Jobs in social media are becoming more and more common in companies both large and small. According to Simply Hired Job Trend Data (See Fig. A), the number of Social Media job posts have increased by 37% since February of 2013. An impressive growth figure considering that in our analysis of similar data last year, the growth rate was found to be just one point higher – 38%.
This data is important when considering whether social media is the field you may want to participate in professionally. You want to know that the skills you are building will have a high future demand within organizations, and whether opportunities for training or consulting will be available to you as your skills grow.
Growth data on its own however, does not show us much in the way of total number of jobs. Some might feel that this figure is high simply because the number of jobs available before 2013 were few and far between, and even a small number of new social media jobs could have a big effect on job growth data.
Once again we have decided to dive a bit more deeply to give you the real facts when it comes to future of jobs in social media, and to also provide you with information on how to obtain them.
Data Assumptions of this Study
In order to find information regarding job opportunities we decided to utilize job board websites. The data we use is pulled from each of the top four job board websites in terms of web traffic according to eBizMBA data. These sites are as follows:
Using these sites we searched the total number of job postings that included the phrase “Social Media” within the title of the job over the last 30 days (Jan 2014). The total number of postings from each site were as follows:
In order to provide a conservative estimate, we assumed that a majority of job posters would list on multiple platforms in their search for candidates. By assuming this, we concluded that we would provide a much fairer estimation of total job opportunities by taking the average number of jobs available across each of these 4 sites based upon the figures above.
Next we need to look again at the social media job growth figure we included above. According to Simply Hired job trend data, the number of social media job opportunities has increased by 37% since February of 2013. Again, in order to provide our analysis with a more conservative estimate we took that figure and compared it to the Bureau of Labor and Statics (BLS) predicted job growth for 2014 of the advertising, promotions, and marketing management occupations, which encompasses the vast majority of the social media job opportunities that we are interested in for this study.
According to BLS data, over the next 10 years advertising, promotion, and marketing management occupations are only going to increase by about 12%, which would mean that during 2014 the average profession within this job category is predicted to show only about 1% growth. With such a large difference in growth, we averaged the BLS data, against the Simply Hired data and found a more conservative predicted growth rate for social media jobs to be in the range of about 19%. At this point we have enough data to put together a conservative estimate for predicted total new job opportunities in social media for 2014:
72,007 New Social Media-Related Jobs in 2014
Top 5 Most Common Job Titles
Social Media Specialist
Social Media Manager
Social Media Strategist
Social Media Coordinator
All of these job titles are different, but the majority of them share common required skills and responsibilities. In a national job study performed by the National Institute for Social Media in collaboration with our Industry Advisory Committee, we broke each of these jobs down into their required tasks, and grouped them into common content areas. These content areas are:
Social Media Strategic Planning
Compliance and Governance Issues in Social Media
Social Media Marketing
Project and Campaign Management
Research and Analysis
These areas of study are what our Social Media Strategist certification exam is based upon, and what you as a professional social media practitioner will need to have a well-rounded understanding of before entering the field of social media. Each of these job titles may have a separate focus on one or more of these subject areas, but by having a foundational understanding of each of them, you will be more likely to find success no matter what the title of you role becomes.
To learn more about any one of these content areas, or for additional tips on how to find a social media job in your area, please feel free to check out our Social Media Job Board, or test your skills by taking the NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam.