Though not common, bachelor's and master's degree programs covering studies in broadcasting are available, often through larger communication, media or journalism degree programs. Students can find programs in both fully online and hybrid formats.
Students in broadcasting-related programs become well versed in the dissemination of information through radio, television, and other broadcast media. In addition to traditional courses, online students may need to complete broadcasting projects and submit them electronically.
Some online bachelor's degree programs require students to possess a relevant associate's degree. Students who do not have related undergraduate education may need to take some on-campus courses and labs in broadcasting and communications or prove equivalent proficiency prior to enrolling in distance learning. Most master's degree programs require students to possess a bachelor's degree in communication, broadcasting or a related field.
Introduction to Mass Communications
This foundational course educates students in the history, theory and functions of all forms of media communications. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the differences between one form of mass media and the next; for example, the contrast in writing and reporting styles prevalent in broadcast versus print media. Students also learn about the following:
- Effects of mass media on society
- Effects of mass media on social groups
- Overview of legal regulations
- Overview of ethics
Communications technology courses examine the differences between broadcasting for new media channels versus more traditional ones. Interactive, multimedia course content allows students to become well-versed in the creation and editing of broadcasting content tailor-made for digital media. Courses in communications technology educate students in all areas of digital communicative technology, including the following:
- Digital television
- Satellite radio
Mass Media and Culture
Mass media and culture classes teach students about the general interaction between broadcast media and the society it serves. The course examines different contemporary social groups and looks at the way the development of popular culture influences the foundations of broadcasting.
Master's Degree Programs
At the graduate level, students can enroll in an entirely online or a hybrid master's degree program in media, communications, or journalism that integrates studies in broadcasting. A bachelor's degree in communications, broadcasting, or a related area may be required for admission into online master's degree programs.
Students learn to analyze professional or academic communications research, as well as how to design and conduct their own research inquiries into topics relevant to the broadcasting industry. Common topics of discussion include the following:
- Quantitative research
- Qualitative research
- Design of research studies
- Foundations of research methodologies
This multidisciplinary course provides students with an understanding of the various contemporary and classical communicative theories that shape the practice of broadcasting. Course lectures examine popular scholarly theories in these areas and discuss their influence on broadcasters and consumers of broadcasting. Some of these theories include studies in the following:
- Rhetorical persuasion
- Cognitive dissonance
International communications courses provide students with an overview of the basic tenets of broadcasting in foreign countries. Relevant topics of discussion include the following:
- International broadcast law
- Foundations of global broadcasting
Special Project Requirements
Online broadcasting students are often required to complete a thesis or project proving proficiency in a specialized area of broadcasting prior to graduation. Some programs may allow for completion of an internship in lieu of a thesis. Many projects necessitate video-recording presentations of news broadcasts or designing original websites; these and other applied course content may require the use of special computer programs or other electronic equipment.
Distance education programs in communications may be asynchronous, allowing students to participate in virtual classes at their convenience. Assignments and tests are presented via an online bulletin board format, and students are required to submit homework and papers electronically. Additionally, lectures and other course content are often archived in video or text formats for students to access. Participation in virtual class discussions via message board posts or real-time chat is often mandatory.
Online bachelor's degree programs in communications prepare graduates for entry-level careers in the field. They could work as the following:
- Radio announcers
- Television announcers
- Production assistants
- Technical engineers
Earning a master's degree in broadcasting can lead to supervisory positions. Opportunities could also be sought in academia or broadcasting research. Individuals with a master's degree could seek careers as the following:
- News editors
- Video editors
- Executive producers
- Station managers
- Communications professors
Students wishing to enter or advance in the broadcasting industry can consider pursuing an online broadcasting degree. These programs may help students better understand the broadcasting field and give them a competitive edge in the job market.