Looking at my career in social media over the past 20 years or so it’s crazy to see how the times have changed, including the courses being taught in school today. Back in the day social media marketing classes were unheard of and conventional and old school marketing tactics were taught, though the times are changing for the better.
It was cool to see colleges adopt social media marketing with open arms then begin offering courses in such, though at the same time it creates expectations for potential students without realizing social media evolves in the moment from trends to algorithms to social networks being acquired (e.g. Elon Musk betting on Twitter). Things are happening every day that no classes can prepare you for.
This comes down to the ultimate question: Is a degree in social media marketing actually worth it? And the simple answer is no. Social media is literally at your fingertips and you can learn more by experimenting today than getting a degree that may not pay off tomorrow. On the flip side, consider getting a degree in business, exploring coding/AI since social media and SEO are heavily driven by AI today, or other complimentary degrees.
Looking at some of the questions I am commonly asked around social media marketing careers, I wanted to touch on a few more things:
What Schooling Do You Need to Be a Social Media Marketer?
Simply said, you need the School of Hard Knocks. Wikipedia explains it perfectly: A phrase which is most typically used by a person to claim a level of wisdom imparted by life experience, which should be considered at least equal in merit to academic knowledge. It is a response that may be given when one is asked about their education, particularly if they do not have an extensive formal education but rather life experiences that should be valued instead.
How Do I Start a Career in Social Media Marketing?
You can start your social media marketing journey tomorrow by choosing something you’re passionate about (food, makeup, travel, etc.) then launch accounts on social networks to test the waters. Live in the moment and test the content that works and doesn’t work, how the algorithms function, and learn along the way.
How Much Money Does a Social Media Marketer Make?
One of the worst questions and unfortunately most common. If you are looking at a career in the social media marketing space that’s driven by money (the shiny object) it may not be the best for you. True social media marketers are driven by the results that push them further versus the monetary gains.
Hopefully this post sheds more light on degrees in social media marketing and my past experiences. And if you have any questions feel free to hit me up.