Few schools offer bachelor's degrees in radio broadcasting that can be earned entirely online, but many of the general education courses required for a similar degree program are offered through distance learning programs. While a broadcasting degree program may offer online courses, it will usually require internships or on-campus work and labs. Thus, students can choose from fully online programs or hybrid programs.
Degrees with broadcasting courses include audio production, communications, and digital communications.
A license is not needed to work as a radio broadcaster, but familiarity with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations is required. Broadcasters can join professional organizations such as the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters to keep up with industry developments and learn about legislation that impacts broadcasting.
If you are interested in broadcasting, but don't feel that a career in radio is the right choice, here are some related degree programs you can investigate:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Audio Production
- Bachelor of Arts in Communication
- Bachelor of Science in Communication - New Media
These programs provide you with courses related to radio broadcasting, but in a different field.
Bachelor's Degree in Radio Broadcasting
Through a radio broadcasting degree program, students learn how to use radio and other technologies for communication purposes. They discover the history of radio, study trends in the communication industry, and learn to share entertainment and information with others through this format. Individuals are only eligible for the bachelor's degree if they already have at least an associate's degree, having already completed their general education credits. There are not many online programs in radio broadcasting, though there are similar programs available through distance-education, such as those for communications, broadcasting, and digital communications.
Program Information and Requirements
Broadcasting programs familiarize enrollees with modern radio and mass communications equipment and theories. Though these programs can be completed entirely online, some schools may require that students complete labs on-campus or participate in internships, such as working at radio stations, to gain experiential training. To participate, students access web-based servers, such as Angel or Blackboard, and listen to lectures lesson-by-lesson on their own schedule. They are also tasked with completing assignments and interacting with professors and other students.
Students must have a working computer and access to the web. They also need to have certain computer software programs, such as Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Office Suite. They may possibly be required to install some advanced programs so that they can learn how to operate switchboards, edit sound and play music on a radio station.
List of Common Radio Broadcasting Courses
In the event that applicants to this degree program must have previously completed an associate's degree, which is often the case, students won't need to complete general education courses. Web-based classes allow them to keep current with core lessons, submit assignments or chat with students to complete the curriculum entirely online.
Society and the Media
Enrollees learn about media in the United States and learn how it is influenced. They also examine the way government influences media, and how media, in turn, influences politics and society.
Networking and the Internet
This course allows students to discover online networks and their value for a radio station as well as other forms of media. They explore the role networks play in influencing social behavior. They also discuss regulation and control issues.
Students examine how to make sales in broadcasting and how sales are used to effectively run the radio station. They analyze problems such as lack of sales and learn how to make a business grow.
Digital Culture and New Media Theory
This course covers the role of media in history and how media changes over time. Students study theories of new media and learn practical ways to apply them.
Career Information for Graduates
Upon completion of a bachelor's degree in radio broadcasting, graduates can pursue a number of career opportunities, both on and off the air. On the air, those with a bachelor's degree in the field can find careers as radio announcers, producers or radio operators. According to the May 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for producers and directors is expected to grow by about nine percent between 2014 and 2024. The BLS states that as of 2015, the median hourly wage for radio producers was $24.23, for broadcast technicians was $12.70 and for radio announcers was $13.69. The mean annual salary for radio operators was reported as $33,790 (www.bls.gov).
Graduates interested in continuing their education can earn a master's degree in communications. Professional certification for broadcast engineers is also available. Additional experience can lead to additional career opportunities, such as becoming a station manager.
Online radio broadcasting degrees are offered in various formats, typically with some on-campus requirements. If radio isn't an appealing career path but broadcasting is, students may opt instead for degrees in communications or audio production.