As a proud member of the social media industry, I often feel that, to borrow a phrase, ‘I don’t get no respect.’
My social media brethren often feel the same. Many of us came from corporate communications or PR roles, where we didn’t necessarily need a certain degree or professional designation in order to get or keep a job. As social has proliferated across industries and companies large and small — and with it the ability to start a Facebook Page or Twitterfeed for free — everyone suddenly could become a social media ‘expert.’
But that’s all about to change.
Several organizations, companies, and groups have begun in earnest to create professional designations and certification programs. These allow social media practitioners to have the bragging rights and ownership of a cert to call their own (‘Take that, MCSD’s and MCSE’s!”), and companies could be sure that they are getting an experienced, fully vetted professional to add to their staff or hire as a consultant.
Below, a review of a few of such programs, present and future.
Social Media Security Professional
This is a new certification offered by IT training and credentialing giant CompTIA. It is not yet fully live, and is being administered by a partner organization, Ultimate Knowledge Institute (UKI). Via Twitter, UKI informed me that the program will be available soon.
@jakewengroff Hi Jake. SMSP is in beta at this time. Expected to be public in early 2013. We can put you in touch with our infosec students
— Ultimate Knowledge (@UKI_SM) December 27, 2012
I like the fact that CompTIA has elected to explore a social media cert. One of the largest credentialing organizations — over 900,000 IT professionals claim the basic, ‘entry-level’ A+ cert — this group could really make a mark on spreading the concept of social media professionals gaining visibility, credibility, and additional job opportunities via a cert.
One of the largest social media marketing and engagement platforms, HootSuite began to offer a social media certification more than two years ago. As a full disclaimer, I went through the certification process, which included watching on-demand videos and taking multiple quizzes. (Additionally, one must pay a monthly fee during the certification process and beyond.)
Salesforce Marketing Cloud