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Social Media Careers: Education Requirements and Job Info

Careers in social media require significant formal education. Learn about the degrees, job duties and additional skills to see if this is the right career for you.

Individuals interested in a career in social media often need a bachelor's degree in a field like communications, journalism, or marketing. Career options include social media strategist, social media manager, and social media sales representative.

Essential Information

There are many different career paths for someone interested in working with social media, but essentially they all involve using sites like Facebook and Twitter to increase a company's brand awareness. The field is so new that degree programs are just starting to be developed, however most employers look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or marketing. Those looking for a career in this field should also have excellent marketing, communication, and computer skills. Someone who enjoys social media, writing, business, and marketing may find this to be a rewarding career choice.

Career Social Media Strategist Social Media Manager Social Media Sales Representative
Required Education Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or marketing Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or marketing Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or marketing
Other Requirements Writing and computer skills Writing and computer skills Writing and computer skills
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% (all advertising, promotion, and marketing managers) 6% (all public relations specialists) -3% (all advertising sales agents)
Median Salary (2015)* $124,850 (all advertising, promotion, and marketing managers) $56,770 (all public relations specialists) $48,490 (all advertising sales agents)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Careers in Social Media

Most careers in social media require excellent writing, communication and computer skills. A good understanding of social media marketing techniques is also required. Many employers look for social media professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism or marketing.

Social media degree programs are emerging; however, this is a relatively new field of study. A few schools offer Master of Business Administration programs that include Internet marketing or social media coursework. Certificate programs are also available in digital and Internet marketing. Common topics in these programs include social media analytics, interactive marketing techniques and social media networking strategies.

Job Information for Social Media Careers

Social media professionals increase brand awareness among consumers by using various online sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Many of these professionals have a good understanding of viral marketing techniques, search engine optimization, website design and online advertising. Common job titles in this field include social media strategist, manager or sales representative.

Social Media Strategists

Social media strategists decide which social media programs should be utilized in order to create effective marketing campaigns. They also monitor site traffic to ensure campaign success. Additional job duties may include maintaining a company's social media sites or meeting with clients to craft Web-based marketing strategies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for all advertising, promotions and marketing managers, including social media strategists, would increase by 9% from 2014 to 2024. These managers made a median annual salary of $124,850 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.

Social Media Managers

Managers of a company's social media presence monitor posts on social sites. They also work with other managers to develop coordinated marketing plans and give direction to writers or communications team members. In some cases, managers have the same responsibilities as social media strategists, like analyzing website traffic or maintaining a company's Facebook page. Some social media managers may fall into the occupational category of public relations specialists. The BLS projected that this occupational group would see a 6% growth in jobs from 2014 to 2024. Public relations specialists made a median annual salary of $56,770 as of May 2015.

Social Media Sales Representatives

Sales representatives seek out clients interested in using social media to increase product awareness. These professionals attend networking events and cold-call businesses in order to generate sales prospects. Representatives also meet with existing clients to present new ideas for social media initiatives. The BLS projected that advertising sales agents, including those who sell advertising on social media, would decline by 3% from 2014 to 2024. Advertising sales agents earned a median annual salary of $48,490 as of May 2015.

Social media career options range from strategists who determine which forms of social media should be used for a marketing campaign and monitor site traffic to social media managers who put the posts on these sites and coordinate the marketing plan with other managers. Social media sales representatives focus on building a client base for people using social media to increase their product exposure.

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