As the social media industry grows, so to has the number of organizations who offer social media training as part, or all of their business. These organizations may or may not be providing a high quality training program, and the organizations who pay for the training of their staff or themselves may or may not be getting a return on their investment into such a program. Knowing what to be looking for in a high quality educational program is very challenging, particularly for businesses seeking professional talent in the field of social media.
There is a current need for educational standardization and specialized credentialing for persons functioning within the field of social media. Social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. These technologies take many forms and include tools such as web sites for social networking and micro-blogging platforms, where users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.
The field of social media is growing. In the last decade it has seen extraordinary growth and exposure, both nationally and internationally. The consequence of this prolific growth is a shortage in human capital. Leaders in social media, who possess the needed knowledge and skills to effectively implement, grow and manage a social media strategic platform, are failing to meet the industry’s demand for qualified talent.
This shortage is due to multiple factors:
Lack of consolidated industry standards and best practices
At this time, no standardized skill set has been fully adopted to help consumers, or agencies identify opportunities for skill enhancement. This, in turn, creates a lack of direction for all industry stakeholders.
Fragmented industry references and educational opportunities
The social media industry is still in the early growth stage of its lifespan. Although there has been a rush to meet demand, finding credible educational resources for implementing social media strategy can be difficult.
Lack of recognized professional credentials
Few recognized social media certification programs, or professional industry credentials yet exist that individuals can use to differentiate their skills from that of their competitors, or that professional agencies can use to enhance their talent management systems, ensuring their workforce is minimally competent to work unsupervised within a related occupation.
The National Institute for Social Media (NISM) is one of very few organization who offers such a unique, and high quality program. We partner with accredited colleges and universities, along with industry experts to help us ensure that our educational standards are applicable to real-world situations.