Last week, the Telegraph announced that Birmingham City University will be offering a one-year social media master’s degree.
According to course creator John Hickman:
“During the course we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes. There has been significant interest in the course already, and it will definitely appeal to students looking to go into professions including journalism and PR.”
Though the course sounds exciting, I have the same concerns that many students are already buzzing about. Namely, whether this course dives deep enough beyond the tools. In my mind, this is the wrong approach for integrating social media into the University learning process.
Consider the fact that social media is already a standard process by which college students communicate online. They already get how to use the basic tools. If anything, I would think that social media would be filtered under a regular undergrad communications or PR/Journalism degree that addresses the larger scope of new media communications and online marketing strategies.
I’ve previously outlined what I believe to be important skills for PR/marketing folks looking to get an edge on the competition. In the same vein, I could see colleges creating a series of integrated courses that help develop each of these skills from both a strategic and tactical approach. Such a large part of online success relies on creative, targeted content, that goes way beyond basic understanding of tool utility.