Aug 6, 2010

Harvard and Columbia B-Schools start teaching Social Media

This is an interesting news item from Businessweek.

If any Delhi based B-Schools want to start teaching a course in Social Technologies enabled Business I'd be interested to talk :-)

B-Schools All A-Twitter Over Social Media
Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School have joined a growing list of business schools that are adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula, addressing the corporate demand for social-network-savvy employees. The two schools are among at least six that have added courses in the past year that allow students to learn about Internet marketing and social media strategy, according to course syllabi and faculty associated with the classes.

With Twitter's social networking site claiming 190 million users tweeting 65 million times a day and Facebook reporting 500 million active members, companies including Sears Holdings, Panasonic, Citigroup, and AT&T have begun hiring social media directors to develop and manage marketing strategies that address the nuances of the online world. Business schools in the last three years have seen a drop in graduate placement rates—to an average of 84 percent in 2009 among Bloomberg Businessweek's top 30 full-time MBA programs, from 96 percent in 2007. Social media classes are one way of preparing students for careers in a promising field, says John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems at Boston College's Carroll School of Management, where "Social Media & Web 2.0 for Managers" is being offered in the fall.

"In the realm of technology it's possible for us to teach our students a tool that their bosses don't have, and they can provide that added value from day one," Gallaugher says. "Social media skills are the ones that can set them apart. Those are the skills that employers are looking for."

Columbia, in New York, offers four Internet marketing courses. Two of them, "Social Media," taught by Rachel Sterne, chief executive officer of, a global citizen news platform, and "Media and Technology," taught by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, will be offered for the first time next spring, according to professor Rajeev Kohli, chair of the Columbia marketing division. At Harvard, in Boston, professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski last fall introduced a second-year elective course, "Competing with Social Networks," and 172 students enrolled—three for every available seat. "Students know these tools are too hard to ignore," Piskorski says.

Other MBA programs that have added courses that explore social media include London Business School , INSEAD, the international business school based in Fontainebleau, France, and the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, known as HEC Paris, according to faculty at the respective schools.