23 May 2022

Institute of Technology offers Ireland's first 'school for influencers'

Institute of Technology beside Laois offers Ireland's first 'school for influencers'

Nia Gallagher, a TikTok star who will be among those teaching teens how to become influencers at Carlow IT

It's a whole new world for social media businesses, and now an Irish college is offering the first-ever course in how to become an influencer.

Institute of Technology Carlow has launched Digital Hustle - Ireland’s first “school for influencers” this week. 

It is Ireland’s first online summer course for teenagers who are interesting in learning how to become a social media influencer.

And there has already been a huge reaction to the offering with just a few course places left.

Digital Hustle, Ireland’s first “school for influencers” is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and is open to TY and senior cycle secondary school students who are interested in developing an online presence, an online business or launching a fan page or a social justice campaign.

Starting on 21st June, the week-long course will teach how to build a personal brand.

The course was created and designed by Dr Irene McCormick after hearing a career guidance expert discuss how influencing should be seen as a career choice.

“Many people consider influencers self-absorbed when, in fact, they are incredibly hard-working, industrious people.  There is still a mentality out there that if someone says they want to be an influencer people snigger, but if any of us were doing a ‘side-hustle’ making €500 a month we would be thrilled”, commented Dr McCormick. 

The course will feature a number of successful influencers who will teach students about the basics of growing their following and capitalising on their brand.

They include:  IT Carlow PR and media student Lauren Whelan, who has amassed over 600,000 followers on TikTok and fronted social media campaigns for Samsung, Lifestyle Sports, Amazon Prime and Subway; Nia Gall, considered one of the most popular TikTok stars in Ireland, with 285,000 followers; and the teen coffee entrepreneurs behind Quirky Coffee, who are navigating the big world of digital marketing and brand building online.

Speakers will also include IT Carlow academics and marketing experts, including Dr Eleanor O’Leary (popular culture), Dorothy Keane (marketing) and Ciaran O’Loan (brand planning). The course will also advise on digital identities, the psychology of memes, protecting your privacy and mental health, and telling your story online.

For further information, email

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