New media studies can help you stay one step ahead in the ever-changing digital world. Where and how people consume information continues to evolve and can be an exciting field of study.
A bachelors degree in new media encompasses many areas of specialization, from online journalism to social media management and graphic design.
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No matter your specific area of interest, studies in new media can enable you to rise to the challenges of the changing digital landscape and to develop your expertise in the field.
Online New Media Studies Degrees
A bachelor’s in new media is an innovative degree that combines multiple areas of study, including English, visual arts, business, and computer sciences.
As a branch of communication studies, the aim of a new media degree is to learn how to effectively create and share information in the digital world. Since the world of digital media is always evolving, online new media degrees cover a wide range of content that prepares students for a variety of jobs in many different fields.
Common sectors related to new media studies include:
- Web development
- Game design
- Graphic design
- Online marketing
- Film and television production
- Social media management
- Public relations
Courses in an online digital media degree program combine the latest methodologies and hands-on learning to develop your competency in digital media practices.
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You can also advance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills through hands-on experiences in relevant industry internships. Developing your expertise in new media can help you navigate the competitive world of digital media.
Your technical knowledge and communication skills can help you qualify for a range of career paths. Most programs in new media also offer you the chance to focus your studies on a concentration of your choosing.
Common New Media Studies Bachelor’s Concentrations
A bachelor’s degree in new media studies encompasses several fields of study and teaches you how to be an effective communicator in the digital world.
Many programs encourage students to choose a concentration that aligns with their career goals. Below are examples of some of the concentrations that are commonly offered:
- Digital Media. Digital art is the focus of this concentration, and you’d likely take courses in graphic design, photography, and animation.
- Promotional Communication. This concentration focuses on understanding the audience and messaging in new media, with an emphasis on social media and strategic campaigns.
- Web Design. This concentration is focused on web development and provides a foundation in coding and analytics.
- Game Design. This concentration focuses on computational skills in game development.
- Multimedia Writing. The focus of this concentration is on digital writing, including journalism, electronic literature, and copywriting.
Concentration offerings vary by program, and each concentration has different course requirements. If you are interested in a specific concentration, it’s strategic to make sure it is available through the online programs you are considering.
New Media and Communications Careers & Salaries
By studying new media communications, you can develop a wide knowledge base and versatile skills that are relevant to a variety of professional fields.
Since new media encompasses so many aspects of communication, there is a wide range of careers that you may choose to pursue. The positions you can qualify for will likely depend on your location, chosen industry, degree specialization, and experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the career paths associated with new media and communications.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$133,380|
|Special Effects Artists and Animators||$78,790|
|Web Developers and Digital Designers||$78,300|
|Writers and Authors||$69,510|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,800|
|Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians||$48,790|
No matter the size of the company, numerous businesses in all industries rely on digital communication to reach their target audience.
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The digital landscape is continually growing and changing, so the employment opportunities in this field will likely continue to grow. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6% job growth for media and communication occupations and 15% growth for computer and IT positions over the next ten years.
New Media Studies Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
A new media communications program is interdisciplinary, so its coursework can be diverse and interesting. Every program varies in its requirements, but below are some examples of the courses you might take:
- Digital Photography: This course introduces you to a variety of camera techniques to capture, edit, and produce digital photos.
- Graphic and Visual Design: This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of typography, including theory and practice.
- Web Design: This introductory course covers how to create engaging content on the internet, including the use of HTML.
- Multimedia Writing: This course focuses on writing in the context of new media, with an emphasis on creative writing and electronic literature.
- Video and Film Production: This course provides a foundation for film production and editing.
- Computer Programming: This course serves as an introduction to the concepts of computer programming, including data types, arrays, and files.
- Data Management: This course introduces you to a variety of structures and systems in information technology.
- Social Media Strategies: This course focuses on the use of social media marketing to create engaging content and communication.
- Organizational Branding: In this course, you’ll explore the role of branding to create effective and cohesive communication across an organization.
- New Media Ethics and Politics: This course examines the ethical dilemmas that arise in the digital world as well as the role politics plays in new media.
The curriculum for a new media program is designed to include both conceptual and project-based learning so you can build a portfolio of relevant work. In addition to academic coursework, you may also participate in an internship to gain practical, hands-on experience in a prospective field.
When applying for an online new media bachelors program, you’ll often be required to complete an online application and submit the following:
- High school transcripts
- Personal statement explaining your goals and interest in the program
- Letters of recommendation
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
The requirements above are a general guide for domestic students. International and transfer students may have additional or differing requirements. It’s helpful to check a school’s website or contact their admissions department for specific requirements.
Regional accreditation is an evaluation process that educational institutions can choose to go through to confirm they meet a strict set of quality standards. Since accreditation is a mark of a credible school, attending a school that’s accredited has a number of benefits. For starters, you can be confident that you’ll receive a high-quality education.
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Attending an accredited school is also a precondition for some forms of financial aid. It can also increase your chances of being able to transfer credits to other schools. To learn more or verify a school’s accreditation status, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
There are several financial aid options available to help qualifying students cover the upfront costs of a bachelors degree program.
