Best Degrees to Become a Social Media Influencer

Social Media Influencers are a new phenomenon. We have assembled the subjects that can be studied in college that are relevant to the domains of influence with today’s top social media influencers. These subjects are not arranged in any particular order of importance. Influencers don’t need to be celebrities. This is the beauty of social media. The goal is to get followers on social media platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. People can now gain tremendous influence in an organic way. And with the mass of followers comes the paycheck from brands paying for influencer’s endorsements. The highest tiered influencers can make tens of millions of dollars per year. Getting an online degree would provide the necessary credentials to speak and influence with authority in these subjects. If becoming a social media influencer doesn’t happen, you can still earn a living by getting an online degree. Also see our article The Best Degrees and Jobs for Generation Z.

1 Nutrition

As experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease, nutritionists advise people on what to eat to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a health-related goal. Typically, nutritionists and dietitians need a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as supervised training through an internship. Programs prepare graduates for careers as health educators, public health professionals, food service managers, licensed nutritionists, and more. Bachelor’s degree programs in Nutrition include courses in human nutrition, applied food principles, teamwork and leadership in health, nutrition in the life cycle, eating for lifelong health, among others. Some online programs also allow students to complete a Food Entrepreneurship track, which helps them learn to manage and market food, develop a food or menu that meets nutritional guidelines and better understand the food industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nutritionist/dietician career field is expected to grow much faster than average with a projected job growth of 15 percent by 2026.

Social Media Influencer in Nutrition:

Danielle Walker. Author of the book Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well and Feel Great.

2 Film and Digital Cinematography

With internet-only platforms, such as streaming services, and the number of shows produced for these platforms expected to grow, there will be a greater need for film editors and camera operators. Those working in the film and digital cinematography career field possess passion and talent combined with advanced technical skills. Most hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting. Online bachelor’s degree programs in Digital Cinematography or Digital Filmmaking provide students with strong foundation in storytelling and the latest technological tools. Course topics include directing, film criticism, history of motion picture art, art design, location lighting, and producing. Students also gain real-world experience through externships, internships and job simulations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the film and digital cinematography career field is expected to grow faster than average with a projected job growth of 13 percent by 2026.

Social Media Influencer in Film:

Kevin Feige: President of Marvel Studios.

3 Fitness and Exercise Science

Exercise physiologists develop exercise and fitness programs to help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve flexibility, body composition and cardiovascular function. Depending on the specialty, most employers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology or a related field. An online degree prepares students for careers as strength and conditioning coaches, fitness managers/specialists, and exercise physiologists, among others. Those in the field work for healthcare providers or are self employed. Degree programs include courses in anatomy, biology, nutrition and kinesiology as well as clinical work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the exercise physiology career field to grow faster than average with a projected job growth of 13 percent by 2026.

Social Media Influencer in Fitness and Exercise Science:

Jen Selter

4 Fashion

A degree in fashion combines creativity with technical knowledge of the production processes for footwear, accessories and clothing. Depending on their interests and goals, students can pursue degrees in fashion design, fashion marketing or fashion merchandising, among others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is required for most fashion-related careers. Online degrees in fashion design focus on the creation of clothing. The curriculum features the entire fashion design process from visual research to sketching designs to creating line plans and draping garments. Online degrees in fashion marketing help students gain market and consumer insights to develop and plan fashion marketing and promotional strategies for products, services and brands, while online degrees in fashion merchandising help students develop a foundation in fashion merchandising and managing fashion businesses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects fashion-related careers to grow 3 percent by 2026, which is slower than average for all careers.

Social Media Influencer in Fashion:

Alexa Chung

5 Music

Whether they want to be in front of an audience or behind the scenes, an online Bachelor’s degree in Music prepares graduates for a variety of music-related careers such as music directors, composers, producers, performers, and more. An online Bachelor’s degree in Music features courses in music theory, basic conducting, scoring, arranging, and aural skills. Programs also may include a capstone recital or composition.

Music College and Degree Information:

1. The Top 25 Music Programs in the US

Students also can tailor their degree by focusing on music production, music business, electronic music, songwriting or music composition, among others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment of music directors and composers to grow 6 percent by 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Social Media Influencer in Music:

Taylor Swift

6 Marketing (Social Media and Digital Marketing)

Marketing, promotions and advertising campaigns will continue to be essential for hopeful social media influencers as they seek to maintain and expand their following. As businesses increase their use of social media as a way to communicate with the public, there will be a need for more social media influencers as well. It seems obvious that getting a degree in Social Media Marketing would be valuable to social media influencers. Social media influencers would learn how to maximize the impact of their social media accounts, helping build their brand’s reputation. They also follow conversations and interact with the public online.

