Irish university now offering ‘Influencer’ course

SETU Carlow will soon be offering students the opportunity to learn how to monetize their social media presence and, quite possibly, become Ireland’s next big influencers.

Whether this news has you jumping for joy or adding to the collective sigh that is no doubt building in volume around the country, one thing is for certain – it is most certainly a unique prospect.

‘Influencer culture’ has been a fact of life since social media first began to grab and hold the imaginations of cash-strapped millenials and fame-hungry gen Z’s alike. Instagram, in particular, has long allowed young people with large online followings to monetize their pages through brand sponsorships and content marketing.

And as easy as it might sound, becoming an ‘influencer’ isn’t as simple as inventing a new TikTok dance or showing off your pet’s new hairdo. Influencers are largely self-taught experts in business, self-promotion, and content creation centered around their particular subject of interest. They are make-up artists, musicians, travel bloggers, fashion critics, and run the gamut of everything that is popular in 2023. It’s not just enough to have your finger on the pulse pop culture – you need to be participating in its very creation.

It comes as little surprise, then, that aspiring influencers would want to learn the nuts and bolts of the “digital hustle”, an art form that, until now, was more aligned with the occult sciences than anything even approaching academia.

Carlow’s SETU (South East Technology University) are now offering students the opportunity to earn a ‘Bachelor of Arts in Content Creation and Social Media’ degree.

Dr. Elanor O’Leary explained the ‘influencer course’ to RTÉ: “It is kind of worth an estimate of between 14 and 16 billion worldwide and so it is an area that has specific set of skills.

“Lots of people end up working and collaborating with brands.

“They could be self-employed as an influencer, or they could go in with a company and organisation as a content creator.”

So while there’s no doubt that young people already have the social media wizardry under their belt, they are still yet to master the fundamentals of business that have proven so successful for some of Ireland’s most popular (and well-paid) influencers.

Learn more about this and other courses at SETU Carlow.

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