The rise of social media has been one of the most remarkable developments over the last couple of decades. Its growth has been unstoppable, fundamentally changing the way we consume information, purchase goods and even interact with each other, to the point that businesses now ignore it at their peril. The majority are realising the value of having a presence on the platforms where their customers are, and are creating roles or even teams dedicated to taking advantage of this.
Even with that in mind, there are still misconceptions that a degree in social media isn’t a wise career choice, that there aren’t jobs in social media, or that your career path is narrowed by a limited sector. This couldn’t be further from the truth though; here are just a few things you can do with a degree in social media:
Engage with people (and lots of them!)
In how many jobs can you say, ‘something I said reached thousands of people today’? In 2021, a report published in partnership with We are Social and Hootsuite found that there are over 4.5 billion global social media users.
Knowing how to engage an audience and build a community around a brand will make you an invaluable member of any marketing team, and arguably the one capable of having the most impact. Whether it’s responding to customer queries, promoting your products, or driving engagement through photos or video posts, the instant and direct access you have to people will be the envy of other marketing teams. The content you’ll be creating can grow and engage your audience very quickly, and a degree in social media will give you the expertise needed to effectively analyse what works and what doesn’t.
Our BA (Hons) Social Media Management degree here at Sunderland is set up to do exactly that. Jenny Wotherspoon, programme leader, says: "We've spent time working with employers to ensure that you are learning the skills and gaining the experience and knowledge you need to find work as a social media manager. We want you to be experts in creating and sharing content, planning strategies and campaigns, analysing social media data and engaging social media audiences.
"This is one of the only social media degrees in the country. But what sets ours apart is that it's not just marketing – it's also public relations, and a little journalism too, so you get the full range of communication knowledge you need to work in any social media role. Our PR modules are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and our media law module is accredited by the NCTJ, giving you extra awards and qualifications on top of your degree.
"It's also unique because of our strong focus on content creation – from gifs and video production to data visualisation and building AR lenses – we teach the latest content creation tools and techniques and encourage creativity and innovation. You get the time and opportunity build channels as a content creator, that you can continue beyond your degree.
"Almost every business has a social media presence. You could work almost anywhere for virtually any company, wherever your interests lie. You can freelance and work as a digital nomad or set up your own business and become an entrepreneur – the possibilities are endless.”
"Almost every business has a social media presence. If you can you can create great content and grow and engage online audiences, you could work virtually anywhere for anybody, including for yourself."
Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Social Media Management
Enjoy flexible and varied work
The world of social media is always active and always moving, which not only means that you’ll always have plenty to keep you busy, but you might find that your role goes beyond the standard 9 to 5. Working in social media will get you out and about, seeing what’s going on in your local area and beyond, as well as meeting new people.
The world of social media is so fast moving that staying on top of the latest trends and developments is almost a job in itself, but it means that you’ll certainly never get bored. As the platforms grow and develop, so will the jobs, keeping you on your feet and ensuring your role stays fresh and exciting. The range of jobs that use social media are continuing to grow as more and more businesses recognise its importance.
Roles in which you can use a degree in social media include:
- Social Media Manager
- Social Media Analyst
- Social Media Assistant
- Social Media and Content Strategist
- Digital Marketing Executive
- Digital Community Manager
- Digital Content Editor
- Digital Communications Officer
- Marketing Manager
- Communications Manager
- Communications Assistant
- Public Relations Assistant
These are just a few examples – the opportunities are virtually endless. Jenny adds: "Almost every business has a social media presence. If you can you can create great content and grow and engage online audiences, you could work virtually anywhere for anybody, including for yourself.”
Published: 7 April 2022