See how long you can read this Wall Street Journal article — “Social-Media Manager, the Most Millennial Job, Comes of Age” — without screaming. This got me:
The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism launched a master’s degree in digital social media in 2018 in response to the growing number of jobs in the field, says Daniela Baroffio, who oversees the program. The school aimed to meet executives’ demand for social-media experts who have a handle both on hard skills, like data analytics, and storytelling, she says.
Now, I don’t quibble with some of the article’s premises. Knowing how to use social media — and how not to — is important for the brand and reputation of many kinds of business and endeavor, some more than others. Maturity, professionalism, judgment, and an understanding of the relevant technology are all important. If you run a big organization, you probably do not want some 20-year-old in charge of the face of your business to a big audience.
But a master’s degree? What ever happened to just training people in jobs? Who wants to take out tens of thousands of dollars in debt to learn how to use Facebook properly? The creeping credentialism of our economy is not just an economic boondoggle; it is also a way of reinforcing class divisions. It should stop.