Plans for Ireland’s first-ever degree in influencing were recently revealed by South East Technological University (SETU).
From next September onwards, a Bachelor of Arts in Content Creation and Social Media will be offered to prospective students.
While SETU already offers degrees in the digital media sphere, this will be Ireland’s first-ever ‘influencer’ degree.
So, if you have ever scrolled through TikTok and wondered about making a career in content creation, read on to find out more.
Irish university set to offer first ‘influencer’ degree – BA in Content Creation and Social Media
Dr Eleanor O’Leary, a lecturer in Media and Communications at SETU Carlow, spoke to RTÉ’s News At One about the employment prospects available in this field.
She said, “Lots of people end up working and collaborating with brands, they could be self employed as an influencer, or they could go in and work with a company or organisation as a content creator.
“It draws on existing media, PR and marketing skills but it’s a new area in and of itself”.
Dr O’Leary said that since 2019, the industry has doubled in value globally and is worth an estimated “14bn to 16bn globally”.
Adding to existing learning – many degrees in the digital media sphere
SETU already offers degrees in the digital media sphere, so Dr. O’Leary talked about it as “adding on” to what’s currently on offer.
“We saw this as adding on to what we already offered in that space and also we had done a number of summer schools in the area of digital skills called ‘The Digital Hustle’.
“We saw that there was a growing interest in this area both from students and young people, and also from employers, so we went ahead in developing the degree at that point,” she said.
She continued by saying that while lots of young people are already very well-versed in social media, this would give students a chance to enhance things like business skills and knowledge as well as creative skills like creative writing, creative video and storytelling.
How the degree will be formed – professional skills across different platforms
Dr O’Leary has said that the four-year syllabus for the degree will be in part formed by professional skills in crisis management and using different platforms.
When it comes to content creators advertising products, they have to, by law, declare it as an advertisement. This is something Dr O’Leary says will be stressed on the course.
“That’s the kind of thing we’ll be teaching on the course, which is that young people are going into this industry understand that existing laws pertain to this area and when they work in that area they have that knowledge and won’t make any missteps,” she said.
To find out more about the course overview, entry requirements and career prospects, check out the degree listing on the SETU Carlow website here.