If you’re interested in a career that provides the opportunity for you to communicate through various media forms, then you might consider earning an online media communications degree.
This degree can also help you develop your marketing skills for building or growing a business.
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Media communication careers can include roles in content creation, public relations, and advertising.
Online Media Communications Degrees
Media and communication studies tend to examine the ways in which different forms of media can impact and influence society. This type of program also covers how technology is used to impart important information to the public.
As a media communications major, you can learn to generate and create written, visual, and oral forms of content. You can also become familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the media sector.
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Additionally, you may be expected to explore the history of various media forms and develop informed communication strategies based on the successes or failures of past events. Because our world is growing more connected through technology each day, a media communications degree can set you off on a path toward many creative career opportunities.
Common careers in this field include:
- Public relations specialist
- Broadcast news analyst
- Video editor
Because this is a flexible field, interdisciplinary career opportunities may also open up for you. Focusing on a specific aspect of media and communications, such as marketing or broadcasting, can help direct you in your studies and career goals.
Media Communications Careers & Salaries
There’s a variety of career options in the media and communications field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median annual salaries for a number of positions in this versatile field.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$141,490|
|Film and Video Editors||$67,250|
|Writers and Authors||$67,120|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,810|
|Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians||$50,000|
|News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists||$49,300|
The skill sets you can develop in this type of program are applicable in nearly every industry. Some graduates who enjoy the marketing components of a media communications program choose to pursue careers as public relations specialists.
Those who are pulled toward the language and communications aspects may pursue the path of interpreting, translating, or editing.
Media Communications Curriculum & Courses
While the specific courses you take will be unique to your university, there are certain topics that are a common part of many programs.
Below are some of the possible courses you may be expected to complete:
- Writing for Multimedia: You’ll be introduced to multimedia communications and learn to create written content across media forms.
- Visual Storytelling: This course delves into the importance of visuals and how to create a visual narrative that can influence an audience.
- Copy Editing: You’ll explore the many areas of copy editing, such as writing headlines and using the AP style guide.
- Media in Society: You’ll learn about the ways in which media has impacted our concept of democracy, society, and self.
- Media Ethics and Issues: This course explores communication challenges and obstacles across different media channels.
- Analyzing Data in Journalism and Media: You’ll use data analysis to understand challenges specific to media and communication.
- Public Relations: This course explores the methods used to create and maintain public images for businesses, nonprofits, and corporations.
- Video Editing: You’ll learn the basics of successfully fusing audio, visual, and graphics in order to make a finished product.
- Immersive Storytelling: This course explores the ways that technology is used to create brand awareness and engage audiences.
- Statistical Literacy: You’ll learn how to use and apply statistics to broaden your understanding of an event or story.
While the course titles and content can vary between programs, the classes listed provide a picture of what a media communications degree curriculum could look like.
How to Choose an Online Media Communications Degree Program
While the program that you choose will be unique to your needs, here are some criteria you can consider when making your selection:
- School ranking
- Overall cost and affordability
- Concentrations offered
- Curriculum focus
- Faculty credentials
When you are researching various programs, it can help to know what factors are of highest importance to you and your goals. For example, if a program’s cost is of the utmost importance to you, then you may want to look for programs that offer the best education for the lowest cost, factoring in financial aid availability.
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If you are interested in a specific career post-graduation, such as journalism or TV production, you might consider the curriculum and available concentrations before all else.
Bachelor of Media and Communication Degree Admissions Requirements
Every school is different when it comes to admissions requirements, but there are also application materials that are common to many institutions.
To apply to a Bachelor of Media and Communication Degree program, most universities require:
- SAT or ACT test scores (if required)
- Minimum GPA
- Application form
- High school transcripts
In addition to these items, many schools will also ask for letters of recommendation as further proof of character. You may also be asked to pay a small application fee or provide additional transcripts if you’ve completed any college courses.
Accreditation is the process of determining whether schools provide high-quality educational programs. The review process is conducted by staff members within a school in tandem with an external evaluation team.
There are many benefits to selecting an institution that is regionally accredited. If you attend a university that has not been accredited, your degree may not be recognized as valid by many employers and graduate programs. Additionally, the education you receive from a regionally accredited institution is more likely to be delivered by staff who are experts in their field.
You can check if the universities you are applying to are regionally accredited through the US Department of Education.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
It can be helpful to explore your different financial aid and scholarship options as you apply to your media communications degree program.
Financial aid opportunities can include:
- Federal or state aid. Financial aid from the federal government and state government is typically based on need. In order to determine how much assistance you qualify for, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Employer programs. Many employers offer an education benefit that will provide tuition assistance to employees.
- Scholarships. Many universities offer a variety of scholarships to their current and prospective students. Outside public and private organizations may provide scholarships as well.
Financial assistance will vary between individuals and programs. As you apply to schools, you can also compare the various financial aid packages that you may qualify for.
What Is Media Communications?
Media communications is a field composed of professionals who create and deliver successful messages to a specific audience.
Some media communication roles include journalists, public relations specialists, and broadcast announcers. As the title suggests, media communications is a combination of media studies and communications studies. As you work through your degree program, you can explore the impact that different forms of media have had on society. You can also learn how to navigate and use media to communicate with and influence the public.
