Social Media and Digital Strategy (BA)
For many businesses, social media isn’t optional—it’s a requirement. Even nonprofits, startups, and artists are finding that social media has become a critical tool in managing their brand and reaching out to their audiences.
In Columbia College Chicago’s Social Media and Digital Strategy BA program—one of the first programs of its kind in the country—you’ll become a leader in this emerging field. You’ll study consumer behavior, data analytics, content strategy, and content creation to engage digital audiences and enhance brand awareness. Over the course of the program, you’ll build a portfolio that reflects a broad understanding of digital marketing materials and strategy.
Aspects of your coursework will draw from programs in Advertising, Business and Entrepreneurship, Interactive Arts and Media, Journalism, and Public Relations. Companies across the spectrum (and the city of Chicago) are rich with internship opportunities you can use to gain real-world experience for a career as a social media manager, digital strategist, content creator, brand ambassador, and more.
In the Classroom
What to expect your first year
Your courses and assignments will explore digital research and consumer motivations, and you'll begin to develop content strategies that engage audiences. Your content-development assignments are a crucial first step toward building a body of work that will help you land your first internship. You’ll take courses such as Social Media Content, Social Media and Digital Strategy Foundations, and Smartphone Video and Photo.
What to expect your last year
During your last year, you’ll create interactive digital campaigns reflecting your very best content strategy and creation work, refining your social media and digital strategy portfolio. You’ll also likely be working in your second internship, possibly as a social media community manager, a content strategist or a content creator using video, blogs, and/or social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
You’ll be fully engaged in the Social Media and Digital Strategy Practicum, which functions as a digital consultancy as you develop real work for clients. At this point, your body of work will include social media-focused projects from your class assignments as well as real-world projects. By the time you graduate you’ll be prepared to work as a social media storyteller and create content across multiple media platforms.
Social Media and Digital Strategy majors have found internship opportunities at for-profit brands, nonprofits, media outlets, artistic brands, startups, and political organizations. Recent students have completed social-media related internships at:
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Chicago AIDS Foundation
- Check, Please!
- Midwest Fashion Week
- Chicago Plastic Surgery Center
- Modern Luxury
- Leo Burnett
- Burrell Communications
- United Airlines
- McGarry Bowen
- Dentsu Creative
- Energy BBDO
Learn more about how Columbia's Career Center can help you find the right internship.
Columbia is proud of its many graduates who work in Social Media and Digital Strategy fields. Below are just a few:
- Tatiana Holifield ’05 - VP, Digital/Social Content & Audience Engagement at Sirius XM + Pandora, Los Angeles, CA
- Ramon Alvarez-Smikle ’13 - SVP, Head of Urban Digital Marketing at Interscope Records, Los Angeles, CA
- Emily Schultze ’12 - Senior Manager of Content Strategy at Compass, NYC
- Val Aveni ’02 - Vice President, Social Media and Brand Strategy at MGM Studios, Los Angeles, CA
- Jeremy Fishbein ’15 - Manager, Content & Social Media at BallerTV, Atlanta, GA
- Joe Piaskowy ’05 - Vice President, Brand Strategy and Partnerships at Influential, Chicago, IL
- Kristie Van Praag ’04 - Social Media Director at Starcom, Chicago, IL
- Nikki Rose ’07 - Sr. Director of Social at Crispy Chicken Social Media Agency, Los Angeles, CA
- Dena Hope Rand ’10 - Digital Marketing Coordinator at lookthinkmake, Austin, TX
Our faculty members are working professionals who stay up-to-date with industry trends and bring them into the classroom. They're dedicated to providing you with a real-world educational experience, and they serve as great resources for jobs and references once you graduate.