As a Founding Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research, I attended the 2011 SNCR board meeting here in Cambridge Massachusetts; we had a great dinner at a local restaurant in Harvard square. As part of the board meeting all of the Fellows were asked to give our opinion on trends in social media.
In response to a question about the level of knowledge amongst Millennial about social media, Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Umass Professor and Chair of the SNCR Research Committee, stated that marketing students don't have the necessary training and classes in social media and digital media to be prepared for the new media workforce. She went onto give her opinion that Colleges and University marketing and communications leaderships value theoretical research over applied social media research. And that currently social media research for marketing is still in its early stages, the Professors not having had very much time to form opinions and research on As a result even if a professor achieves wider recognition in the social media and media community from applied research on social media there's less payoff to the professor because theoretical research is favored.
Dr. Ganim Barnes explored the state of social media education in the U.S. when she developed a program of classes on social media, and to put the classes together she looked at what was currently available in the United States; she did not find very many classes on social media being held. And so she developed her classes from scratch.
Marketing and communications students are not being prepared for the new communications, and as a result only those students, while at college, who realize that they much educate themselves are taking steps to secure internships in social media, to gain the necessary experience and expertise they need to land jobs in marketing and communications once they graduate.