There are several courses on social and digital media. Here’s how to choose the right one.

With social media bringing a breath of fresh air to the fields of marketing, customer service, recruiting, market research and so on, it has become imperative for businesses to take note of it.

And this focus on social media by businesses has resulted in educational institutions including it in their curriculum.

There are several colleges and institutes that have exclusive courses on social and digital media. But are they really the type of courses you want to undertake? Will they really add to your skill-set?

There are different factors one must evaluate before selecting the course and the institute. This will give you a fair idea on how you should go about selecting a social media education course that is most apt for you.

Peruse the course module

There are various facets to social media where one can build his/her career, copywriting, strategy, analytics, designing, client servicing, and so on. Educational institutions have courses that cover all these aspects or at least try to.

You must go through their module to ensure that all these aspects are covered in detail. As a social media marketing student, you must possess a good knowledge of all these aspects.

Which is why an exhaustive modules will help you acquire a 360 degree knowledge of the social media industry.

Moreover, there are several institutions which have tie-ups with leading social media agencies. Such tie-ups ensure that the module is prepared by experts and has a direct industry connect.

Is it relevant?

While on the one hand you need a module that covers all the aspects of the social media industry, it should also be relevant to you. Let's say you want to become a social media analyst. When you go through the course module, ensure that it provides in depth knowledge of social media analytics. If it doesn't, it makes no sense to undertake the course. The course has to be a stepping stone towards your aim. Hence it is imperative that it fulfils all your requirements.

Research the faculty

The course and module are only as good as the person teaching you, which is why you must do a thorough research about the person who is going to teach you. Most likely, the faculty details should be available on the institutions’ websites. But if it isn't, don't hesitate to ask them directly. Be wary if they don't share the faculty details with you.

Preference should be given to those institutes which invite industry leaders to take regular sessions.

Course fees

An exclusive social media course will usually be four months long and the fees for the same can be in the range of Rs 40,000–50,000. But, oftentimes, you will find that social media is part of the curriculum for degrees such as BMM, BMS or Marketing Communication. Increasingly, it is also being included in the curriculum of B-schools. In such cases, you can expect the standard degree/MBA fees.

All the aforementioned factors will give you an understanding on how to pick and choose a course that can help you realise your social media dreams. With the admission season on, here is a list of institutes that provide social media courses:

Northpoint Centre of Learning, Khandala

Xavier Institue of Communication, Mumbai

Centre for Management, Mumbai

Learning Catalyst: Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune

Digital Vidya: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore

9.9 School of Convergence, Delhi;

Afaqs Campus: Mumbai, Gurgaon

The writer is a social media strategist and consultant and has co-founded Socialsamosa.com.