Marketing College, Degree and Career Information:

  1. The Best Online Marketing Degrees

  2. 10 Best Online Social Media Marketing Colleges

  3. Marketing Degrees and Careers

A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required is for most advertising, promotions and marketing management positions. Degree programs focus on public relations, business and communications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of advertising, promotions and marketing managers is expected to grow 10 percent by 2026, which is faster than average.

Social Media influencer in Social Media Marketing:

Franc Carreras

7 Cosmetology and Beauty

Cosmetologists provide hair styling, hair cutting and a range of beauty services to clients. All states require cosmetologist to be licensed; they must graduate from a state-approved program and pass a licensure exam. An Online Cosmetology program prepares graduates for careers in hair styling, makeup artistry and aesthetics. Programs combine rigorous classroom and hands-on training.

Cosmetology School Information:

  1. 11 Best Cosmetology Programs

Students learn the procedures and principles of working with hair, skin, nails and associated chemicals and imaging, as well as the business fundamentals, including product knowledge and computer skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of cosmetologists to grow 13 percent by 2026, faster than average for all occupations.

Social Media Influencer:

Mariale Marrero

8 Photography

Photographers use technical expertise, composition skills and creativity to produce and preserve images that record an event or tell a story. Photographers can specialize in portrait photography, fine arts photography, commercial and industrial photography, aerial photography, and more. Depending on their specialty, photographers may work for themselves or a media, scientific or marketing company, among others. Careers in photojournalism and scientific photography often require a bachelor’s degree. An online Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Photography provides students with a solid foundation in technical skills such as lighting, digital camera operation, and post-production image editing while helping them refine their visual literacy. Programs also include courses in business, social media and brand building, allowing graduates to differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. Students also develop a professional portfolio.

Social Media Influencer in Photography:

Meghan Young

9 Culinary Arts

Due to an increased demand for specialty baked products, the Bureau of Labor Statistic expects the employment of bakers to grow 8 percent by 2026, as fast as average, while employment for chefs is expected to grow 10 percent, which is faster than average. Most bakers work in commercial or retail bakeries, grocery stores, wholesale club stores and restaurants. Bakers typically learn skills through on-the-job training or by attending a culinary or technical school.

Culinary Arts School Information:

  1. Top 20 Culinary Schools

Chefs and head cooks work in private households and restaurants, as well as other places where food is served. They often learn skills through community college, technical schools or culinary arts schools as well as through apprenticeship programs and work experience. Online Culinary Arts programs combine theoretical courses such as food science, hygiene, cost control, and safety, as well as practical experience and demonstrations. Many programs also include an internship. A culinary arts degree prepares graduates for careers as professional chef, kitchen manager, food critic, and more.

Social Media influencer in Culinary Arts:

Laura Vitale

10 Writing (Authors)

Writers and authors — who often hold a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communications — develop content for media, including books, magazines, blogs, television scripts, and more. An Online Bachelor’s degree in English with a Creative Writing focus helps students hone their knowledge of literary theory and literary history while also writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

Writing College and Degree Information:

  1. 8 Best Online Screenwriting Colleges

An Online Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication helps student understands the responsibilities and rights of news media professionals in a changing social and political landscape. Course topics include digital and media literacy, elements of journalism, multimedia news writing and editing, news-gathering and reporting, and visual journalism. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of authors to grow by 8 percent by 2026, about as fast as average.

Social Media Influencer Author:

Chimamanda Adichie

11 Theater Arts (Acting)

An online Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts allows students to examine the relationship of theater to culture and focus on significant playwrights, plays and theater artists. Courses include acting, directing, technical theater production, and theater history. Depending on the program, students also can tailor their degree with electives in choreography, opera production, mime, dramatic criticism, and more. Actors typically enhance their skills through formal dramatic education and complete long-term training to help them portray characters and express ideas in film, TV, theater and other performing arts media. A bachelor’s degree often is required for producers and directors, providing them with skills necessary to interpret scripts for TV shows, movies, live theater, commercials, and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of both actors and producers and directors to grow by 12 percent by 2026, faster than average. The growth is due, in part, to a strong demand for new TV shows and movies.
Here is the salary information for these career fields for working outside of being a social media influencer. If becoming a social media influence doesn’t happen, you can still earn a living getting a degree in these subjects.


Careers for Social Media Influencers
Job TitleAnnual Median Wage
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers$132,620
Fashion Designers$72,720
Producers and Directors$71,680
Writers and Authors$62,170
Film and Video Editors$58,990
Music Director and Composers$49,630
Exercise Physiologists$49,270
Chefs and Head Cooks$48,460
Fitness Trainers$39,820
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)