Multimedia and digital communications programs train students to create and use technologies for computers, mobile devices and broadcasting. Students in this field may choose to focus their efforts in one or more specific areas, including web development, computer animation, or digital photography. Many careers in this field are very competitive, and experience through internships and a strong portfolio can be a big help in finding a job.
|Careers||Film and Video Editor||Broadcast Engineer||Web Developer|
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree||Postsecondary award or associate's degree||Associate's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||1%||3%||20%|
|Median Annual Salary (2013)*||$54,490||$36,710||$63,160|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Depending on a student's area of interest, careers in multimedia and digital communication can vary widely. For those interested in film, a career as a film and video editor may be a good choice, as these positions involve work for television or film studios as well as advertising agencies to edit video clips into sequence. Others may prefer to work in broadcast engineering, ensuring the sound and signal quality of programs for radio stations, television and Web broadcasts. Working as a Web designer is another option, which involves the creation and upkeep of Internet sites.
Film and Video Editors
Film and video editors work for television stations or networks, film studios, advertising agencies and other companies that create programs, films, commercials and videos. Some could be self-employed or work as freelance or contract employees. Using computer editing programs and software, editors cut, assemble and arrange raw footage and video clips into the desired sequence or storyline. Computer programs allow them to match time codes, correct errors and add visual, sound or special effects.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted intense competition for film and video editing positions due to high interest in this field (www.bls.gov). Only 1% job growth is projected for film and video editors in the years 2012-2022, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported in 2013 that film and video editors earned $54,490 as a median yearly wage.
Broadcast engineers, sometimes called broadcast technicians, use a variety of instruments and equipment to provide high-quality radio, television and Web broadcasts. They monitor sound levels for balance, adjust color and enhance clarity. They also maintain clear and strong signals and operate switches to ensure segment and program transitions are smooth. Broadcast engineers keep logs of broadcast transmissions and programming in accordance with Federal and station regulations. If problems arise with transmitters, satellite dishes, audio boards, switches or video servers, broadcast engineers work to fix issues quickly.
During the 2012-2022 time period, the BLS estimates a 3% job growth for broadcast technicians. The BLS stated that these workers earned $36,710 as a median annual salary in May 2013.
Web designers and developers are programmers who design, create and maintain content for the Internet. They develop, test and evaluate code in Web applications and user interfaces by utilizing a variety of software and programming languages. Based on user activity data and feedback, Web designers adjust content so that it's compatible with a variety of Internet browsers, mobile devices and computer operating systems. Ultimately, Web designers are responsible for ensuring that end-users are able to navigate websites and access content easily.
The BLS does not have statistical information on Web designers, but it projects an employment growth of 20% for Web developers in the years 2012-2022. In May 2013, Web developers earned a median salary of $63,160 annually.
What Does a Degree in Multimedia and Digital Communications Entail?
Undergraduate multimedia and digital communications degree programs train students to use a variety of computer-based programs, interfaces and technologies to create multimedia content for Internet, mobile devices, broadcasting and other platforms. Students can take traditional communications theory courses, but they might also learn about emerging media and communications technologies. Coursework includes audio and video production, computer animation and graphics, digital photography, multimedia editing, programming, media management and website development.