July 25, 2014

Internet Marketing and Social Media Degree Programs: Are They Worth Taking?

Guest post by Brian Jenkins

Over a billion and a half people use the Internet, and this has created a plethora of opportunities for talented Internet marketers. Specialized knowledge in Internet marketing and social media is vital for many businesses. Yes, there are successful, self-taught Internet marketers, but many folks aspiring to make a name for themselves in the field are looking to education programs to enhance their skills. Internet marketing and social media degree programs are available both on-campus and online.

Internet Marketing Bachelor’s Degree

Internet marketing programs typically provide training in determining target audiences, evaluating Internet consumer behavior, and developing, implementing, and tracking e-marketing campaigns. They will usually cover important aspects of traditional marketing as well.

Some of the topics covered in these programs are as follows:

  • Architecture of successful web sites
  • Online survey tools
  • Building and optimizing websites
  • Web metrics
  • Social media
  • Audio and video for the Web
  • Internet law and intellectual property
  • Search engine optimization
  • Company branding

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco (USF) provides an online Master’s Certificate in Internet marketing. This program covers strategies to increase the Web presence of businesses and to increase traffic to websites; more specifically, important topics include generating website revenue, increasing web traffic with search engine optimization, promoting businesses with online videos, testing and tracking the effectiveness of marketing strategies, and social media. The certificate program is suitable for students new to Internet marketing as well as for marketing professionals. (It should be noted that the author has no connection with the university.)

Social media

Should aspiring Internet marketers take social media courses? Let’s take a look at a statement by Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School: “Very often our perception of social media, and what we can and can’t do using social media, is very much tinted by what we think our favorite person is doing – and our favorite person is usually ourselves. So it is about getting students to understand that the empirical skills are absolutely necessary, because whatever they think is intuitively correct, is probably about themselves, but nobody else.”

Social Media Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Social media education programs provide an understanding about fast-growing, evolving social media platforms from a marketing and public relations perspective. Social media bachelor’s degree programs cover the various aspects of social media, including building marketing strategies and tracking their effectiveness.

Social media bachelor’s degree programs typically utilize case studies of online social networking and content sharing websites such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster. In some programs, students participate in a team project to develop and implement social media marketing strategies for real world clients.

Those seeking a degree program in Internet marketing or social media should find out if the school has been accredited by an agency which has been approved by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education.

It’s up to you to decide if a degree program in either of these fields is right for you. Again, many internet marketers are very successful without much formal training. However, most people are likely to benefit by learning from experts in the field. Additionally, the boost your resume will get by acquiring a college level degree or certificate will give you a leg up on your competition.

Brian Jenkins writes about college degree programs in marketing, among other topics, for BrainTrack.com. Brian has been a member of BrainTrack’s writing team since 2008.

About vincent

James Vincent is a serial entrepreneur who owns a small network of websites. He enjoys blogging, designing and coding.

6 comments

  1. These programs seem interesting and informative. While everything is moving online it’s great that some schools are able to recognize this and keep up with the trend. Interesting quote there from Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. Individuals may use social media in one way for themselves but will quickly learn that it is entirely different for business purposes.

  2. Hard to believe you can get a Social Media Bachelors Degree! I wonder what’s next – a PhD in Twitter Communications? haha

    Education is always important, and in a feild like web development where the technology is constantly evolving, ongoing education is essential. I’m just not sure that a degree in social media is the way to go…but what do I know..

  3. It sounds hokey to me. These degree programs might offer 100% legitimate information, but if a person is seeking entrepreneurship through internet marketing with the help of a degree, they’re in for a long and hard journey. Not to mention expensive.

  4. I fear that too many colleges and universities offer courses and degrees to provide income to the school and to keep their “teachers” in a job.

    Then there is the oft-forgotten aspect of higher education that so often employs its “instructors” main to publish publish publish and obtain lucrative grants from the federal government, corporate USA and other funding sources.

    Remember, many courses are taught by those who are still students themselves, albeit it is usually upper-classmen/women.

    As for the Web in general… I would seek out folks who are to assist my endeavors who can DO!!!!!

    A general conversation followed by some hands-on work and the one signing the paycheck and/or others in the firm with general knowledge about the Web will likely know if the “new guy/gal” has the “right stuff.”

  5. Now a days Internet marketing plays a major role in SEO and SEM…To become top of the Search Engines…Now all are going with SEM

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