College Students To Tweet Even More In Class As Social Media Becomes A Major

How soon until they can minor in texting?

Retweet this if you want extra credit.

That idea may not be too farfetched because according to the local Fox channel 57 in Columbia, SC, South Carolina's Newberry College is pushing the envelope of tech education, and will allow its students to major in social media.

The kids will learn all about it, and how to use it, apparently...because all that time spent on their iPhones or home PCs using Facebook and Twitter and Instagram isn't enough of an education all of its own.

Check out the news clip below to have your social world turned as upside down as a keg stand:

Now, we agree that Web 2.0 (if we can use so outmoded a phrase) is all about the social experience of the web, with a side serving of revolution in mobile social Net access. Obama leveraged Facebook to win an election, social media sites break news, and important info like earthquake alerts before the mainstream media has even warmed up its cameras, and heck, even his Pope-iness himself has taken to Twitter. But is a major in social media really something you want to slap on your resume alongside your Klout score? (And did you see what I did there?).

The college, for its part, explains that this is one of the first interdisciplinary social media majors. It says it blends graphic design, communications, business, marketing, psychology, and statistics, and that social media is such a vital part of marketing and other business habits that it'll be a valuable qualification with a likely career path ahead of it. One way students will learn mobile marketing, the college says (via Fox 57), is by designing QR codes, "those little black and white scanners you use with your smartphone." Apparently this is the "hot new way" to do marketing with mobile phones.

So...last time we looked, the QR code was frowned upon by almost everyone, everywhere (though it does linger in the U.S.). And surely one worry is that by the time students graduate in 2017, with the course starting in 2013, the rocket-speed development of social media itself will have outpaced their education.

But, far be it from us to badmouth some innovation in education. And at least one bit of the U.S. education system is keeping up with the cutting edge of tech (and the rest of the world) for once.

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  • Harry Reczek

    A Social Media course should at least be a core course for today's students. It's like taking an English class to be competent in communication (writing & speaking), then take Social Media to be digitally literate. Once we all realize that because of social media we have a personal Brand on-line then we begin to appreciate the need for social media education that creates learning. Once there's the "core" course, maybe decide to "major" in it. That's where we apply the value of social media in the "business world". In your "personal world" maybe a class or two might be beneficial on how to get a job and develop your career. “Table manners” aren’t taught in schools so I am NOT surprised that “Social Media manners” isn’t either. Facebook is FUN, social media is not. Colleges should mean business . ~H 

  • nrosskothen

    I agree with the other comments. However, I do not see Social Media as a major, but rather as courses of a major. The old school marketing, branding, and communication rules do still apply. Social Media is a medium, like TV, radio, or direct mail. Each medium has its own conventions. Platforms will come and go, but no one knows what the new hot thing will be. Twenty years ago, Home Shopping Network was going to take over and all the malls where go to close. Then Web 1.0 was hot and everyone was going to buy everything online. Social Media is the new hot thing, but it may not be in 5 or 10 years. Would you rather have a degree in Programming or FORTRAN Programming? By the time these students are 25, their degrees might be very limiting. I think in our rapidity-changing world, we need flexible multidimensional graduates ready to handle the next big thing.

  • Marc Zwygart

    I agree with the others comments but I believe you are looking at individual platforms rather than the degree itself.  Where this degree differentiates from traditional marketing is that the employee is in control of content, digital asset management, social policy and procedures and so much more.  New social media platforms that pop up every year can definitely courses taken within the degree but understanding how to use it and how it fits in to the overall marketing plan is very important.  I can tell you as a Social Media Manager, there is a huge need for employees who have this understanding.  I have also been approached by many recruitment companies asking if I would consider moving, so there is obviously a need for these skills that really aren't taught at most colleges.

  • Lauren Welles

    Students being able to major in social media will create new options for employers. Many companies are beginning to hire social media employees and have to teach them how to post to their social media pages. If students are able to graduate with a degree in social media, it will make them very valuable to companies; they [companies] will no longer have to train their new social media hires.

  • Terez

    While I applaud the initiative the college as taken to be more on the cutting edge of tech education, the web, and especially social media, changes lightning fast. While Twitter and Facebook seem to be mainstays, in four years time the social media landscape could look completely different. For instance, several years ago Myspace was the go-to destination on the web. Now it is fighting to return to relevancy.

  • Stephan Hovnanian

    The line about being an interdisciplinary major that will likely be part of a career path makes sense, but I agree with that tech changes too rapidly to be something a college can teach over the course of four years. Perhaps designing a QR code should be part of a graphic design course, not part of a major requirement (and similar argument applies to other disciplines like marketing, programming and even finance). Overall, the idea has potential if done right...from the article, it doesn't seem like this is going to be one of those times.

  • Evan Lovely

    Seems pretty close-minded of the author. I dare you to check your Analytics and see how much traffic comes from social media. Although I do agree that colleges wouldn't be able to keep up with the fast pace of growth.