Changing a University Major with Social Media

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student using technology - Ashford University

What if you want to continue your education, but the world is shifting in your area of focus, or creating a new world you want to enter? After hearing that 65% of jobs for future generations don’t exist today, we started thinking how this shift is already affecting classes. We found two key areas impacted by social media.

Changing a degree: Journalism

In the past, journalism was a strongly researched, carefully-crafted medium in which only the best excelled. And, it was often in long format. However, with a shift to 24-hour news media, people can’t get the stories out fast enough. Add in social media and information spreads faster than facts can be checked. So what should we do? Firstly, there are benefits to social media that we shouldn’t forget. Social media provides access to new sources for stories, eyewitnesses, fact checking, and story popularity. On the other hand, stories can burn out quicker, you can be beat to the beat, and fact checking is rarely a concern of many users, including some journalists. So, while the Internet is replacing print, does that mean journalism is nearing its end? Not at all. All it means is that journalists must change their approach. A great example is Twitter. Twitter may announce news headlines, but watching Twitter may reveal bigger movements like what happened in Egypt. A journalist can follow the action in real time, look deeper into it, find good resources, and compile a great story (and promote it on Twitter). You’ll always have social media people trying to beat the news, but in the end, real and researched news is what people want.

Creating a degree: Social Media

While existing degrees are clearly shifting because of social media, as seen above, perhaps a new degree could help solve the problem. True experts who are trained in social media may be able to better navigate, separate facts from fiction, and spread information quickly when it comes to content. They may also work across the broad range of fields that use social media for marketing, company communication, and journalism. In fact, one university is already trying it.

Social media is definitely impacting education. Now, education must keep up the pace, and ensure that their students are ready to take on the world after graduation.

Written by: Travis Taggart
Travis is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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