Media Communications Degrees and Careers
Learn how a media communications degree can help prepare you for a variety of career paths.
Traditional media, new media and social media are all ways information is disseminated, but a lot goes into messaging and communicating to the public.
There's a science to media communications; understanding how to effectively reach different audiences is crucial to a successful career in this evolving space.
If you possess strong written and verbal skills, a career in media communications could be a good fit. Ultimately, you'll shape the way people think about different topics by creating a story whether in print, video or on the web.
Here's a look at the types of careers and degrees available in media communications.
Media Communications Careers
A variety of different careers fall under the media communications umbrella. While all paths focus on storytelling in some way, specific roles may have a heavier focus on project design, technology or management.
Popular career paths in media communications:
- Journalism: Inform readers and viewers about local, national and international news.
- Public relations: Shape the image of an organization with press releases, speeches and responses to the media.
- Video editing: Tell a story by piecing together video footage.
- Social media: Usually part of a public relations or marketing team, manage the social media networks for an organization.
- Blogging: Create content online, disseminate expert opinions and maintain the voice of a company or organization.
Media Communications Degrees
Bachelor's and master's degree in media communications are available from a variety of schools. A bachelor's degree (whether a BA or BFA) will prepare you for entry-level positions which may have the potential for advancement. A master of arts degree can be useful if your goal is to lead or advance your knowledge of media communications.
In a four-year program, you'll receive a liberal arts education as well as specific coursework in media communications.
As an example of what you might expect, Full Sail University's online media communications program includes the following courses:
- Overview of the Visual Arts Industries: An examination of film, creative writing, media communications and digital cinematography as it relates to visual storytelling. Skill sets for specific careers are also taught.
- Media Communications and Public Relations: Press releases, ethics, propaganda are discussed and students are taught to handle media communication programs.
- Digital Video and Editing Principles: Story continuity, narration and visual effects are a few of the topics covered in this comprehensive course.
- Web Design and Communication Theory and Principles: An introduction to web design including embedded media, content, usability and more.
- Media Entrepreneurship: Students learn about the business of media, economics and review entrepreneurial news and communications.
A master's degree program will typically teach the skills needed to manage people and programs, as well as work with leaders.
Coursework may focus on large-scale issues like international communication and law. Most programs conclude with a thesis or internship.
While eligibility requirements vary by school, you'll be expected to hold a bachelor's degree and demonstrate excellent writing and verbal skills before enrolling in a master's degree program.
Media Communications Salary
You may find a wide range of salaries depending on which career path you choose. The same is also true for job outlooks. For instance, there will be a slow job growth rate of -4% for editors through 2031, while technical writer jobs are predicted to grow as fast as average (5%) in the same time frame.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics, these are the median annual salaries for the following careers:
- Editors: $73,080
- Film and video editors and camera operators: $63,520
- Audio or video technicians: $50,660
- Public relations specialist: $67,440
- Photographers: $40,170
- Technical writers: $79,960
Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.