Social Media Jobs in Chicago Outnumber the Labor Market

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Social media jobs in Chicago outnumber the labor market. On the indeed website alone, there are over 2,800 jobs in the social media industry. There are even fellowships offered in the field.

In February 2018, the total nonfarm employment for the Chicago area was at 4,629,300. That is a 0.7 employment rate over the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the same time period, the national job count increased by 1.6 percent. The Metropolitan Chicago area has shown over-the-year employment increases on a monthly basis since October 2010.

Social media strategists design and create engaging written and graphic content for social media channels and websites. They listen and respond to the members on social communities every day, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. They report on content performance and community health. Manage and coordinate posting on social media channels from staff across the organization. Social media strategists create live events. These are just some of the tasks associated with the job or fellowship.

The desired skills for these positions generally include excellent writing, editing, and fact checking abilities. Additional skills include a tactical understanding if social media and emerging platforms, and experience integrating varied channels into strategy; the ability to work independently, proactively, persistently, and in a fast-paced manner; capable of juggling multiple projects and priorities simultaneously; and the ability to collaborate with broadcast producers/correspondents to pitch cross-platform content.

Often there will be other requirements, such as experience with Photoshop or a professional camera. Mostly, jobs require a bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ experience.

A question often asked by people searching for their first job once out of college is “How do I get experience?” The short answer is volunteer. There are small organizations that are attempting to break into social media to gain attention. They often welcome help in new areas that may not be clearly understood by the leaders of the organization, especially if the help is free.

In 2017, CNN Money reported that the 10-year job growth rate is at 9 percent. The median pay for social media strategists is $57,400. As consumers continue to connect with social media websites, there is a growing need for strategists to oversee and grow interactions. Social media strategists are tasked with writing posts, guarding against inappropriate comments, creating memes, and directing consumer complaints via social media.

CNN Money rated the job for low stress and gave it an A. It is also a job that allows for telecommuting. Working from home can be a benefit for anyone who has children or some sort of obstacle that prevents them from physically going to work every day.

Out of 100 jobs, social media strategist was listed as number 42 in the top 100 careers in America by CNN Money. The factors that were used to determine this list of jobs included significant job growth, pay, and satisfaction with the job.

Chicago offers another way to gain knowledge and experience in the field of social media. There is the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that is transitioning to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which is more focused on career pathways, career services, and career planning.

Under WIOA, career planning services are available to anyone who enters the Illinois workNet American Job Center. People can access resources from anywhere. The job centers are available for the unemployed, under employed, or those seeking a career change.

The Illinois workNet American Job Centers help to accelerate educational and career advancement while developing a talent database to meet the employment needs of businesses in the area. Career pathways include a combination of training, education, and counseling. It could also involve work-based learning, apprenticeships, and bridge programs. Anything that leads to the attainment of post-secondary credentials, along with skills needed among the industries in the regional economies.

The services provided at the Illinois workNet includes computer-based portfolios and career plans in the Illinois Career Information System. This includes “eight career assessments, information on in-demand industry sectors and occupations as well as other labor market employment statistics related to local, regional, and national labor market areas.

Individuals can qualify for training programs, apprenticeships, or other work-based learning opportunities. It depends on the needs of the businesses in an individual’s community.

The Illinois workNet American Job Centers are a one-stop service delivery system. The job centers rely on partners to deliver integrated employment services and case management.

“Configurations vary depending on location, core partners include workforce development, education, employment services, and other human services to achieve employment for jobseekers, including people with disabilities.”

Workforce Innovation Boards are creating talent pipelines. “Short-term training through a coordinated approach will mitigate the factors that contribute to poverty and unemployment including health, housing, transportation, and child care.”

In March 2018, there were 209,604 unemployed people in Chicago. There are 2,985 social media jobs listed on indeed, 1,145 jobs listed on Glassdoor, and over 1,000 listed on LinkedIn.

Jobs in social media could help to close the unemployment gap in Chicago. Training and education are required, however, Chicago offers several options to gain the training and education needed to be successful in social media.

Written by Jeanette Smith

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of geralt’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License


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