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Media Communications Degrees and Careers

Learn how a media communications degree can help prepare you for a variety of career paths.
A media communications student works at her computer

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.

As digital technology continues to advance, those working in the communications field need to be familiar with an array of tools, including audio and video and web design.

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.

Bachelor's Degree

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.

Master's Degree

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.

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