Social Media in the B-School Classroom: Market Opportunity or Real Need?
Social media has impacted the way consumers interact with brands and how brands interact with consumers. The adoption of these tools keeps growing and, according to a Businessweek story, it's making an impact on business schools, including some of the most prestigious in the country.
Harvard Business School (Harvard Full-Time MBA Profile) and Columbia University's Graduate School of Business (Columbia Full-Time MBA Profile) are just some of the schools that are adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula, addressing the corporate demand for social-network-savvy employees.
The two schools are among at least six that have added courses in the past year that allow students to learn about Internet marketing and social media strategy, according to the story that sourced course syllabi and faculty associated with the classes.
This shouldn't be a shocker to anyone considering that Facebook has swelled to 500 million users and Twitter, which has grown to 190 million (with 65 million tweets per day).
Just look at the job board for some of the biggest brands around — Sears, Panasonic, Citigroup and AT&T — hiring professionals to manage their social media programs, according to the report.
Social media classes are one way of preparing students for careers in a promising field, John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems at Boston College's Carroll School of Management told Businessweek. The school is offering "Social Media & Web 2.0 for Managers" is being offered in the fall.
Now, the question is, are schools just grabbing a market opportunity as "social media experts" seem to be doing with book deals? Or, is this a legit trend that requires the economy to create professionals who understand these tools to the point where they can drive business and move the proverbial needle?
I'm guessing the latter. How about you?