As social media becomes more and more intertwined with daily life, career opportunities are on the rise. Institutions of higher education have taken note of this. Schools are now making graduate degree programs available that focus specifically on the social media landscape. The following graduate program options are among the most suitable for students looking to obtain an advanced degree in social media studies.
Master of Communication (Social Media / Digital Media Concentration)
Traditional academic communication programs are increasingly adding social media coursework to their curricula. Some master's programs allow students to take a core or concentration of social media classes. This pairs the broad career usefulness of a communications degree with the specific technical and marketing knowledge needed to work in social media. Some examples of social media course topics including branding, engaging followers and advertising.
These programs often require that the student have a bachelor's degree, but the program of study is usually not important (as long as it is from a regionally accredited institution). Programs may ask for added requirements such as a GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate coursework, a certain minimum GRE score, academic references and a personal statement or essay.
Master of Science in Digital Media
Digital media (or digital social media) graduate programs are somewhat like a communications degree, but with an almost exclusive focus on internet-based media related to computers and mobile devices. Naturally, this includes a major focus on the use of social media platforms. These programs can range over a wide sampling of other topics in digital media, such as game design and app development.
These programs do not necessarily require a specific bachelor's degree or prior undergraduate coursework in the field. Students should anticipate that factors such as GRE score, references, a personal statement and a writing sample will be weighed as part of the application process, however.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Multimedia and Digital Communication
Master of Business Administration (Social Media Concentration)
Some Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are adding a concentration or track in social media studies. This option pairs the social media skills you'll need with a broader business management education that can lead directly to management and high-level administrative positions. A graduate certificate in social media added to a standard MBA program is also an option at some schools.
MBA programs usually require that students have a bachelor's degree, though just about any subject works. There are some programs that do not require a bachelor's, however, and in some cases enough relevant work experience can be substituted for it. Students must also usually take the GMAT or GRE and have some amount of prior work experience (two years is usually a safe number).
Master of Arts in Emerging Media Studies
This very new degree type focuses specifically on emerging platforms such as social media. Students learn how to work with, do research on, analyze and visualize data for social media platforms. This involves learning how to use specialized data analysis tools and potentially even branching out into development of new tools.
These programs typically require a bachelor's degree for admission, though it does not need to be in a specific discipline. Students should be ready with a fairly recent GRE score as well. Standard items such as a personal statement, a writing sample and academic references are also very commonly requested.
There are a number of different paths to a graduate education in social media, some of them very different from others. Traditional business and communication programs are one way to do it, or students can explore the newer degree types in digital and emerging media.