London South Bank University made a step into uncharted territories this Wednesday, after announcing the UK’s first social media BA course. In what appears to be a bid to fill the ‘skills gap’ in that area, the three-year honours degree will help students to:
…obtain valuable experience in how to manage these technologies and to help others use them to their full potential. For example, you might learn how to manage a forum and moderate it, how to deal with issues like flaming and spamming, and how to get a work force to share and develop documents together. There are many new and challenging opportunities for jobs in this developing sector where expertise is still scarce.
Now while it would have been ideal for this course to exist at least four years ago, it’s heartening to see that there are some institutions that are finally listening to the market. I also appreciate that it would have probably been the result of a ‘war of attrition’ against traditionalists who may not have seen the merits of courses of this kind. I’m sure that (as with media studies) disparaging terms like ‘mickey mouse course’ may be bandied around; but with work trends like those seen on this video, educational institutions that don’t help students compete in the knowledge economy only stand to lose ground on the longer to innovative organisations like this, who by their social nature will likely stay ahead of the curve.