Is Media and Communications a Good Degree?
Yes, media and communications is a good degree for many undergraduate students. Many graduates go on to pursue careers in advertising or marketing. Some go on to work in communications or public relations.
In addition to the variety of career opportunities in this field, the median annual salary for media and communication workers is $61,310, which is higher than the average salary for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
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As with any industry, completion of a degree is not synonymous with landing a career. The careers available to you will be dependent on a variety of factors, including work experience and geographic location.
What Can You Do with a Media Communications Degree?
There’s a variety of potential careers in the media and communications sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists writers, editors, and public relations specialists as some of the media communications careers with the highest annual median salary.
A media communications degree can also help prepare you for more hands-on positions that deal with equipment, depending on your curriculum or degree specialty. Some graduates go on to work as camera operators or broadcast, sound, and video technicians.
Earning a media communications degree does not guarantee a certain salary or career opportunity, but it can help you develop in-demand skills that are applicable in a range of roles.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Media Communications Online Degree?
There are a few routes you can take toward earning your online mass media communication degree. A traditional path to a bachelors degree typically consists of 16 week semesters and takes 4 years to complete with full-time attendance.
Alternatively, you may elect to stay enrolled year-round and follow an 8 week semester. This may allow you to earn your degree in less time. On the other hand, attending part-time may take you longer to finish. You might consider your career goals and current responsibilities as you determine the online digital media degree program length that is right for you.
What Is New Media Communications?
New media communications is the addition of more recent media channels to traditional communication strategies. New media platforms, such as social media, provide a unique way to connect with a target demographic.
In a new media communications program, you can learn how to incorporate new media into larger projects. In a world that is increasingly dependent on forms of new media communication, this can be a useful, in-demand skill set to have as you enter the job market.
Is a Bachelor’s in Media Communications Worth It?
Yes, a bachelor’s in media communications is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of media and communications is expected to grow 14% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.
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There’s a vast range of careers that fall into the media communications sector. There are opportunities for those who enjoy being behind the scenes as well as for those who thrive in the spotlight. Common careers in this field include public relations specialist, video editor, reporter, announcer, writer, and marketer.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Media Communications Degree Programs
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.
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Media Studies. Students must complete 120 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate. A fast track option is available for those who wish to complete the program in 3 years instead of 4. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0, ACT score of 22, or SAT score of 1120 to be eligible.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Bellevue University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. To graduate, students must complete 127 credit hours. Students may transfer in qualifying credits obtained from an associate degree to complete the program faster. Those interested in the program must submit official high school transcripts or the equivalent with their application.
Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Brenau University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Those who are interested in the program must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher and submit copies of their high school transcripts when applying.
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. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have 24 qualifying credit hours with a GPA of 2.5 or higher to transfer in.
CUNY School of Professional Studies is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
DePaul University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. To graduate, students must complete 192 quarter credit hours. Those interested in the program must have 45 qualifying quarter credit hours with a GPA of 2.0 or higher to transfer into the program.
DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lynn University offers a Bachelor’s in Communication and Media. The program can typically be finished in 4 years and can be completed online. Those interested in the program must submit a personal statement and official transcripts with the application. The program offers three different start dates.
Lynn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maryville University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Students may add a concentration in Strategic Communication or Emerging Media Strategy and Social Media. The program requires students to complete 128 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 and submit official transcripts and a personal statement.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Mass Media. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. The program can typically be completed in 48 months. Applicants must submit their high school transcripts, SAT or ACT test scores, a Christian character reference, and an admissions essay.
Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. A concentration in Business Communication, New Media, Professional Writing, or Public Relations may be added to the degree. Applicants may apply online through the school’s website at any time.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Arkansas—Little Rock offers a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Mass Media and Media Studies. Students must complete 120 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to graduate. Applicants must submit official copies of their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores.
The University of Arkansas – Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Colorado—Denver offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours to graduate.
Students in the program can choose from several different pathways. Options include Global and Intercultural Communication, Health Communication, Strategic Communication, Community Service and Public Affairs, and Media and Cultural Studies. Applicants must submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT test scores.
CU Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Media Production, Management, and Technology. Students must complete 124 credit hours to graduate. Each semester requires students to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 and complete at least three of the prerequisite courses.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies program. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate and have the option to transfer in up to 90 qualifying credits. Applicants must submit proof of high school diploma or an equivalent degree with the online application.
University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Massachusetts offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media. The online program requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must have at least 12 transferable credits with a GPA of 2.0 and need to submit official transcripts from all schools attended.
The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Washington State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication. Students must complete 120 semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major’s courses to graduate. Those interested in the program must submit official high school transcripts or GED certificates.
Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Bachelor’s in Media Communications Degree Online
If you are interested in the world of media and have a knack for communication, you might consider earning a media communications degree online.
Graduates who major in this area tend to create or edit content across various media forms, often interpreting and responding to societal trends. With a variety of possible careers, a range of salaries, and an expanding job market, this field can offer a number of professional and creative opportunities, making a degree in communications worth it for many graduates.
The sooner you begin your search for accredited online media communication degree programs, the sooner you may find the one that best aligns with your interests and goals.