Online Media Studies Certificate and Diploma Programs

Learn about online training programs with media studies courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

Online certificate programs in media studies are generally unavailable, but online certificate programs in journalism cover some of the same topics and are easier to find. Editors, writers and authors generally need to earn a bachelor's degree and get field experience before they enroll in one of these programs. Certificate programs in journalism could supplement a degree program and add to the knowledge and technical skills needed for these jobs.

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Certificate in Journalism

Media studies is a field that examines the realm of mass media, including styles and production processes, along with the influences of media on society. While Web-based programs specifically geared toward media studies are not widely available, prospective students may consider enrolling in an online certificate program for journalism, which covers legal and ethical issues in multimedia publishing, writing styles for various media, mass media issues and digital media platforms.

Information About the Program and Requirements

Most online certificate programs for journalism require 15 credits to fulfill graduation requirements. Students completing these distance-education programs will need to meet certain technical requirements, such as having reliable access to a computer that meets operating system and browser requirements, in addition to having consistent access to the Internet. Students may also need additional software, such as Microsoft Office, to complete coursework.

Common Certificate-Level Courses

Coursework is typically geared toward those who have experience in the field as well as those who are just starting out. Classes cover the writing styles found in journalism, such as feature writing, sports writing and news reporting. They also cover photojournalism, interviewing and the online writing marketplace.

Students completing the journalism certificate program online can access assignments and other resources through the school's website, in addition to having the opportunity to engage in discussions with other students and interact with instructors using message boards and e-mail.

Journalism and the Internet

A course exploring the relationship between journalism and the Internet examines how changes in technology and society have changed the field. Topics examine technological shifts, citizen journalism, social media, journalism's role in society and strategies for working in a digital environment.

Global Media Issues

A class in global media introduces students to international journalism and mass media. Coursework covers international mass media systems and issues, media ownership, regulations, international communications and the relationship between politics and the media in global communications.

Media Ethics

Lessons examine the legal and ethical aspects of communications, including the First Amendment, copyright issues and privacy. They also cover various interpretations of the law and how it relates to changes in technology.

Public Relations

This course looks at strategies used in both the public and private sector. Topics include changes in marketing and methods for effective communications in the digital age.


Career Information

As more industries turn to multimedia technologies and online media platforms, editors with such backgrounds are expected to see job decline of 5% between 2014 and 2024, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the median annual salary for editors was $56,010, while writers and authors made $60,250, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Most individuals who pursue careers in writing find opportunities for advancement with experience and a portfolio of published work. Certificate-holders may wish to take additional courses in website design or multimedia publishing to advance their skills or pursue degree programs in journalism, media studies, communications or a related field.

Online journalism certificate programs cover many subjects in media studies. These programs can help aspiring and experienced journalists improve their abilities and expand their range of skills in the field.

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