Do I Need a Marketing Degree to Become a Social Media Manager?

Do I Need a Marketing Degree to Become a Social Media Manager?

Updated July 22, 2020
Reading Time: 7 minutes

So You Think You Want to Become A Social Media Manager!

You are in the right spot! We will show you how you can become a social media manager.

The social media industry is a fast-growing, dynamic industry with a lot of opportunities for those who work hard, play hard and love social media. While social media marketers spend a lot of time on their computers and Smartphones, it is not all they do. To be successful in this industry, one has to be creative, assertive and have a basic understanding of how marketing works.

Does that sound like you? Does this sound like something you are interested in? Read on!

Do You Have a Marketing Degree?

Kudos, and congratulations to you if you have a marketing degree! Whether you desire to, or not, you are perfectly positioned to become a social media manager! While you might not have set out on this course, you can become a social media marketer if you wish since there is a demand for social media experts with marketing degrees.

If you have a college degree in communications, business administration, art/graphic design, web design, English, or PR you have skills that most likely will help you land a job in the social media industry too if you so desire.

The question we will be answering today is

“Can you become a social media manager without a marketing degree?”

In this article, you will

  • learn what those already in the industry are saying about getting into the business of social media management
  • find a list of desirable technical skills to have before you become a social media manager
  • review a series of life skills social media managers need to be efficient and successful
  • receive recommendations on how to get started as a social media manager

How Does a Marketing Degree Make You a Social Media Manager?

It is quite simple, really.

If you have a marketing degree, it is assumed you

  • know not just the basics of marketing but have an understanding of in-depth marketing strategies
  • have the ability to read and interpret analytics, write reports and strategic plans, report metrics and more
  • are grounded and well-versed in the marketing industry lingo
  • can complete independent (online) research assignments
  • are well-read and can write copy (at college-level)
  • have endurance and longevity as you stuck it out for four years already
  • did some type of internship in marketing
  • have business connections in the marketing industry

All this experience and knowledge will not make anyone a social media manager but will help someone break into the industry if they so desire. As a result of years spent in school, one can apply for a job as an entry-level social media manager right out of school, especially if they've done any sort of social media internship while in college.

Therefore, obtaining a marketing degree is a great place to start to become a social media manager.

How Will A College Degree Help You Become a Social Media Manager?

If you don't have a degree in marketing, but you do have a degree in business administration, PR, communications, journalism, or any other degree related to marketing, some of the same aforementioned principles apply.

If you have a college degree, it is assumed you

  • have the ability to read and write reports and create strategic plans
  • can complete independent (online) research assignments
  • are well-read and can write copy (at college-level)
  • have endurance and longevity as you stuck it out for four years already
  • did some type of internship

These important skills and experiences picked up while getting a college degree are desired skills for social media managers.

Consequently, having a college degree can help you obtain a job in the social media industry.

What Social Media Marketers With College Degrees Tell Us

Those who have a marketing degree and are already in the field, tell us this.

“The job market for social media marketing is changing very quickly and the gap for fitting in new self-taught guru types is closing. I predict that social media management roles will continue to become more traditional and structured over the next few years, and the luxury of being part of a low supply for a frantically increasing demand in entry-level social jobs will level out. It is already happening. There is already a higher expectation for project management skills, broad marketing skills, and data/analytics knowledge.”

“Someone with zero experience and no degree? They might be out of luck soon enough. The market is changing so quickly that they will be up a certain proverbial creek without a paddle soon enough. Your degree will set you apart and will help you get your foot in the door.”

It is true that the social media industry changes constantly. Demand for qualified personnel changes, demand for technical skills changes, and demand for experts within the industry changes as new platforms emerge. In addition, having a clear understanding of marketing and social media as an industry will make almost anyone with a marketing degree a great candidate for a social media manager job.

What Social Media Marketers Without College Degrees Tell Us

Those who do not have a marketing degree and are already in the field, tell us this.

“Experience and training are just as valuable as a degree, or even better.”

“Be a self-starter and a go-getter. You can learn almost anything online. Try YouTube! Apply what you learn to your own social media portfolio first, then apply to clients.”

“Never stop reading, listening, and asking questions. Attend webinars and conferences. Follow the industry leaders online to learn from and never stop being curious.”

Social media marketers in the field, even those without college degrees have what recent college graduates do not have. They have real, on the job, work experience. While it takes assertiveness, drive, will, a desire to learn and motivation to break into the social media marketing industry without a marketing degree, it is not impossible.

Most noteworthy, as many current social media managers do not have a social media or marketing background, almost all recommend social media management training of some kind before applying for a job in the social media marketing industry.

So How Do You Become A Social Media Manager Without A Degree?

If you have a marketing degree or any other college degree but no experience in social media management, get started by managing the social media for your own personal brand. First of all, create your own website. Then set up your social media channels, showing off your graphic design skills, your blogging skills, and your content creation skills.

In essence, create a portfolio to use when applying for jobs in the social media industry.

If you do not have a degree, start by learning as much as you can about marketing, and social media marketing, before creating a portfolio. Due to the sheer volume of qualified applicants with both experience and qualifications, it is imperative to create a plan-of-action to learn as many skills as you can, as quickly as you can before your job search.

While you might be ready to jump in and learn, you first need to know what basic skills are required, what basic skills those who hire social media managers, are looking for. To get a real sense of what it is you need to know to get hired, check out job listings for social media managers. You can find these online, both in industry Facebook groups and on job listing websites. While scouting these job openings, it will be quite apparent what skills are required and relevant to be considered for your dream job.

What ‘Tech' Skills Do You Need To Become a Social Media Marketer?

There are many tools available to help social media managers along. However, remember this saying:

The tool used is only as good as the users and the hands that wield it.

Therefore, a basic understanding and knowledge of the following platforms, tools, and software is a huge plus when you want to become a social media manager.

  • WordPress (and basic web management)
  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Graphic Design [Photoshop, Adobe or Canva]
  • Scheduling Tools [Buffer, Sprout Social, AgoraPulse or Hootsuite]
  • Platform analytics [Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics]
  • Email Marketing [AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact]

Since most of these skills can be learned on the job, do not spend endless hours learning each of these. While these are great tools to know, instead of learning exactly how each of these work, understanding what each of these tools is used for and what they can do is more important.

What Else Do I Need To Know To Become a Social Media Marketer?

You might call them life skills, or basic work skills. Whatever these skills may be called, one needs a basic understanding of or desire to learn, the following skills to make it as a social media manager.

  • real experience in the field of social media management (this can be your own personal brand management)
  • project management
  • customer service
  • sales
  • team dynamics
  • communications
  • copywriting
  • independent research

Finally, if you think you have what it takes to become a social media manager and you have a desire to get started right now, here is the best learning opportunity available!

The Self-Starter Guide to Becoming a Social Media Manager

First of all, there are many online places to learn social media management. There really is no shortage of online learning opportunities, but not all are created equal. We highly recommend Social Media Pro!

become a social media manager
There is no short-cut to learning social media management. One has to watch videos, webinars, read books, blogs and even do some of their own research. If you love social media and you are sure you want to become a social media manager

Start getting paid.

In fact, these skills can be learned in as little as 4 to 6 weeks. Some of our Social Media Pro students have followed our training to get their first client in just days.

We recommend you start here!

Other places to learn and get a quick start are

Are you ready?

Join this fun career!

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