Innovative Thinking: Majoring in Social Media

If you haven't already noticed, the social media train left the station a while ago. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't hear someone talking about Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn and the countless other platforms that pop up every single day. This stuff is important, and it is becoming even more important as the use of mobile smartphones and tablets continue to skyrocket in popularity.

Here's the thing, when it comes to social media: I don't know all the ins and outs, but I try what tactics I can, to benefit {complink 577|Avnet Inc.}. What I do know is that it is important to invest in someone who does get it.

I recently spoke with representatives of a major US university about a new degree program it's developing that's all about communication in this new digital and mobile world. This degree would give students the technical skills needed to enable them to effectively use new technologies. These graduates will be trained to not only implement the technology but to understand the social, cultural, and professional implications of their digital work. Sounds innovative to me.

We have all read the stories about students not finding jobs when they graduate. Well, this is a superb entry job. There is a growing need among B2B and, of course, B2C companies for people with this expertise, and I think this degree program will prep students for a career starter. This would easily prepare these young folks for internships as well, which I feel is vital for students.

This type of a role will expose the student to a wide variety of disciplines that are transferable to many other areas in marketing, communications, employee morale, community, and public relations. This role is important and new to most departments, so they will be noticed as well. If they do well they can easily move on to other opportunities.

Going forward, I think that having a solid understanding of how to effectively communicate using technologies of today and tomorrow will be key to having a successful career in these fields. What do you think? Does it make sense?

14 comments on “Innovative Thinking: Majoring in Social Media

  1. _hm
    November 27, 2012

    It is wonderful to have social media and availability of plethora of information. However, my worry is time needed to browse it and to digest even useful data. Getting data may not be so important now. But it may be how fast can you read and digest essential information required.


  2. Houngbo_Hospice
    November 27, 2012


    You are right, With the huge amount of data availabe on social media today, there is indeed the need to devise techniques that can help users to get what is important to them without having to search through all that data. 

  3. Houngbo_Hospice
    November 27, 2012

    Social media data processing techniques are still work in progress and there are many researches dedicated to that. I will attend the Workshop on Information Extraction & Entity Analytics on Social Media Data and I will be glad to share what I will learn with you on the site.

  4. t.alex
    November 27, 2012

    In no time our resumes will not only have email and cellphone but also Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter profile. If you prepare your Linkedin profile well enough, you can also get references displayed from another Linkedin user. 

  5. Anna Young
    November 27, 2012

    t.alex, I believe many people already include social media profiles and contact information on their resumes, in addition to web pages and other information. You want to let the recruiter know you are up to date with tools used by professionals.

  6. Anna Young
    November 27, 2012

    What this means is that the person generating and transmitting the information also needs to consider what it will take the reviewer to evaluate the data. If it is added make sure it's easy to digest and make sure it is valuable information.

  7. t.alex
    November 27, 2012

    Yep I have seen some people start doing that. Some others hold back and do not put anything on their Linkedin profile. They are not comfortable with the idea that the current bosses would see their profile and would assume that they are looking for job elsewhere.

  8. prabhakar_deosthali
    November 28, 2012

    I do not think that having your profile on LinkedIn or such social media is counterproductive as far your current job is concerned.

    In this social media age this has become an important feature of every professional that he has his professional profile on a site such as LinkedIn and his personal profile ona site such as FB.

    If one is working for a professional company then the presence of such profile would not hinder youe career but if your boss is not a professional then it could be problem.


    As far data extraction from the social media sites is concerned I would recommend that Google should come out with a Social media specific  search engine to help in this matter

  9. Houngbo_Hospice
    November 28, 2012


    Will we still have paper resumes or we will  just have to point potential recruiters to our online profiles? Maybe both?

  10. Houngbo_Hospice
    November 28, 2012


    Google would like to be able to get access to the social media data, but I don't think that the information will be let “open” for any search engine to grab it.

  11. Houngbo_Hospice
    November 28, 2012


    make sure it is valuable information.

    You are right. Reviewers will not waste their valuable time going through long and boring online resumes, for instance. There are even specialized software that do a pre-review, based on specific keywords and phrases.

  12. Mr. Roques
    November 29, 2012

    What type of background would they require ? or what type of courses will they see? Will it be technical or more marketing?

    I think of social media as a tool, but not the end in itself, I don't know if someone that knows how to use Twitter really well would help a company if they don't know anything about marketing or customer relationships. 

  13. itguyphil
    November 30, 2012

    It won't be easy. That's why they're trying to expand Google+!

  14. t.alex
    December 2, 2012

    Perhaps that depends on the type of jobs. Technology related recruiter will just simply look at the online resume.

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