Social media minor gets cut

Social media minor gets cut

Desiree Roe graphic

Due to the budget cuts that the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has recently faced, social media and other media studies minors, have been cut from curriculum. Although the university at the time of this publication is still allowing students to enroll in the minor, the required courses for the minor aren’t offered. Whether or not those courses will come back is still up in the air at this point. Students will have to find replacement courses.

Back in 2011, when the program was first being conceived, there was only one university in the country that had a social media program and that was at a small university in North Carolina. Since then, a handful of universities have followed in that university’s footsteps and introduced a social media to their students and faculty. UW-Platteville being one of them.

In fact, UW-Platteville was the second university to offer a social media program and is the first in the state to do so.

Social media programs have been heavily criticized throughout the years. According to an article by the Huffington Post, most marketing experts believe that any kind of social media degree is a waste of time because to be knowledgeable in social media, “a person just has to keep up with the trends.”

“Why do we teach English if we have [Microsoft] Word on our laptops and computers? Why do we teach speech if people can talk?” media studies professor Robert Snyder said when asked on how he feels about these criticisms on social media programs.

“We are currently in something that I like to call a ‘seismic eruption.’ Businesses are looking to fill jobs with the title of ‘social media and content specialist’,” said Snyder. “Last spring, when I took my video production students to Green Bay to shoot a video, I also took them to the WBAY studio. The ABC news affiliate station in Green Bay. We were shocked to see that in Green Bay they had three full-time employees whose sole purpose was to have their social media constantly updated.”

While some companies choose to criticize social media programs, others choose to reward them. Eliminating the social media minor has several pros and cons. Pro, it saves the university money by not having to fund their resources. Con, UW-Platteville students will not have a leg up within these big name companies.

“I’ve had interviews for internships and all of them asked for social media experience. I use social media every day for my job [at the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin],” UW-Platteville alum Morgan Kielish said. “[social media gave students] a step above other college graduates. People tend to look for experience with social media. We were one of the only universities in the country that offer social media as a minor, it really had the media studies department stand out. I think it’s stupid that social media got cut.”