Nowadays, if you ask a young person what they want to be when they grow up, the answer is no longer President, a doctor or lawyer. It’s influencer. Now you can study the space in college.
A new course, Influencer Relations, offered at the University of Southern California is helping students study the steps and psychology of career success on TikTok.
“It is a broad and comprehensive course. It takes a look at influencers as a social phenomenon, as well as a business feature of the economy today,” said Robert Kozinets, professor of journalism and the Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair of Strategic Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The class offering makes sense as the space is estimated at $21.1 billion in the U.S. per the 2023 Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report as ABC News points out.
“I don’t think you can teach someone to have that ‘je ne sais quoi’ charisma, and that stage presence,” Kozinets said in an interview with Good Morning America. “I think what you can teach is the mechanics of some persuasion, understanding contracts, understanding the nuts and bolts of the industry, understanding how all those pieces fit together.” He adds: “Influencers themselves are recognizing the value that they bring to marketing, and so they’re charging more, and they’re able to charge more, and they professionalize more.”