With interest in social media growing, B-schools are adding courses to teach students what it means for business, BusinessWeek reports. Harvard Business School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business have joined a growing list of business schools that are adding courses on social media to their MBA curricula, addressing the corporate demand for social-network-savvy employees. The two schools are among at least six that have added courses in the past year that allow students to learn about internet marketing and social media strategy, according to course syllabi and faculty associated with the classes. With Twitter’s social networking site claiming 190 million users tweeting 65 million times a day, and Facebook reporting 500 million active members, companies including Sears Holdings, Panasonic, Citigroup, and AT&T have begun hiring social media directors to develop and manage marketing strategies that address the nuances of the online world. Social media classes are one way of preparing students for careers in a promising field, says John Gallaugher, associate professor of information systems at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, where “Social Media & Web 2.0 for Managers” is being offered in the fall. “In the realm of technology it’s possible for us to teach our students a tool that their bosses don’t have, and they can provide that added value from day one,” Gallaugher says. “Social media skills are the ones that can set them apart. Those are the skills that employers are looking for.”

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura