UT Student in New Master’s Program Gains Large TikTok Following

By Rachel Ali

The University of Tampa has recently debuted its master’s program in social and emerging media. The program focuses on digital storytelling such as visual design, audio-video production, user experience production, analytics, and emerging media policy and law. 

This program gives students a chance to update their knowledge of new media and navigate the professional side of media. Students are encouraged to expand their knowledge of media with this one-year program. 

“[The program] is a great fit for students who particularly enjoyed doing some kind of production work in our communication courses,” said Jeff Neely, communications department chair. “I think this new master’s program will reinforce our philosophy in the communication department that good content producers are also critical media consumers, and a strong education in the field is one that combines theory and practice.” 

The new program has been backed by many media professors at UT such as Stephanie Tripp and David Wheeler.

A notable student of this program is Adam Barrera who will finish the program next August.  

“I became interested in it [the program] because it teaches essential aspects of the media industry, such as social media analytics, digital storytelling, and graphic design,” said Barrera.

Barrera has a significant following on TikTok with almost half a million followers. He makes videos about music and entertainment news to share with his large following. 

These videos talk about celebrities and analyze their music through a critical lens and even give the history behind certain songs. 

One video he released compared the song “Monster” by Eminem and Rihanna, against Bebe Rexa’s demo version, created before Rihanna’s. 

“So far, it has allowed me to strategize different ways I can expand my presence on social media outside of just TikTok,” said Barrera. “Since music artists always have marketing tactics on each platform, they have to figure out what works for them. For me this program would be beneficial for me to enter a career in the music industry or any career marking products.”

According to Barrera, one course called Emerging Technologies allows students to create their own social media platforms.

“For this program especially, I was interested because I knew it was going to be about social media,” said Barrera. “For me, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do, but I  want to do work for other companies and other brands, like advertising. I also want to create social media for myself.” 

Now that this program has debuted, UT students will now be allowed to expand past their Baccalaureate degrees and gain more skills through the Masters in Emerging Media. 

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