What You Should Know About This Degree
Most communications jobs are bachelor’s-level entry, meaning an undergraduate degree is the minimum level of education required to find employment. A master’s degree can help you move into management positions, but experience and on-the-job training are also valued in this field. When considering pursuing a master’s in media communications, reflect on your career and personal goals to help you determine what is the right path to achieving them.
While demand for communications occupations like fundraisers, public relations specialists, and social media marketers is growing, employment in other related fields is declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 percent drop in employment of broadcast reporters and correspondents, as the journalism industry continues to change and fragment.
Depending on the type of job you want or field in which you are interested in working, a specialization can give you an edge when it comes to training and employment opportunities. Programs may offer concentrations focused on a specific industry, like healthcare, journalism, or advertising, or on particular skill-sets like social media, human resources, or media literacy and criticism.
Membership in a professional organization can help you demonstrate your expertise and experience in your field. Communications-related organizations include the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Public Relations Society of America.
As you research online master’s in media communications programs, here are some questions to ask:
- Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in media communications programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in communications or a related field, or professional experience in communications. These requirements vary by program, so look at the eligibility requirements before applying to confirm that you meet the program’s minimum qualifications.
- Are there any in-person requirements? Find out if the program has any experiential learning components, such as an internship, that require in-person attendance. Even programs that deliver coursework online may have these requirements, so it’s important to be aware of them before you enroll in a program. This way, you can make the necessary arrangements in your schedule and budget to accommodate them.
As you research programs, you should also gather your application materials, and confirm application deadlines and procedures. This is also a good time to explore your options for funding your graduate education, including student loans, institutional and outside scholarships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, if you are currently working.