Ecommerce and social media graduate programs are designed to help professionals develop their knowledge and abilities to use technology to connect, transact and ultimately, conduct business online. They may impart a curricula designed to teach students the business, technical, and management components of engaging and exchanging—socially and commercially—online and through other digital means. With the proliferation of online applications and platforms, such as marketplaces, social media sites, and numerous others, having knowledge and skills in these areas may be critical to businesses’ success. To give you a better sense of what programs in e-commerce and social media might cover and what professionals in the field might do, let’s briefly discuss what social media and e-commerce are.
Social media are tools that enable people, companies, and organizations to create, share, or exchange information in virtual communities and networks.[i] They depend on web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which people share content. Over the years, they’ve introduced substantial and pervasive changes to the ways businesses, organizations, communities, and people communicate.[ii] E-commerce, meanwhile, comprises the electronic tools and platforms that businesses, organizations, communities, and people use to facilitate trade in products or services.[iii]
Professionals with social media and e-commerce education and training help design, maintain, and evolve online business spaces. Their education and training typically centers on business (including finance, marketing, sales, and other components) and technology (including information systems, computer science, and other realms of technology) as they relate to e-commerce and social media. Professionals in this field may apply their skills to develop virtual enterprises, virtual banking, network marketing, online transactions (including payment, shopping, and advertising), and other electronic-business components and solutions.
Many people develop their knowledge and skills in e-commerce and social media by pursuing graduate-level certificates, master’s degrees, or doctorate degrees in areas of e-commerce and social media such as e-business. Through their programs, they may develop their knowledge and technical skills in areas such as programming, software engineering, and database technologies, and their business acumen in areas such as marketing, finance, and communications.