College students now declaring majors in social media

Keely Saye in her office. She owns a business designed to help organizations get found online.

NEWBERRY, S.C. (WACH) -- Facebook stalking used to be just an obsession, but now entire careers are being built from it. One Midlands college is creating a major dedicated to learning social media and how to use it strategically in the business world.

College senior Corey Sullivan jumped on that bandwagon before the major was available. He is paying his way through school in a way unheard of just a few years ago. He plays with social media, especially Facebook.

"The company I started -- we've been founded about a year, and we have clients from Atlanta to Charleston," said Sullivan, a senior at Newberry College.

With online social networks an ever-growing media platform, that's where he has created a good paying job marketing and advertising for clients.

"They have a wide variety of needs, but we really all tackle them through social media," said Sullivan.

Sullivan learned social media marketing strategies on his own, but Newberry College will soon have a major in place dedicated to social media.

"It's one of the first interdisciplinary majors in social media," said Tania Sosiak, associate professor of graphic design and social media at Newberry College. "It's a blended major of graphic design, communications, business and marketing, psychology and statistics."

Professor Sosiak designed the major, which will launch August, 2013, after she says she saw the demand for social media careers skyrocket.

"Every type of industry is hiring in social media, because it will surpass television advertising by 2017," said Sosiak.

She says the major is more than just creating Facebook pages and posting updates. For instance, Sosiak says one way students will learn mobile marketing is by designing their own QR codes -- the little black and white scanners that you scan with your smart phone.

"That's really the hot new way of marketing through mobile phones," said Sosiak.

Keely Saye owns a business designed to help organizations get found online. She says social media is a large part of online presence and she needs employees with social media inbound marketing skills.

"I can't hire someone right out of school that already knows inbound marketing strategies [and] social media tactics," said Saye, inbound marketing specialist and owner of "I have to teach them that, and so if there are students that are already coming out of school that have a degree in this, I've got a job for them."

Sosiak says the biggest challenge in teaching such a major will be keeping up with an ever changing media platform.

"Each semester the technology is new, so the textbook is obsolete, so I'm challenged as well as all of the other professors," said Sosiak.

She'll pass that challenge on to the class of 2017 to follow, pin, like, tweet and check in to the ever changing world of 21st century media.