Social Media Workers
Education and Training Requirements
Take English and speech classes in high school to help develop your communication skills. Take as many computer science- and Internet-related courses as possible to learn about the technology behind social media applications. Other important classes include advertising, marketing, and psychology.
There is no standard educational path for social media workers. Some have bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information management, while others have degrees in advertising, marketing, marketing research, new media, journalism, or the liberal arts. Additionally, an increasing number of colleges and universities throughout the United States are recognizing the popularity of social media careers by adding classes and even majors in digital media and related fields. Check out major and course listings at colleges that you might want to attend to see what educational opportunities are available. Aspiring social media workers should also complete at least one internship as part of their college education.
Other Education or Training
Professional associations offer training opportunities for social media workers. For example, the Digital Analytics Association offers courses like "Fundamentals of Digital Analytics" and "Applying Digital Analytics." The International Web Association offers classes in categories such as Web technologies, Web programming, Web graphics and multimedia, and Web business. The Online News Association's Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab "immerses undergraduate and graduate college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience during the three-day Online News Association Conference & Awards Ceremony." Other organizations that offer continuing education classes, webinars, workshops, and videos include the American Marketing Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Voluntary certification in Internet marketing is available from the American Marketing Association and the Internet Marketing Association. Contact these organizations for more information.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Aspiring social media workers should participate in at least one internship during college with a company that uses social media. This will allow them to make valuable industry contacts, explore career options, and possibly make such a good impression that they will be offered a job after graduation. Additionally, any experience with social media, especially as it relates to advertising and marketing, will be useful.
To be successful in these careers, you should be an expert in using social media, have strong communication skills, be a good writer, be creative, have an analytical personality, be able to act professionally when interacting with site users, and be willing to continue to learn throughout your career.