We have all heard the expression: "Do what you love, and the money will follow…" And I'm sure you have also heard something like: "How's spending all day Facebook going to help you get a job?" (But the big question is: were you making these statements or hearing them?) Well, these two differing views of the world are now starting to merge… An entire career category of Social Media is beginning to appear on the job landscape.
Just a simple search on the job boards show that this career path is alive and kicking. So other than by 'self-training', (i.e. spending all day on Facebook) how does one prepare for such a career? Well have no fear, colleges and universities are stepping up to fill this gap.
College level courses are being developed, usually as a joint venture between Computer Science and Communications departments, merging multiple disciplines, including ideas from Business Management, Marketing and other backgrounds. Rutgers University has started a graduate level course called "Understanding and Building Social Media". Michigan State has established a core set of courses, that touch upon aspects of Journalism, Computer Science, and more. Even Stanford has a course on Creating Persuasive Facebook Apps.
For those who feel "work" is a four-letter word (i.e. your parents?), the idea of a career in Social Media may strike some people as less than a 'real job'. But make no mistake, these jobs are out there, and they are in high demand! Part tech support, part public relations, and part psychology, it can be a great career choice for a well rounded student!