills do you think a major in social media would provide? Speaking of which, have you checked out the Gurl social media pages lately? Tell us in the comments!