In the News: Arik Hanson and Peter Gregg Discuss the Rise of Social Media Majors

Arik Hanson and Peter Gregg, faculty members at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences, recently spoke with the Star Tribune about new majors geared toward developing professional social media skills.

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From the story:

Companies want to reach those audiences – and get their products in front of as many eyes as possible – by growing their presence on those platforms, said Arik Hanson, a social media consultant who also teaches the subject at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. ...

“They fall back by saying, ‘I know all the platforms.’ Well, yeah, but there’s a big difference between knowing how to personally operate an Instagram account and how you do that to move the needle on business results for a Fortune 500 company,” Hanson said.

St. Thomas lets students focus on media design or production as part of their digital media arts major, according to Peter Gregg, the department chair for emerging media. Media design students will learn web and graphic design. Media production students will study video, photography and audio production.

Gregg said the major was started partially because traditional educational approaches to media failed to prepare students for the modern social media landscape. In their major, students not only learn about social media practices but also ethics and theories related to social media.

A story featuring two St. Thomas faculty members appeared on the front page of the Star Tribune on Apr. 15, 2024.