26 January 2012 ~ 33 Comments

A selection of Online Community Management Courses to be a better Community Manager

When I started my career in Community Management, I remember taking a couple of day courses with the inspiring Lizzie Jackson to learn about how to set up and build a new online community. The workshops were incredibly helpful in a world where we didn’t yet have the volume of resources for community managers we have access to now.

Over the years I have seen a few similar courses on offer, but there has been a bit of an explosion lately with training possibilities from free to a few thousand, and courses lasting a few weeks to a year.

Not included in this list are degrees offered by established universities that include units dedicated to Social Media or Community Management. Most Marketing or Media courses now include these, so the list would have been too long. I also didn’t include courses offered by agencies as there were simply too many. You can always get in touch with me if you want agency-led teaching – I provide training courses via my employer eModeration.

I’ve rounded the dedicated courses I know of below with a short description and the price. I haven’t taken any of these so can’t comment on the quality, but they are mainly provided by recognised experts in the field of Community Management.

Short courses

Reddit University, USA: Online Communities 101 course (taught in English, remote online teaching, 7 weeks, free) – Entry level course covering all the basics in relation to the Community Manager role and the whys and hows of building an online community.

IED, Spain: Community Management & Social Media Summer course (taught in English, 4 week full-time over a summer month, €2,500 + extra for accommodation if needed) – Takes students through theory and practical skills needed for community management culminating in the preparation of a social business plan.

INESE, Spain: Manager Community & Social Networking intensive course (taught in Spanish, 5 half-days, €767) – A crash course on the three main social networks and how to drawn up a Social Media Plan around them.

GetSatisfaction, USA: Online Community Manager Training & Certification Course (taught in English, remote online teaching, 4 weeks, $395) - This course is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge to both manage and moderate an online community.

Certificate courses

Feverbee, UK: Pillar Summit (taught in English, remote online teaching, 18 weeks, £5,000) – Taught by Richard Millington, this is a practitioner-led course that goes into much detail around building, managing and developing an online community. It also includes a mass of side-material such as guides, templates and one to one clinics.

eConsultancy, UK: Online Engagement and Community Management certificate (taught in English, 24 weeks, Manchester, £2,450+VAT) –  This certificate is focussed mainly on defining objectives and launching a community, and developing a content and curation plan.

WOMMA / the Community Roundtable, USA: Community Management Certificate program (taught in English, approx. 12 weeks, remote online teaching, approx. $1,650) – Includes a number of Community Management specialists delivering s series of webinars. The program covers both contextual topics like market trends, strategy, and culture as well as specific tactical responsibilities related to content development, moderation, enforcing policies, and measuring success. (Disclaimer: eModeration, who I work for, is involved in the delivery of this program)

Degree courses

USC Annenberg, USA: Online Communities Master’s program (taught in English, approx 7 months, USC Campus, approx $23,000) – A Master’s degree in Online Communities focussed within Communications. Large number of experts guest speakers and the opportunity to create an online community as part of the course.

University of Barcelona, Spain: Social Media Community Manager degree (taught in English, remote online teaching, 1 year, €3,900) – A very theory-led and academic approach to Community Management.

Pacific University, Chile: Community Management Master’s degree (taught in Spanish, seems to be remote online teaching, 1 year, approx. $8500) – A comprehensive in-depth degree in Community and Social Media Management theory and practise, including research modules.

A quick edit: @themaria quite rightly points out I missed out the School Of Hard Knocks – it’s worth saying people have become Community Managers for the past 20-odd years without access to courses like those above. While they are no doubt very helpful, hands-on experience is the most important thing you should aim for. Just needs saying.

I’m sure there are more that I have missed – particularly practitioner-led, and in other languages than English. If you know of any more please do post them in the comments and I’ll update this post.

Have you taken any of these courses? Any good?

[photo by scui3asteveo]

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  • blaisegv

    @themaria aaaah!! Yes you are quite right. Will quietly slip it in ;)

  • themaria

    @blaisegv well, it’s now on Twitter, so it won’t be that quiet ;) I’m happy to “teach” teach the school of hard knocks. No certification tho

  • blaisegv

    @catykobe just spotted you have one I don;t have – mind if I nab it?

  • catykobe

    @blaisegv Oh, absolutely!

  • Pingback: How To Get Started As An Online Community Manager : Sue On The Web

  • KellyLux

    @blaisegv I will be teaching a CMGR course at @iSchoolSU in the fall as part of our CAS in Information Innovation: Social Media :)

  • elanazak

    @KellyLux @blaisegv @iSchoolSU That’s awesome Kelly! That CAS looks amazing.

  • KellyLux

    @elanazak thanks! Pretty excited about it :)

  • laurenrodan

    @blaisegv You created one great resource there! Ever hear of #IMU? Not strictly #cmgr but related. I rocked hard knocks like most. #cmgrchat

  • blaisegv

    @laurenrodan thank you, glad you found it useful :) Not heard of #IMU, do you have a link?

