University of California, Irvine campus.

Training to be a modern messenger

by TOMOYA SHIMURA

The world of social media affords more than dance moves and cat memes. It’s also a rich source of paychecks for marketing professionals. The latest surveys revealed more than 660,000 U.S. job openings in the field, with a sturdy 22% growth projected through 2029. Savvy marketers can earn on average from $63,000 to as much as $121,000 a year for experienced candidates.

UC Irvine’s continuing education division is offering an on-ramp to messaging success through its Digital Marketing & Communications certificate program.

“Playing in the digital arena can be both risky and rewarding,” notes instructor Gary Szenderski. “The metrics we use to track success are more sophisticated than ever.”

The program, which includes three required courses and one elective and can be completed in about six months, is intended both for students new to social media marketing and for marketing, communication, and product-management pros who want to update their skill set. Students will get a foundation for launching and managing digital marketing campaigns on several platforms.

“I was incredibly inspired by what my instructors are doing with their digital marketing strategies and some of the really innovative tactics they were willing to share with their students,” says Ryan Armstrong, a recent graduate who went on to manage a team of social media marketers. He commended the teachers for being accessible to students as mentors invested in advancing their careers.

UCI’s Division of Continuing Education offers over 80 certificate programs in fields such as business, law, health care, finance, life sciences and technology. Most cost less than $3,000, with the price of single courses less than $700.