Gen Z and millennials are increasingly viewing social media stardom as a bonafide career choice. So, an education ecosystem - from middle school to college - is already popping up to support those ambitions.
That makes sense when you learn that a 2019 Harris/LEGO poll found 30 percent of kids aged 8 to 12 put 'YouTuber' as their top career choice. They all know that, if you get it right, there's a lot of money to be made. For example, channel owners like Jay Jeon - who owns the wildly successful kid’s entertainment channel CocoMelon - was estimated by the Wall Street Journal to have ad revenues of $120 million in just one year (2019).
Meanwhile, those who create and appear in their own content (which is what most influencers want to do) has a long list of 'YouTubers' making millions of dollars every year. For example, a recent analysis of the top influencers' incomes in 2022, estimates that Jimmy Donaldson's MrBeast earned $54 million, Ryan Kaji's Ryan's World made $27 million and Anastasia Radzinskaya's Like Nastya earned $18 million. That's all in just one year.
And it’s not just young kids who aspire to a career in the world of online influencing. According to Morning Consult, a whopping 54 percent of people aged 13 to 34 also want to become social media influencers. No wonder universities like Cornell, USC, and UCLA have recently introduced courses specifically focused on social media marketing and social content creation.
Camps and after-school programs, like Creator Camp in Texas, are popping up to meet the demand of kids who aspire to be professional influencers, which teaches skills like scriptwriting, video production, editing, and digital safety.
For example, Houston-based Creator Camp, started by a group of 20-somethings, has already expanded to 18 locations around Texas, serving over 1,300 students… within just two short years.
Kids at Creator Camp told the Washington Post that becoming a YouTuber could not only help them become rich and famous but could also be avenues of social expression and self-confidence.