Facebook, Coursera Kick Off Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate Program

The initiative is aimed at training people with no prior experience for entry-level jobs

The five-course program is self-paced and designed to be completed within 20 weeks Facebook/Coursera

Facebook teamed up with online learning provider Coursera on a new Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate Program.

Facebook head of scaled solutions, global business marketing Judy Toland wrote in a blog post, “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how crucial social media marketing skills have become as businesses around the globe pivot from brick and mortar to online. Many social media marketing roles require technical training previously found only through an advanced degree program, and aspiring marketers have been faced with the challenge of securing both real-world experience and marketing training. Facebook is committed to providing tools and skills to support these job seekers when they need it the most.”

The five-course program, which was released this week, is aimed at helping people with no prior industry experience become prepared to handle social media marketing jobs within a few months. It is self-paced and designed to be completed within 20 weeks, via 100 hours of hands-on, project-based training in applied social media tools and general marketing skills.

Upon completion, people will receive an industry-recognized certificate that they can showcase when applying for entry-level social media marketing roles.

Employers that have committed to sourcing diverse talent as part of the initiative include Facebook, Freelancer, Havas Worldwide, L’ange Hair, Ruggable and Snow Teeth Whitening.

Facebook and Coursera said current barriers to entry into the workplace that they aim to address include:

  • Diverse and nontraditional candidate representation: Currently, studies show that diverse candidates are often overlooked and underrepresented within digital marketing roles due to lack of skills training options available and educational inequality due to racial basis and systemic policies. This program will help to assure equal educational opportunities and job placements, enabling more diverse and nontraditional candidates to join the industry.
  • Current digital skills: Learners will be taught from content designed by Facebook and Coursera experts in digital marketing and online instruction to combine real-world skills training with educational excellence.
  • Real-world experience: Learners will build campaigns and develop a portfolio based on real-life, workplace scenarios addressing the gap that learners encounter in achieving experience within educational instruction.
  • Soft-skills training: Learners will be coached on soft skills like grit, creativity and empathy—skills many training programs are not currently providing learners, but which are critical to success on the job and to career growth. Learners receive career and job search support to help them be successful in their roles.

Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda wrote in the blog post, “We must tackle the global unemployment crisis with access to job-relevant learning and credentials. We are excited to join Facebook in launching an industry-backed Professional Certificate that connects learners of all backgrounds with promising job opportunities in the growing field of social media.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.