Multimedia communications is a wide-ranging and constantly evolving field. Some fields of study include communication, journalism, mass communication, digital media, graphic design and broadcast journalism. Specializations within majors include film-making, animation, graphic design, journalism and broadcasting.
Students aiming for a broader understanding of multimedia communications, rather than specializing in a particular area, might consider enrolling in an associate's degree program in multimedia communications. Associate's programs prepare students with basic skills and knowledge of multimedia communication that are easily transferred into to a more specialized baccalaureate program. A high school diploma is required prior to enrolling in an associate's program.
Bachelor's and master's degrees in multimedia communications are more in-depth, research-centered programs that typically focus on more specialized areas within the field. A bachelor's degree is required prior to applying to a master's program.
Associate's Degree in Multimedia Communications
Associate's degree programs in multimedia communications serve as a primer for the myriad of topics included in this broad field. A student can receive a foundational education in basic communications before branching off into multimedia topics and then choosing a focus of study. In addition to basic communications skills, students enrolled in a multimedia communications associate's degree program can expect to learn about a variety of different media fields. These fields reflect the ever-changing technological landscape that forms the background of modern communications. Topics of study include:
- Web design
- Audio production
- Introduction to digital filmmaking
- Writing for electronic media
- Broadcast news
Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Communications
A bachelor's degree in multimedia communications provides students with a broader foundational communications focus than an associate's degree program. There is also an increased focus on the role of mass media in society. In addition, specific emphases within the program are studied in more depth. These programs emphasize practical applications of the skills learned and creating a portfolio of marketable work. Bachelor's programs allow students to dig deeper into their chosen focus. Course topics include:
- Politics and the media
- Television production
- Consumer behavior
- Graphic design
- Video editing
Master's Degree in Multimedia Communications
Master's degree programs in subjects like journalism and communications may allow students to specialize in multimedia studies at the advanced level. These graduate programs typically culminate in a research thesis and can allow students to focus on specific subjects within the field. There are a broad range of topics to select from at this level, most of which are geared towards spurring critical thought about the media and mass communications. Such topics include:
- Quantitative communication research
- Communication and modern cultural theory
- Political communication
- Studies in new media
- Mass communications
- Visual Culture
Popular Career options
Undergraduate degrees in multimedia communications provide opportunities in a number of entry-level careers. Popular ones include:
- Audio engineering technician
- Associate Web designer
- Digital animator
Individuals holding master's degrees in a subject relevant to multimedia communications may find advanced positions in a variety of professional settings. Graduates may hold management positions in fields like:
- Corporate Communication
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
There are a large number of fields that fall under the category of multimedia communications. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for sound engineering technicians was $53,330 in 2015. That same year, broadcast technicians earned a median salary of $37,490, while audio and video technicians earned a median annual salary of $41,440.
Graduates who wish to further their education in a specific multimedia communications focus may do so at the doctoral level. Relevant doctoral programs are available in subjects like communications and media studies. The completion of a doctoral program can lead to professional positions in research and academia.
Programs in multimedia communications are available at several levels and with several areas of focus, depending on a student's interest. These programs prepare graduates to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including television, broadcasting and marketing.