It’s been exciting to see the evolution of the Community Manager role and how it is becoming mainstream across organizations ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 50 and with no matter as to profit or non-profit.

People have been avidly interested in pursuing this type of role and want to know how they can gain the necessary skills. Back in June of 2008 I offered 2 training programs to meet that need. It went great until I got sucked into the tech startup world and social media monitoring. Since then I have continued to mentor and scale the reach here through my blog.

Periodically people would request my courses when they came across the old posts referencing training. I always felt bad when I had to explain that my day job was busier than busy. So, I’m really pleased to see that WOMMA and the The Community Roundtable are offering training courses that are specific to Community Management (in contrast to Social Media in general) and they are created by credible people in the industry. Earlier this week Jeremiah Owyang covered the pro’s and con’s of the certification aspect of the Community Manager Training courses.

These courses will:

  • fast track your knowledge base on the expectations of community management
  • open your eyes to aspects that you didn’t realize existed and cause you to have even more questions
  • be excellent for those of you that have been assigned or are spending a portion of your time in this new role

They probably won’t:

  • make it easier to get a job (employers are getting 100’s of app’s per position) or more pay
  • ramp a company’s adoption of social media (ie: embrace the value of community & related culture shift)
  • replace the value of volunteering and showing leadership in an online community and the related experience.

If you’re interested in exploring community management and strategy these courses are a good place to gain the skills and an overview.

I would highly recommend connecting with like-minded people in one of the following communities:

An active group that has new people joining everyday. There is a doc with social media jobs there.

Membership is free, but there is a process for requesting it.

These active forums are a part of Patrick O’Keefe’s iFroggy network. Patrick is the author of Managing Online Forums.

Jim Storer & Rachel Happe are the founders of this peer network. They have built a very active community that is based on resources, research and regular activities.

Seeking a job? Check out this Facebook group of Social Media Jobs

If you’re a practicing Community Manager, what resources have you found the most helpful?