Is it worth sacrificing your degree to become a TikToker?

By Jocelyn | Last modified 05 Sep 2022
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According to Influencer Report, Engaging Gen Z and Millenials by Morning Consult, a huge number of Gen Zs (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials in the United States trust their favourite celebrities and influencers on TikTok and Instagram.

Additionally, they want to be like the influencers. As stated by Morning Consult, “86% of Gen Z and millennials surveyed would post sponsored content for money, and 54% would become an influencer given the opportunity”.

Hands holding a phone with TikTok app open.

Image source: Pexels

In Malaysia, a staggering 72% of SPM graduates or high school leavers opt to become influencers rather than furthering their education.

Influencers in Malaysia can potentially earn up to RM3,473 or *USD 773 per month. Instagram mirco-influencers in the US with less than 50,000 followers can earn as much as USD 457 or *RM 2,051 per sponsored post.

Prof. Madya Dr. Shafriza Nisha Basah, Director of Entrepreneurship, Industry and Community Networking at University of Perlis shares his findings as to why students would choose the unexpected route: 

  • They believe they can gain more job opportunities with their gigs.
  • Social media has influenced them heavily.
  • They believe that good academic results do not contribute to high-paying jobs.

“I want to be a TikToker right away. Degree can wait.”

If you’re taking this pathway, hold that thought.

You have no idea what you would miss out on if you forgo your degree.

3 Reasons to Complete Your Degree Before Becoming an Influencer

1. Gain extra knowledge to use as TikTok/Instagram content.

TikTok influencer recording a video.

Image source: Pexels

Sure, you can gain loads of information online now. But your knowledge and understanding of a specific area are amplified when you learn them through your degree. 

With guidance from lecturers and professors who have years of experience in the field, you gain more insight to generate high-quality content that your followers will appreciate and love to watch. This will in turn increase your number of views and followers!

2. Get better at your online business.

Online business owner taking photos of own products.

Image source: Pexels

Just like becoming an influencer, having an online business is just as challenging especially during the first few stages of setting it up and gaining followers and buyers. 

Learning the know-hows in your business degree will certainly boost your knowledge and skills to start up your own business. You get to watch yourself grow over time as you pick up skills and tricks to make your products appeal to your target market.

3. Your degree can be a backup plan.

TikToker studying for her degree.

Image source: Pexels

Imagine the worst case scenario: You skipped your degree to pursue your influencer career, but had to pause or halt your plans after a few unfruitful years. You decide to take on a 9-to-5 job, but the decent-paying companies you’re eyeing for require a Bachelor’s Degree qualification, which you do not have.

Hence, having a degree as a backup can help you get into the workforce easier. You are still in the game and will get to support yourself financially.

A career as an influencer may not be sustainable in the long run. With so much competition on TikTok and Instagram, you have to be more than a regular TikToker who posts videos of themselves dancing to the latest viral music - you must be a content creator with unique yet relatable content, which leads to my next point.

Best Degrees that Boost Your Influencer Career

To provide viral, engaging, and educational content, you must first find your niche and explore creative ways to present your content. Below are some of the fields that you can explore for your degree.

  1. Digital marketing / Content marketing
  2. Nutrition / Food science
  3. Fitness / Wellness / Sports science
  4. Photography and filmmaking
  5. Fashion
  6. Beauty
  7. Music / Dance / Theatre 
  8. Culinary arts
  9. Creative arts and design
  10. Physiotherapy / Health-related courses

*Currency rate as of 5 September 2022

Posted on 05 Sep 2022
Courses, Student Life, Useful Tips