Editorial: Students Should Take Advantage Of Content Creation Courses


CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated whether UNC offered content creation courses. The University offers New Media Technologies: Their Impact on the Future of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations and Me Branding. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.

Ten years ago, the typical answers to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” could have been ‘ballerina’, ‘doctor’, ‘teacher’ or even ‘astronaut’, but advances in technology and the increase in the use of social media have introduced a new answer: ‘an influencer’.

Content creation and influence are booming areas for young people.

As the demand for social media marketing grows, students should take advantage of opportunities needed by emerging industries. UNC offers courses in content creation, including new media technologies: their impact on the future of advertising, marketing, and public relations and self-branding.

Those who have succeeded as social media influencers have increasingly argued for the seriousness of their careers, and the labor market of recent years has proven them right. Over the past five years, the American Influencer Association and the American Influencer Council have been established as market- and industry-focused trade associations. These organizations function as institutions that legitimize the profession.

TikTok, which reported a reach of one billion users earlier this week, introduced a Creator Fund for US users in July 2020. The fund started at $200 million to “help support ambitious creators who are looking for opportunities to earn a living from their innovative content.”

Users must be 18 or older to be part of the fund, which would include a majority of students. Since finding a job in your specialty isn’t always guaranteed, launching a career on a social media app like TikTok can be more appealing.

A report found that users between the ages of 20 and 29 make up 29.5% of app users, making college and graduate students a prime demographic and audience for students considering a career in social media.

Addison Rae, a 20-year-old TikToker with 84.7 million followers and an estimated net worth of $5 million, dropped out of her broadcast journalism program at Louisiana State University to pursue a career in social media. Since that decision, she has been featured in a movie on Netflix and was recently invited to the Met Gala in New York. If LSU had a content creation course, maybe Rae could have stayed and finished her degree while building her career.

Although making funny videos, doing makeup, or writing blogs might seem like easy work, certain skills are needed for content creation, such as editing, photography, writing, graphic art, and know-how. do technology. These skills are useful for self-promotion and can be used in other businesses looking to increase their ads and engagement.

The University of North Dakota offers a content creation course that focuses on these specialized skills. Although online, the course allows students to deepen the skills they already have in their daily use of social media and can prepare them for professional success.

The reason students attend college is for certification for the field they hope to enter. While the pandemic affected most employment sectors, digital marketing grew 8%, reaching $336 million in total. These trends may continue as companies find it easier to turn to social media to market their products. Researchers postulate that spending in the influencer market will exceed $3 billion this year, and the introduction of vlogging toys for kids could be proof that influence is here to stay.

As content creation becomes more relevant to students and their job prospects, the University should continue to consider how integrating courses around it can benefit them.



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Jenny T. Curlee