You may qualify for loans, grants, or work-study opportunities through the federal or state government. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can determine your eligibility for federal aid and other forms of need-based aid.
You can also explore scholarship opportunities. Private scholarships are typically offered through schools, charitable organizations, and professional societies. In addition, if you are working while earning your degree, you can check with your employer to see if your company provides tuition assistance.
What Is New Media Studies?
New media studies is a program that explores all of the components of the digital world. You can learn how to effectively communicate through these new mediums to stay relevant in the constantly changing world of technology.
New media is a broad term that covers all of the digital information we see and interact with. While media used to be consumed solely via print, radio, and television, now information comes from a variety of digital sources—such as websites, streaming services, social media, and phone apps.
What Can You Do with a New Media Major?
The avenues for digital communication are constantly expanding and changing. Nearly all industries utilize digital media in order to reach their goals. Given the broad content covered in a new media degree, you may be able to explore careers in a variety of fields, including visual design, journalism, marketing, and social media management.
Professionals in this field may work as graphic designers, social media specialists, audio engineers, copywriters, editors, public relations specialists, animators, and marketers. Your chosen degree concentration may impact your career qualifications.
Others choose to continue their educations and earn an online new media masters degree. Those interested in entering research fields or careers in college teaching often earn a PhD in Media Studies online or on campus.
How Long Does It Take to Get a New Media Degree Online?
A bachelor’s degree program generally takes students 4 years to complete with full-time study. If you have AP credits or transfer credits, you may be able to earn your degree in less time. You may also choose to take classes during the summer in order to finish your program sooner.
Alternatively, many programs also offer part-time enrollment in order to meet the diverse needs of students. One of the benefits to earning a degree online is the flexibility to learn around your schedule, so you may choose to take a lighter course load. Part-time enrolment will often extend the amount of time it takes to complete your degree.
Is a New Media Communication Degree Worth It?
Yes, a new media communication degree is worth it for many students. Media has shifted from print to digital modes of communication, and nearly all industries rely on digital technology to send and receive information.
Employment for web developers and digital designers is expected to grow 23% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Media and communication positions overall are expected to see 6% job growth over the same period.
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New media encompasses a variety of communication sectors, including online journalism, marketing, visual arts, public relations, and computer science.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in New Media Studies Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Brenau University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies. Students can complete the degree 100% online and at their own pace. The curriculum consists of courses like Introduction to Mass Communication, Diversity in Media, and Business Communications. Graduates often pursue work in advertising, marketing, copywriting, and other similar fields.
Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
CUNY School of Professional Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media that can be earned online. The program is intended to prepare students for careers in broadcasting, journalism, advertising, and related fields. The program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that teaches both hard and soft skills.
CUNY SPS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Eastern Oregon University offers a BS and a BA in Communication Studies that can be earned 100% online. The degree requires the completion of 180 credit hours, and students may transfer in up to 135 qualifying credits. Coursework is designed to be flexible while still providing hands-on learning experiences. The curriculum seeks to develop students’ public speaking, interviewing, and conflict management skills.
Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcasting and New Media. The curriculum provides the opportunity to study not only traditional forms of media but also social media, blogs, podcasts, and more. The program’s courses are taught by professors with extensive professional experience in the field.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Maharishi International University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts and New Media that can be earned online or on campus. Classes are project-based and designed to enable students to start preparing professional portfolios before they graduate. The program also offers internship opportunities to help students gain real-world work experience.
MIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Oregon State University offers both a BS and a BA in Digital Communication Arts. The program is available online and teaches up-to-date technological skills. The curriculum consists of courses like Introduction to New Media Communications, Visual Rhetoric, and Communication and Culture in Cyberspace. Oregon State follows a quarterly academic calendar, with four start dates every year.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in New Media that can be earned online. Classes have no set meeting times, and students can access their coursework all day, every day. There are six terms each year, and each one is 8 weeks long. Prospective students can apply to start with the next term at any time.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Colorado—Denver offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication that can be earned 100% online. The curriculum offers studies in theoretical concepts related to communication and how to apply them in the real world. Each class is 8 weeks long and includes a variety of collaborative projects and experiential learning opportunities.
The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies that can be earned entirely online. The curriculum is broad and designed to teach skills that will transfer to a variety of workplaces and settings. The program offers internship and study abroad opportunities. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project to apply their skills.
The University of Memphis is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of Texas—El Paso offers a 100% online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Advertising. The program emphasizes hands-on learning and provides internship opportunities. The curriculum consists of courses like Methods of Research in Communication, Principles of Advertising, Creative Strategy and Copywriting, and New Media Advertising.
The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your New Media Studies Degree Online
The world of digital media is continually evolving, requiring more and more industries to use digital communication to reach their target audiences.
If you have a passion for gaming, design, writing, or business, a new media degree can help you develop marketable skills that are applicable in many professional fields. Earning a new media degree can help set you apart in the job market and keep you one step ahead in the ever-changing digital world.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your educational journey, you can start exploring accredited schools that offer new media bachelors programs today!