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December 14, 2012 11:00 AM Today in Fad Majors

By Daniel Luzer

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In another strange college-to-career development, it turns out students at one college will soon be able to major in… social media.

According to a piece at Gizmodo,

Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina has made an entire undergraduate major for social media. You can graduate with honors in Facebooking.
As one of the first interdisciplinary majors in social media, it’ll teach kids how to use social media better so that they can turn it into full-fledged careers. Basically, majoring in social media means you’ll learn marketing and branding techniques fit for social networks.

Or well, Newberry certainly will try to teach something about “marketing and branding techniques fit for social networks.” It’s unclear how this is going to work, however. Will they bring in social media scholars? Are students from Newberry College really going to be able to get internships at Facebook or Twitter, some of America’s hottest companies? It doesn’t seem like there’s really much reason for this major to exist.

The college explained in a press release that 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.” Um, why not just major in business and minor in marketing or something then? Why is Newberry trying to pretend it can teach something so ephemeral and developing.

TotalFratMove said of the whole idea that:

Newberry College’s move is nothing more than an attempt to capitalize on the modern obsession with Social Media. Understanding how to use the internet is not a collegiate-level skill, and any useful aspects of a major in this field could easily be received from any other type of (slightly more useful) business degree.

Exactly.

(Okay, yes, I know I made use of extensive social media to write this, but I didn’t need to major in social media to make that happen.)

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • Walker on December 14, 2012 11:03 PM:

    The science and sociology of social networks is a distinct, legitimate field of academic study. A field that was started at your alma matter -- Cornell.