Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. now offers both a major and minor in social media.
The new major launches in fall 2013 and was designed by Tania Sosiak, an associate professor of graphic design and social media at Newberry. Dr. Maurice Scherrens, president of Newberry College, said in a statement that they decided to start the new program due to a "long-term demand for college graduates" in a "rapidly" expanding field.
The program blends existing classes from other disciplines. A release said:
Offered through the Department of Arts and Communications, the Social Media major will be an original interdisciplinary program that would capitalize on the strengths of existing courses in Graphic Design, Communications, Business Administration, Psychology and Statistics. Four innovative courses, created specifically for the Social Media major are also included in the curriculum.
Through these courses, students will explore the techniques of social media in addition to the development and direction of social media as a creative industry. Students will work to develop marketing and branding strategies for projects including corporate, non-profit, entertainment, sports, news and politics.
The new major will also teach students to create QR codes as a part of mobile marketing strategies.
WACH, a local Fox affiliate, reported marketing companies said they often have to train new employees on new social media usage.
Elite Daily, a blog focused on millennials, endorsed the new major, saying they're "all for this program, as it is a great sign that higher learning institutions are finally trying to keep up with the times."
There are skeptics though, like Amora McDaniel at the Upstart Business Journal, who said she's on the fence. "[T]his could be just another ploy to entice students to enroll in your school without giving back anything of substance in return for their tuition money," McDaniel wrote.
Rebecca Greenfield at The Atlantic Wire wrote the skyrocketing number of jobs in the social media field is "a bubble that surely won't pop by the time any of said kids graduate." Total Frat Move called it "a blatant waste of time and money."