A Chinese college near Shanghai is offering a three-year degree in “social media stardom.”

The Degree

The Chinese college, the Yiwu Industrial and Commercial College, known as YWICC, is offering students a three-year degree in “social media stardom.” Courses for this degree include “public relations etiquette,” fashion sensitivity, aesthetic cultivation, cultural literacy and make-up modeling. The college also teaches students how to perform on camera as well as how to be fluent in luxury brands. The curriculum has been available since the Fall of 2015.

The college has not yet responded to requests from Moneyish for comment.

“I like dressing myself up really pretty and take pictures,” one student said. “I feel like this major really suits me.”

Why The Degree?

In China, Internet influencers are a $10.8bn industry, and will even double by 2018, experts predict. There are several examples of Chinese internet influencers who have hit it big, including 30-year-old Jiang Yilei, known as Papi Jiang, who has over 23m followers from her comedy rants on Youtube, and sponsors products from Jaeger-LeCoultre, a luxury watch brand.

Zhang Dayi is also another example of an Internet influencer whos fashion vlogs earned her $46m last year.

Obviously China isn’t the only place where internet stardom is a growing industry. Some examples include 28-year-old Lilly Singh, known as “superwoman” on Youtube, Brian Kelly, known as “The Points Guy,” and Mark Fischbach, known as Markiplier, who went from being a gaming commentator to being a crossover star. Many internet influencers can demand up to seven figures per campaign they’re asked to sponsor.

These three stars made it to Forbes Magazine’s “Top 30 Internet influencers” list last year. The list weighted all candidates’ potential earnings per post with their number of followers in order to create the ranking order. They also took into account their offline businesses, such as sold books or product lines.

Universities With Similar Degrees

This is not the first college to offer such a degree. Rutgers’ Business school also offers a “Mini-MBA in Social Media.” It also offers a week-long course with 30 hours of teaching students about the practical applications of social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. The program costs about $5,000.

Harvard also offers a $5,500 week-long course  on “Digital Marketing Strategy”, which will become a available next Fall. New York University (NYU), Fordham University and Pratt do not offer degrees on social media stardom, but do offer courses on the topic.


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