A Higher Education in Social Media
By Trisha Lyn Fawver
Forget spending years in grad school toiling away on an advanced marketing degree. Birmingham City University in the UK is going to begin offering a MA course in Social Media. All you social media junkies out there, grab your backpacks and passports!
Jon Hickman, the course convener, had this to say about the year-long program:
It’s not for freaks or IT geeks, the tools learnt on this course will be accessible to many people.
During the course we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes.
There has been significant interest in the course already, and it will definitely appeal to students looking to go into professions including journalism and PR.
While the university has expressed that there’s lots of support and interest already, students are voicing criticism that the course is too simple and could be self-taught.
I have to agree that this seems like it’s enough for a course at a community college, but not enough for an entire Masters program to orbit around. Most social media is self-taught, and fairly simple to grasp and master. Programs like this lend credence to the “social media experts” out there that charge $5000 just to set up a Facebook profile for the uninitiated.
Should we give credence to these experts? I don’t think so, but I’m sure others would disagree with me. It’s a great thing to see social media gain such widespread acceptance as to add it to college-level curricula. I’m all for that. But does it really require its own masters degree? What do you think?
Trisha Lyn Fawver manages affiliate programs, blogs, and explores the world of social media, all at TrishaLyn.com.