A Master’s required for Social Media?! Oh please!

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This is going to be a personal rant, so I warn you, dear reader – beware: This post may contain some sarcasm and may not be suitable for all audiences!

I know I’m not always the most politically correct of people and I think that I do best with clients who don’t really want to be told what they want to hear, but prefer to get straight, sensible advice.

Having said that, I’m anticipating that this post may ruffle some feathers, but the issue is so ridiculous I couldn’t resist….

I’ve been involved with social media both personally and professionally for the past few years and introduced many clients to it during a time when they were beginning to agree with me that they needed to consider alternatives to traditional media.

For many professionals and organizations, the first place they begin is with LinkedIn, then they venture further into venues such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, blogging and so on.  Some larger organizations are fairly well established, but for the most part, SME’s are really just starting to become involved.

The thing with social media is that it’s relatively new as a business tool. Probably only really been recognized as a business tool for about the past 24 months.  Before that it was regarded, and for the most part, used as a ‘social’ tool.

So now that it’s become politically correct and financially desirable for organizations to use social media as part of their marketing activities, there are ads galore for Social Media managers, directors, strategists and so on. A position that didn’t exist a few years ago.

I’ve taken a look at these sorts of ads in the past to see the criteria and was amused to see that in almost every single instance, a Bachelor’s degree was required along with at least 5 years experience.  In Social Media.  Which has only really been active professionally for about 2 years.

Yesterday, I noticed a whole slew of ads on LinkedIn and out of curiosity, clicked on one to see whether there was any difference in these ads being hosted on a professional social network venue as opposed to on other more ‘social’ venues.

The first one had me laughing.  No longer was a Bachelor’s degree sufficient – this organization wanted a MASTER’S degree.  And between 5 and 7 years experience.

Okay, maybe they were just slightly out to lunch.  I clicked on another and another and then another… they all told the same story. They wanted a highly qualified and experienced professional in social media to direct their strategies.

Well, I guess you can’t blame them for wanting to hire the best talent around.  And in true entrepreneurial fashion, I see that there are now universities offering degrees in social media.  But certainly none that have been going long enough (as far as I’m aware) to have students obtain even a full Bachelor’s qualification let alone a Master’s.

Come to think of it, didn’t Zuckerberg – founder of Facebook – drop out of university without finishing his degree?

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