July 30, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Social media masters: A method in the madness?

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This week The Wall Street Journal announced a shift in job titles relating to social media. Between 2012 and 2013 the number of jobs with the term 'social media' was down by 9% according to indeed.com - additionally, jobs with the word 'Twitter' in the title dropped by 22%. But what does this mean about the world of work?

The main answer lies in finding a social media expertise, it's difficult for someone to understand social media strategy, if they don't have a role to play in the technical functions of an overall business strategy. In an attempt to tackle this new media, many universities are offering courses that focuses solely on this medium itself. The WSJ article by Zara Stone looks at The University of Florida, where an 18-month masters in Social Media is advertised to,

'...examine the impact of social media and explains how it can be used to influence the future of communication, marketing, journalism, politics, entertainment, public relations, and more.'

Understandably, educational establishments aim to broaden students' horizons, inspire them to do greater things or to dig deeper into the methodology (not practice) of their chosen subject. It could be difficult to dig into methodology of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter though - as the intricate algorithms behind these platforms change daily.

The WSJ piece by Stone goes on to share that skill searches by potential employers with terms like 'Instagram' and 'Twitter' were up by 644% and 44% respectively, between 2012 and 2013. It seems that whilst candidates roles are becoming more integrated with bigger business goals, their innovative skill set is what matters.Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 17.09.00

Indeed social media has created an economy which is much more practical, volatile and intricate. You can't call social networking an industry - it cross-tangents with so many different departmental functions of any organisation that social media is a necessity everywhere. Needless to say, this all leads to one big question - when a candidate applies for a job, how will a degree or masters in social media be perceived, surely knowledge of new media, innovation, interpersonal skills and technology is more important?

Perhaps then the best way to really understand social media is to get hands on, learn how it applies to your pre-existing expertise and innovate the way you choose to use it.

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