Overview of Social Media Communications Degrees
Degrees in social media communications are not common, especially at the undergraduate level. However, students who are interested in studying this field can still do so by enrolling in a degree program in a closely related area that includes courses in social media communications or allows for students to select a concentration in social media. Some of these potential degrees are in fields like strategic communications, marketing with a social media concentration, and media communications. Below, we will learn a bit more about these types of degree options.
Admission Requirements for Social Media Communications Degree Programs
Students who are interested in enrolling in a social media communications degree program will need to make sure they meet the admission requirements. In general, there are no specific courses that students will have needed to complete in high school in order to gain admission. Students will need to make sure they send in a completed application, SAT or ACT scores, high school transcripts, and proof of high school diploma or GED.
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Common Courses in Social Media Communications Degree Programs
The curriculum for programs related to the field of social media communications may vary depending on the specific focus of the degree. For example, a program focused on marketing will likely include courses that study social media from a marketing standpoint, while a more communications-oriented program will study other aspects of social media. However, because there is some overlap among these programs, there generally are courses that are common to them, a few of which we will discuss below.
New Media Writing
These degree programs may require students to take a course that instructs them in how to write content for new types of media, like social media and other new media platforms. In this course, students will focus on traditional concepts of writing, like grammar and style, as well as how writing style shifts depending on the platform and the desired audience.
Students may also be required to take some types of course focused on advertising, with an emphasis on adverting using social media. They will learn various types of advertising strategies and methods, how to set up social media advertising campaigns, and how to measure the success of advertising campaigns. Topics that may be discussed in this class include different types of social media tools, identifying the audience, and which types of metrics can be used to calculate success.
Social Media Marketing
A course focused on social media marketing will cover general principles of marketing while also focusing on how these principles translate into the world of social media. Students will learn how to use social media tools to market effectively, how to integrate a social media marketing campaign into a more traditional marketing strategy, and how to use social media to establish an online presence that enhances marketing campaigns.
Social Media and Communication
In a course that covers social media and communication, students will learn about the role that social media can play in a larger communication strategy. They may study specifically how social media is used in the areas of public relations, marketing, advertising, and mass communication, along with how organizations and industries can use social media to their advantage in order to most effectively communicate their desired message.
Another course that is commonly found in these programs is one focused on consumer behavior. In such a course, students will study the process by which consumers make choices regarding their consumption. They will also focus on how social media and the media in general affect consumers and how this then affects their behavior.
How to Choose a Social Media Communications Degree Program
Because there are currently not that many options for students who are interested in pursuing a degree in social media communications, choosing among the options that are available will likely depend on their interests and career goals. Students who are interested in studying social media from a certain angle, like marketing or business, may want to consider enrolling in a degree program housed in one of these departments. Another factor that students may want to consider before enrolling is whether or not the degree they are interested in is offered online or in a traditional on-campus format. In addition, studying the curriculum of each degree program will likely help students decide which degree program is of most interest to them.
Career Options with a Degree in Social Media Communications
Students who obtain a degree in social media communications have a number of job options from which to choose. One option is a social media specialist, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies as a type of public relations (PR) specialist. PR specialists made a median annual salary of $59,300 as of 2017 and the field is projected to grow by 9% between 2016 and 2026. Potential options for graduates include the following: