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Newberry College Offers a Social Media Major, but Does the School Know Its Stuff?


If you're going to teach students how to expand their Web presence, you should know how to tweet.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Plenty of colleges offer career services to their students. There are career development offices and internship placement services to help students find work during summers and after college, and these days, part of that means optimizing the ways that they can make social media work for them. In an age when potential employers invariably check Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) pages as well as Twitter feeds and whatever a Google search might turn up, this is more important than ever.

One of the schools making this push is Newberry College, a small Lutheran college in South Carolina. The school will even go one step further: Newberry will be offering a Social Media major. This is good news for students who want to go into such a fast-growing field, but here are two sobering facts for those hopeful kids:

1. Newberry College has 526 Twitter followers. For comparison, Vanessa Olivarez, the first contestant to be voted off the second season of American Idol, has 589. The user @BiebsCutiee, whose account seems entirely devoted to asking pop singer Justin Bieber to perform cover versions of her favorite songs, has 4,743.

2. The designer of the program, Associate Prof. Tanya Sosiak, has an almost completely bare LinkedIn profile with fewer connections than a guy I saw accidentally skateboard into a pond during college.

One hopes that the people teaching the courses in this major manage to glean a little something from their own lessons. Newberry's Facebook page is actually pretty well-maintained, so they certainly have people there who know what they're doing, but they could probably have avoided the five comma usage errors in the announcement of the course. ("Newberry College is pleased to announce the addition of its new, Social Media major and minor" is probably the worst one.)

Now, I only have 143 Twitter followers, so you could very well say that I'm mocking something I have no right to mock.

Then again, I'm not a school.
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