Gowalla, Zoomr, Seesmic, What?

Social Media

Social Media Marketing program puts students above the rest

It’s no secret that social media is booming. It has prompted a major change in the way companies do business and what kind of skills employers require in their new hires. If you’ve been on a job hunt recently, you may have seen “5 years Tech PR Agency Record + Twitter” or maybe you’ve been in an interview and were asked, “How often to you update your Facebook page?”

You could jump in on your own. But before you hop on Gowalla to chat with avatars about Technorati and Seesmic, don’t be a lurker and become banned from Zoomr forever. Huh?

There’s much more to social media than sitting at your computer counting Twitter followers or posting your lunch choice on Facebook. Dakota County Technical College’s new Social Media Marketing program will teach you all you need to know about industry and how to keep you on top of a job candidate list.

Cheri Duran, 44, of Northfield, Minn., was more ahead of the curve than most, but still had a thing or two to learn. She came to DCTC with an advertising background, but after her company laid off several people, she needed to boost her resume to become more competitive.

Cheri chose the Marketing Design Specialist program, Business Marketing, and the Social Media Certificate “I’m more excited about the social media certificate because it is so popular,” she said. “Social media is such a great way to advertise and market a business or product.”

The program shows how to use social media for business marketing, engaging audiences, and generating traffic. Cheri is looking forward to the strategic side of the field. “How to come up with strategy, and how do we sell that to a client, and those types of things is what I’m looking forward to learning,” she said.

Her end goal is to snag a job in marketing. Cheri’s classes at DCTC are providing her with the tools she needs. “The classes have helped a lot already, not just in social media, but marketing in general,” she explained. “I can now talk the talk, so to speak. So if I’m just talking marketing with some stranger who has a business, which happens often, we start talking about everything and I can offer advice.”

The Social Media Marketing program isn’t just for someone who loves marketing and wants to get the company’s name out there. It can be applied to a variety of fields. “If someone is thinking about journalism, social media can also be a good fit with the writing involved,” Cheri said. “There are different sides of the coin with social media. Someone could also be exclusively on the technical side and some people do it all.”

Photo courtesy of Cheri DuranThe icing on the cake is that the social media field is growing 23 percent faster than average. Salaries are also reaching $90,000/year (bls.com).

Cheri may have been ahead of the curve to begin with, but after graduating from DCTC’s newest program, she will most certainly be cruising with the top down. “As far as the education goes, I’m very pleased,” she said. “I don’t regret it at all, it’s definitely worth it.”

For more information about the DCTC Social Media Marketing program, contact:
  • Carie Statz
    Social Media Marketing Instructor