The Social Media Certificate at the University of Maine at Augusta
What is the Social Media Certificate?
The Social Media Certificate at the University of Maine at Augusta is designed for individuals who aspire to work with social media as content creators, marketers, analysts or administrators in the business, non-profit, governmental or educational sector. Certificate courses impart knowledge and develop skills needed for the successful deployment of strategic social media programs. These courses are also applicable toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a number of academic programs.
Students completing the certificate will have developed:
- a working knowledge of current social media platforms as they are used in workplace, consumer and informal settings
- familiarity with strategies of social media deployment
- a command of quantitative and qualitative measures of social networks
- the ability to analyze patterns in social media
- experience delivering verbal and written reports on analysis and management of social media
- a portfolio of work demonstrating these capabilities as applied to real-world social media
- an awareness of professional opportunities in the social media field
Why Study Social Media?
In the 21st century we face a new media landscape. Older, more traditional forms of media such as books, radio, television and film are only social in a unidirectional sense: creators share work with an audience that is not expected to respond. New media forms such as blogs, wikis, discussion boards, Facebook and Twitter not only incorporate two-way interaction but often involve the collaboration of aggregates or groups. For this reason, they are social media, an appropriate object of sociological analysis.
On the other hand, as findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Study demonstrate, not all people are engaged participants on the Internet, and as intensity of engagement with social media increases the portion of the American population so engaged decreases. Students who end up on the active side of the digital divide and who are not just surfing the Internet but making waves on it will have more choices in their post-baccalaureate lives.
As control over information is more broadly disseminated and the expression of sentiment is democratized, key players in business, politics and the non-profit sector increasingly ask questions regarding the impact of independent communications and the extent to which their own messages have diffused through online social structures. Understanding social media is key to answering these questions. Upon completion of the social media certificate, students should be both intellectually enriched and prepared to enter the workforce with a marketable skill.
Careers in Social Media
The fields available to baccalaureate graduates with a social media certificate vary widely according to the student’s choice of a primary major, and social media skills can prove useful in nearly any professional environment. However, primary jobs with responsibility for social media include:
- Account management
- Business intelligence
- Data management
- Implementation consulting
- Media production and editing
- Program evaluation
- Public relations
- Sales management
- Technical support
This list is only a start. A search of currently available social media jobs produces a list numbering in the tens of thousands.
UMA Courses in Social Media
One of the strengths of the UMA Social Media Certificate is its integration with a complete undergraduate education, building capability from intellectual foundations to particular competencies. Current and prospective students may click here to review the social media certificate checksheet. Our social media certificate can be obtained by taking the following classes:
- MAT 100 Mathematics and its Applications
- PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
- ENG 101 College Writing
- SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
- CIS 131 Web Applications
- BUA 263 Marketing
- SSC 320 Research Methods in the Social Sciences
- COM/SOC 375 Social Networks
- COM/SOC 475 Analyzing Social Media
- Either CIS 460/INT 460 Computers and Culture or HUM 380 Comments, Tweets and Text