Mass communication relies on the effective use of communication methods in print, broadcast, radio and the web to relay information. Students can learn various mass communication methods through undergraduate degree and certificate programs.
Associate's degree programs teach students about different facets of media operations. Emphasis is placed on news writing and television production. Such programs may include internships, which provide opportunities for practical learning. At the bachelor's degree level, more in-depth studies in the legalities of media communications and various types of communications are explored.
Graduate certificate programs are designed for students with bachelor's degrees in media communications and provide development of managerial and leadership capabilities. These programs may include advanced coursework in web design and development and visual communication. Prerequisite of the programs includes a high school diploma for undergraduate degree programs.
Associate's Degree in Media Communications
Media communications associate's degree programs explore how various media, such as print and web media, are used to inform the masses. The coursework instructs students in advertising, electronic media, public relations and journalism techniques. Students improve writing skills while exploring radio and video production. These programs also provide training in marketing and advertising principles. The curriculum provides students with an overview of production and programming through classroom lectures and practical experience working with media equipment. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in an internship. Other coursework may include:
- Survey of mass media
- Basic news writing
- Introduction to public relations
- TV, video and film production
- Radio station operation
Bachelor's Degree in Media Communications
Students in media communications bachelor's degree programs learn the important roles of communications in all manners of the workforce, as well as the new technologies responsible for passing news to individuals. The rise of social communications in popular websites, such as Facebook, along with blogging and podcast community trends are utilized in this degree program's curriculum. Students examine the legal and ethical components of media communications and learn to navigate between all areas of media including public relations, production and broadcasting. The media communications coursework, in addition to the general education requirements, provides students with skills in writing, public relations, organizational leadership and human resources. Additional topics covered include:
- Communication studies
- Visual communications
- Advertising and promotion
- Audio production
- Non-linear video editing
Graduate Certificate in Media Communications
A graduate certificate program with a basis in media and communications is an option for bachelor's degree holders wishing to further their education in the field. The curriculum includes topics in advertising and media production, strategic communications and print journalism. Students learn how the emergence of new media is affecting the field and ways to utilize them. Additionally, students are provided advanced leadership skills in negotiation, management and team-building. The curriculum incorporates advanced topics in new media, broadcast, radio and print, in addition to organizational leadership and practical experience. Courses found in this program include:
- Web design and development
- Visual communication
- Public relations writing
Popular Career Options
Graduates with undergraduate degrees in media communications will be able to seek out entry-level positions that are offered in the broadcast, radio or print journalism fields of media communications. Available job titles may include:
- Contributing writer
- Broadcast technician
- Radio operator
Graduate certificate holders have the advanced practical knowledge and expertise to qualify for leadership positions within mass media industries. Job titles graduates qualify for include:
- Executive editor
- Managing editor
- Senior anchor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates with media communications degrees can find positions as news anchors, broadcast news analysts, and reporters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 13% decline in job growth for broadcast news analysts for the years 2014 through 2024. These workers made a median annual salary of $65,530 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
A master's degree program offers instruction in media, culture and communications and is readily available for media communications graduates. This degree program explores the ways society receives and experiences their news, the latest advances in mass media and the technology that's used for media communications. Students will also examine the economic, political, social and cultural impact of today's communication technologies.
Students pursuing media communications degree programs are trained to effectively inform and influence the public using various forms, channels and methods of communication. Graduates could pursue careers in the media industry as writers, broadcasters, editors or marketing and public relations specialists.