Don’t do a social media degree

Higher education is powerful, but not necessarily when it comes to mastering social media. Consider this:

  1. You’ll learn your best stuff – your skills, your art – in situ. Nothing beats on-the-ground practical experience for disciplines which are new and evolving quickly.
  2. Three years to complete your degree is 100 years in internet time. What you’ll learn in your first-year class probably won’t apply by the time you graduate.
  3. Employers are less impressed with the ‘piece of paper’ credential these days. They want to see evidence of what you’ve done and are doing in social media right now, i.e. your speaks-for-itself online portfolio. Start fleshing it out – it’ll carry weight at your first interview.
  4. If you want to access social media theory there’s a swath of free learning resources out there – blogs, books, podcasts and videos. If you lack the discipline to self-learn, that’s a red flag. In this space anyone who’s anyone is self-learning every day.
  5. Need on-the-ground social media skills? Top up regularly with any number of quality courses available somewhere near you.
  6. Still want to do a degree and be a social media manager? Do a Bachelor of Arts. The social media professional space is short on humanists, communicators and people who know how to string a coherent sentence together. And are relatable. And can relate. It’s a people profession.
  7. Still want to do a degree but not a Bachelor of Arts? Study business. For many organisations their presence of social media is based on commercial drivers – if you have a good business head on your shoulders you can do lots. It’s social media for business after all.

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