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The Klingon language, cyberporn, clownology, there are plenty of non-tradional degree courses available these days, so it’s not too surprising to learn that ‘Social Media Influencer’ has joined the list. On Monday, Condé Nast Italia launched the first national social academy to train the next generation of digital media professionals.
According to WWD, the certified postgraduate degree program was developed in partnership with L’Oréal Italia’s luxe division and with the support of Milan’s SDA Bocconi School of Management.
The course’s 240 hours of lessons features classes on communication, social marketing, audience management techniques, content development, video and photo editing, and more. The program, run from Condé Nast’s Milan HQ, is being taught by 15 teachers.
Understanding the ethics of social media accounts will also play a large part of the course. The problem of online influencers not disclosing the fact that a post or video is sponsored content has been an issue for years, leading to the FTC clamping down on the practice in 2016. The program will teach students to be transparent about advertised content.
“This is our social responsibility; we have to train people. And if one day a company will need trained and professional influencers, we will be the only ones to be able to provide them,” said Condé Nast Italia’s chief executive officer, Fedele Usai.
20 female students have been selected from 2000 candidates to join the first academic term free of charge. Two more sessions are set to arrive next year, both of which are open to 40 students who will have to pay for the courses. Once all the programs are over, the 100 social media professionals will be added to Condé Nast’s 300-strong team of social influencers.