Report forecasts addition of 30,000 social media jobs in California

Centers of Excellence study finds sector is expected to grow 7% over 5 years
May 17, 2012 - PRLog -- Sacramento, Calif.--A report recently released by the Centers of Excellence projects that the social media sector will add more than 30,000 jobs over the next five years in California.

That translates to a 7% increase for a current workforce of 160,878 workers in California. According to the report, 36% of employers said they plan to hire social media workers in the next year.

“Our research shows that social media is impacting five traditional occupations: public relations specialists, media and communication workers, advertising sales agents, advertising and sales managers, and sales representatives,” said Dr. Audrey Reille, director of the Center of Excellence serving the Los Angeles/Orange County region. “These professionals have to learn to effectively use social media to keep up with the changes in their field. In addition, some firms are hiring social media specialist and creating new jobs.”

Public relations specialists are expected to experience the highest growth rate (11%), while advertising and promotions managers will experience the least growth (4%), the study finds.

The researchers also examined social media employment growth by region over the next five years. Some key findings include:
•   The Los Angeles/Orange County Region will have the largest number of projected job openings in the state, comprising 40% of all openings. The San Francisco Bay Area will have the second largest number of openings.
•   The Central Region will have the highest growth rate percentage for sale representatives, with 1,069 job openings.
•   The North/Far North Region will have the highest growth rate percentage for public relations occupations, with 3,066 job openings.
•   The San Diego/Imperial Region and Inland Empire will have modest growth (7%) in media and communications workers.

While at least 18 community colleges in the state offer courses related to social media, no community college offers a certificate or degree program, the report concludes.

However, there appears to be demand for such programs. More than half of employers surveyed said they would recommend their employees earn a social media certificate, and 29% said they would recommend their employees earn a degree in social media.

“This study demonstrates that social media is revolutionizing the way we do business and that thousands of employees need to learn how to use it effectively,” Dr. Reille said.
As a result, the report’s authors recommend that community colleges develop social media certificates and continuing education courses through which professionals can update their skills.

The study also identified the top skills most needed across occupations. These skills include the ability to link social media to business strategy, executing social media, and tracking social media metrics and data.

“This study helps us understand how social media impacts the job market,” said Michelle Marquez, director of the Central Valley & South Central Coast Center of Excellence. “In addition, we feel this study indicates that California’s community colleges can play a critical role in preparing workers to meet the requirements of these jobs.”

A copy of the report can be accessed at

About the Centers of Excellence: The Centers of Excellence provide detailed and accurate regional economic and workforce information for community colleges. The centers collaborate with business and industry partners and workforce boards to conduct regional workforce research and prepare customized reports to assist community college decision making and resource development.

More info on the 10 Centers of Excellence:

More info on the California Community College’s Economic and Workforce Development initiatives:
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