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Meeting the demand for workers with social media skills

Friday, January 13, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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By Ellen Ullman, Community College Times

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from an article in the December/January edition of the Community College Journal, the bimonthly magazine of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Community colleges have long taken pride in their ability to adjust to changing workforce needs. The local plumbers union requires a new certification. No problem. Adjust. A biotechnology manufacturer seeks workers to staff its state-of-the-art research facility. Not a problem. Adjust.

But what happens when a new industry materializes almost overnight?

From January 2011 to June 2011, Internet staffing firm Onward Search reports that the number of jobs with the phrase "social media” in their description increased by more than 45 percent. With the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites—Facebook alone now boasts more than 800 million users worldwide—more employers want workers who can skillfully navigate the social media universe. And community colleges are quickly becoming the place to turn.

With entry-level jobs from $45,000 a year into six figures, some institutions have begun working with employers to launch professional training courses and a handful of for-credit certificates intended to help businesses and their employees tap a wellspring of new business and marketing opportunities.

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