Online Media Communications Bachelor’s Degree
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Earning an online bachelor's degree in media communications prepares graduates for careers in communications, advertising, and public relations. Graduates at the bachelor's level can join the workforce in entry-level positions, though students who obtain additional certification may be ready for more advanced roles. Graduates often pursue work in journalism and publishing, and others look to roles in television, radio, film, and other digital technologies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for PR specialists is projected to increase 9% from 2016-2026; on average, professionals in this field make approximately $59,000 per year.
Why Earn an Online Media Communications Degree?
Students looking for a more flexible, affordable way to complete their education often turn to online coursework. Earning a communications degree online allows students to complete their education at their own pace. Most online programs follow either a synchronous or asynchronous format. Synchronous learning requires all students to log on at specific times and attend classes simultaneously, though you can complete your education from anywhere with an internet connection. These programs often encourage student discussions and facilitate group projects. Alternatively, asynchronous programs offer the highest level of flexibility, allowing students to complete their education on their own time. Online media communications degrees can be completed on bases full- or part-time, and some programs even offer accelerated schedules. Most students graduate in 3-5 years.
Many students also find obtaining an online education to be more cost-effective than brick-and-mortar learning, as there are no associated fees for room and board, commuting, or physical textbooks. Furthermore, some schools offer in-state tuition to out-of-state students attending class online.
What Can I Do with an Online Media Communications Bachelor's Degree?
Graduates with a degree in media communications find work in a number of fields, including writing, journalism, public relations, broadcasting, marketing, and advertising. While employers in every field have a unique set of requirements, most careers in media studies and communication require only an undergraduate degree and some level of field experience. Individuals looking to set themselves ahead in the job market may go on to obtain additional certifications in their area of interest.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Earning an online media communications degree imbues students with a broad skill set that may be translated to a number of careers. As media becomes increasingly more prevalent in day-to-day life, professionals in this field must be prepared to learn and adapt to any number of situations. As a result, curriculum can include classes on English, media studies, communication, critical thinking, psychology, economics, and the history and psychology of various forms of media.
While earning an associate degree in media communications can prepare graduates for some entry-level work, earning a bachelor's provides more in-depth training and critical thinking classwork. Furthermore, undergraduate programs often require students to complete an internship program prior to graduation; this field experience paired with a bachelor's degree gives students a competitive edge in the job market.
Careers and Salary Potential
Because of the comprehensive education that a professional with a bachelor's in media communications receives, they can often find work in a wide variety of industries. Below are examples of common industries that employ graduates with a bachelor's in media communications, followed by potential career paths that professionals with this degree might pursue.
Advertising, Branding, and Sales Promotions: Professionals in this field are responsible for marketing their company or organization to a targeted audience. They create an image for their company and publish campaigns to bring in business.
Financial Services: Financial service professionals aid customers in managing finances and accounts through the handling of stocks, bonds, retirement funds, and bank accounts. Media communications graduates often find work in this field due to their communication and analytical reasoning skills.
Marketing, Advertising, and Media Management: Media managers create marketing campaigns on any number of platforms. As social media becomes more prevalent, companies are beginning to hire media communications professionals specifically for the management of social media.
Television Broadcasting: A career in television broadcasting could refer to a number of positions, including reporter, news analyst, correspondent, and behind-the-scenes roles in script writing and promotions management.
Possible Careers for Professionals with a Bachelor's in Media Communications:
Advertising, Promotions, or Marketing Manager
Annual Median Salary: $129,380
These professionals are responsible for promoting and generating interest in services and products. Typically, promotions and marketing managers work closely with art directors, sales professionals, and members of an organization's financial staff. Most professionals in this field have at least a bachelor's degree in media communications.
Public Relations Specialist
Annual Median Salary: $59,300
Public relations specialists are responsible for the creation and maintenance of a public image for a company or organization. These professionals develop and release social media platforms and programs to shape the public perception of their company. These campaigns increase awareness and build a favorable impression for a wide audience of potential buyers or clients.
Annual Median Salary: $59,159
Digital strategists often work with a team of like-minded professionals to create plans and goals for their company or product. They are often innovative thinkers with a creative background and an understanding of technology and advertising.
Reporter, Correspondent, or Broadcast News Analyst
Annual Median Salary: $40,910
Broadcast news analysts, reporters, and correspondents inform the public about local, national, and international news events. They work for media stations on television or online, for newspapers and magazines, and for radio news networks. Most employers in this field prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in media communications or journalism.
Social Media Marketing Manager
Annual Median Salary: $56,770
Social media specialists and marketing managers interact with the public through online platforms that allow all users to create and share content online. These professionals create content, such as images, videos, and text, to generate interest in a product or a service. They often collaborate with other social media marketing professionals to promote the cause of their employer.
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