This spring, the same team of students
will execute that marketing plan, develop
ads for Facebook, launch a blog, and
handle promotion using the popular
Google Ad Words application.
“We want our students to walk out of
here with hands-on, real-world experience,” says Uttech of the college’s social
media marketing program.
Local employers so far are impressed.
“Already, we’ve seen a great response
from the business community,” says
A handful of MATC graduates have
secured jobs in social media. One graduate
who had previously worked in traditional
marketing accepted a position as social
media manager at his firm. He credited his
MATC certification with helping
him land the job.
In less than a
year, the college
has gone from offering one section
of its social media
plan to offer social
media courses in different formats, including online and blended (a mixture of
online and in-person) instruction. “We’re
looking at emerging trends, such as
mobile marketing,” explains Uttech. “It’s a
fascinating area we want to do more in.”
MATC isn’t the only community college
to delve into social media career training.
In You Tube parlance, social media careers
are “going viral.”
A successful Social Media Manager
Certification course at Sandhills Com-
munity College (SCC) in North Carolina
prompted instructor David Blide to lobby
for more. Though SCC is a rural college,
Senior Director of Business and Indus-
try Services Alan Duncan says there are
plenty of local opportunities for social
media experts, even more so in nearby
That’s the point. “We want the certifi-
cate to be something students can use to
find a job,” says Blide. SCC’s Social Media
Manager course focuses on social media
for small businesses.
The field is constantly evolving. And
Blide says few people know how to do the
work. “It’s such a dynamic industry. My
goal is to teach strategies more than actual
Students at Cincinnati State Technical
and Community College in Ohio can en-
roll in an Institute for Social Media (ISM).
In 2010, the college’s Workforce Devel-
opment Center formed an advisory coun-
cil of social media professionals, including
experts from blue-chip employers such as
Procter & Gamble, to develop programs.
One of ISM’s offerings, Marketing
for Social Media Certification, requires
students to spend three eight-hour days
social media and
They then must
pass a final exam be-
fore obtaining their
Jim Kleemeier says
the program is built
for people who see
social media as an
important aspect of their career. “It’s not
a lunch-and-learn program; there is lots of
rigor,” he explains.
ISM also offers Business Development:
Selling 2.0, a two-day course for sales professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives.
A third class—a three-hour workshop on
human resources and legal issues—will
begin next year.
At Washtenaw Community College
(WCC) in Michigan, social media-related
classes focus on professional development
and personal enrichment. “We offered a
class on making a personal Facebook page,
but we found that people wanted to learn
how to use social media to promote their
business,” says Nancy Howard, program
manager of WCC’s LifeLong Learning
“We started offering three-hour
workshops that have grown into a basic
certificate in e-marketing,” she says.
The classes cover topics ranging from
search engine optimization to blogging.
Percentage increase in
social media jobs from
January to June 2011.
Source: Onward Search
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