|10 December, 2018

UAE-based university offers diploma for social media influencers

Graduates will get an overview of the digital media landscape and the impact of social media on society.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images

UAE-based social media influencers will now take a diploma programme to hone their skills and help them develop their digital content, it was announced on Monday.

In collaboration with Dubai Press Club (DPC), American University in Dubai (AUD) launched an eight-month social media influencers diploma programme to equip Netizens with technical skills that enhance digital content production.

DPC will select 100 UAE-based social media influencers - in batches of 20 individuals - who will take the programme that will cover six modules in two semesters.

Dr Jihad S. Nader, vice-president for institutional advancement and development at AUD, said the course will ensure social media influencers are aligned with the government's vision.

"The digital world is more connected today than it ever was before. Social media platforms shape public opinions and impressions, which is why influencers must be guided," said Nader on the sidelines of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit.

Graduates will get an overview of the digital media landscape and the impact of social media on society.

The programme will also cover social media marketing; branding and metrics; creative video content for social media; fact-checking and its ethical and legal underpinnings; and transmedia for influencers.

Each course, Nader said, will cover technical aspects. "Influencers will be asked to set a social, economic or scientific goal they would want to achieve on social media, then develop the material using the tools and techniques taught in the course. They will be evaluated based on how efficient their social media strategies are," he said.

Nader added that influencers will be selected based on their educational qualifications and knowledge of social media.

A minimum of a bachelor's degree will be required, though this condition can be exempted in some cases.

Participants must have good English command and social media literacy. "We want to make sure that selected individuals come from a similar background," said Nader.

About seven instructors will provide the material in English, with Arabic support.

Nader emphasised that the course aims to guide social media influencers and ensure that the UAE society is correctly represented to the world.

"If there's no direction, social media influencing could go the wrong way. Non-constructive criticism and negative messages, even if subtle, can have an impact on society in a negative manner," said Nader.

What the lessons will cover

>Overview of the digital media landscape

>Impact of social media on society

>Social media marketing

>Branding and metrics

>Producing creative video content for social media

>Fact-checking and its ethical and legal underpinnings

>Transmedia storytelling

Qualifications for social media diploma students

>100 UAE-based influencers will be selected

>Must have a bachelor's degree (though this condition can be exempted in some cases)

>Must have good English command

>Must have social media skills

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