Can You Major in Being an Influencer?

by Morgan T. Rogers

Social media influencers are on the rise, and if you’re seeking a long-term career in this type of role, you’re not alone. Still, can you major in being an influencer? While there may not be a designated major, you can take a few pathways to prepare for a career in this growing industry.

Learn more about the skills you need to succeed and which concentrations can get you there.

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

For many people, social media is an extension of life in the physical world. People interact with digital media daily to connect with friends and family from afar, stay current on news, and learn about new hobbies and topics. Social media influencers have reach and authority in this digital world and can engage and share information with large audiences.

In short, a social media influencer is someone who has influence in a specific area or industry and uses social media platforms to share their expertise. You probably follow your own fair share of influencers, but the work they put in behind the scenes encompasses far more than what you see on your social media feed. While well-known social media influencers may have a team to help them develop content, micro-influencers (influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers) may act as content developers, photographers, marketing specialists, and project managers all in one.

The influencer marketing industry is continuing to grow, but influencers are self-made. The road to building a brand identity takes hard work, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurship.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Social Media Influencer?

Social media influencers earn income by partnering with brands to promote their products. This entails understanding business and communications as well as how consumers interact with their favorite brands. Writing, design, and digital marketing skills are also essential to the job. Depending on which industry your expertise is in, you may need education in those niche areas. For example, social media influencers who focus on home improvement and interior design may benefit from a background in construction or architecture.

In addition to top-level industry knowledge, you may need to learn specific programs and hard skills, such as Hootsuite, Google Digital Garage, or Salesforce. Earning a microcredential can help you develop these skills and show partnering brands you’re serious about your work.

Can You Major in Being an Influencer?

If you’re pursuing a career as a social media influencer, you can take many paths to support your goals. Many programs can apply to all influencers, no matter the industry.

Digital Marketing and Design

Azusa Pacific University’s digital marketing and design major equips aspiring influencers with a strong foundation in branding, brand journalism, influencer marketing, and more. With this major, you’ll learn to utilize digital marketing tools and create strategic plans that help businesses grow.

You may also consider a Digital Marketing and Social Media Certificate program, which can give you the skills you need in less time—and without any prerequisite work.

Public Relations

The public relations major at APU prepares students with a deep integrative knowledge of communications, multimedia publishing, and marketing. If you’re interested in becoming a social media influencer, you’ll benefit from learning how to partner with brands and communicate in a way that supports their long-term goals.

Communication Management

APU’s communication management major focuses on the ethics and values of communication in the corporate space. As a communication management student, you can expect to take classes in leadership communication, persuasion and attitude change, and rhetoric and political influence.


While psychology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when pursuing a career as an influencer, a degree in psychology can give you a better understanding of consumer behavior, including how social media affects people and how to influence consumers ethically and effectively.

Design Studies

APU’s design studies major equips students with the visual and artistic skill set they need to promote their brand online. Learn about branding and identity, user experience, and photography with this major to build the creative portfolio you’ll need in your career as an influencer.


Marketing is a continually expanding industry. With a degree in marketing, you’ll have a solid business foundation with an understanding of consumer behavior, advertising, sales management, and more.

Reaching Your Goals One Step at a Time

To better personalize your education to fit your career goals, consider adding a minor to diversify your skills and fill in the gaps for a more comprehensive education. For example, pursuing a minor in psychology, entrepreneurship, or journalism at APU can give you the extra edge you need to start your social media career off on the right foot.

Interested in discussing which pathway will best support your career goals? Contact your APU admissions representative to find the right program for you.