  • blaisegv

    @kellylux nice one :) do you have a link?

  • KellyLux

    @blaisegv not yet. Will share when I do.

  • laurenrodan

    @blaisegv #IMU is the kind of advocacy program us #cmgr types dream to dream up. By @hubspot: http://t.co/bhHDfog7

  • blaisegv

    @laurenrodan I can’t see a price, how much is it?

  • laurenrodan

    @blaisegv I’m fairly sure it’s free. You ‘pay’ by writing blog articles & they pull from & publish.

  • blaisegv

    @laurenrodan i don;t understand – you write blog articles as a student which they then use?

  • blaisegv

    @laurenrodan will sign up and find out :)

  • laurenrodan

    @blaisegv I’d be curious to hear what you think of them. I’m trying to form an opinion myself.

  • Loic B

    there is this french training course I have looked at http://www.emweb.fr – they have a special distance learning Community Manager course – not sure what it is worth though it is state regulated

  • rhappe

    Hi Blaise – Thank you for including the WOMMA/Community Roundtable classes here. I just wanted to clarify the class structure and pricing. There will be three modules – Community Specialist, Community Manager, and Community Strategist each of which runs for 4 weeks (7 or 8 sessions each, twice a week). Each module is $550 ($395 for TheCR & WOMMA members) and they can be taken independently of each other, depending on the needs of the individual.

    Great list of resources here – thank you for assembling them!

  • Adi Gaskell

    I’m a university of lifer when it comes to community management (I have degrees but they’re in no way related to community management). For me by far the best way to learn is to a) build your own hobby community, and b) be an avid reader of all the wonderful free resources out there in communities, blogs and books.

  • http://blaisegv.com/ BlaiseGV

    @Adi Gaskell Most of us old-timers managed that way – it is good to have a baseline available though, and a course offers that. However community management application is so varied that’s all it can really be.

  • http://blaisegv.com/ BlaiseGV

    @rhappe Thanks for clarifying Rachel! I did some back of napkin calculations so looks like I wasn’t far off.

  • http://blaisegv.com/ BlaiseGV

    @Loic B Thanks Loic, will add it!

  • LinDantonio

    I just attended a class offered by WOMMA and The Community Roundtable. The class was wonderful and I will be attending the Community Manager class in May. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

  • http://readwriteweb.com/ duzins

    Thanks for including the Get Sat Community Cert Course to your list!  Sorry for just now noticing it.  There’s a new link for the course now:  http://info.getsatisfaction.com/GetSatisfaction-certification.html
    Also, it’s 5 weeks right now and we’re putting out a Strategy portion in the fall that will add another 2 weeks.  Glad to see people have so many options :)

  • lizziej1

    Hi Blaise, thanks for the comment and link! 
    I wrote a three year BA Course in Web Media Production and Management in 2009. Two year’s worth of students have now gone through, and it’s all about Community Management and how to produce and manage participatory websites.
    This is the first degree course of its kind in the UK and it’s supported by Mozilla who contribute financially. Michael Acton Smith of Moshi Monsters also supports the course (except he’s mighty busy these days as we know).

  • http://ebrand.vn/ Quijote Hoang

    Quijote Hoang (@dongkixot, From Vietnam): Hi Blaise, thanks for the great listing. It’s very helpful. By the way, I would like to clarify whether you implied the list in the order of course quality. I checked FeverBee and WOMMA. FeverBee is relying on Richard Millington’s activities, mostly while WOMMA is with a lot of experts. We are wondering these selections for our staff and it’s great if you can compare the quality from these courses? Thanks in advanced. 

  • dongkixot

    Quijote Hoang (@dongkixot, From Vietnam): Hi Blaise, thanks for the great listing. It’s very helpful. By the way, I would like to clarify whether you implied the list in the order of course quality. I checked FeverBee and WOMMA. FeverBee is relying on Richard Millington’s activities, mostly while WOMMA is with a lot of experts. We are wondering these selections for our staff and it’s great if you can compare the quality from these courses? Thanks in advanced. 

  • LuisHernandez1

    @rhappe Hello, I just check the courses and it says that is available on demand. That means I can start after paying for the course, or that I need to wait until the expected amount of students enroll?
    Thanks in advance

  • ciceti

    Dear Blaise,
    thanks for this useful page: I wonder if you have met along the road or heard of other good training opportunities in the UK, where I now live.

  • Oscar Fuente

    Dear Blaise,

    Community Managment seems to be one of the favorite profesions for young people. In spanish there are several options, for example this one is online and was the first master degree taught in spanish http://www.iebschool.com/programas/master-community-management-empresa-2-0-redes-sociales/

  • Glenda

    I was not aware of the concept. Is it worth the bucks? Are there any real numbers to measure progress?