Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Media Communications

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 12/04/2018
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If your interest lies in a career in the media, marketing, or broadcasting, consider an online mass communications degree. You'll learn about theories, research, and practices in both modern and historical communication. As you move through a bachelor's in media communications, courses focus on more specific elements of communication, including how the media affects our culture, society, and politics. Coursework also provides you with numerous skills related to audio and video, writing and editing, and communication technology.

Because today's technology evolves so rapidly, now is a great time to seek an online bachelor's degree in media communications. And, you can do so through distance education, taking all or most of your classes online–often without ever stepping foot on an actual campus.

This guide features all you need to know to research media communications bachelor's degrees online. Below you'll find information on salary and job outlook, curriculum and concentration options, accreditation, and scholarships and financial aid.

How Much Can You Make in a Media Communications Career?

An online mass communications degree gives you a wide variety of career options spanning the fields of journalism, multimedia production, digital marketing, public relations, advertising, and corporate communication. While no degree can guarantee you a specific job or salary, you’ll find numerous potential career paths through an online bachelor’s degree in media communications.

Below we have compiled job growth and salary information for those with a bachelor’s in media communications. This program provides students with critical skills and knowledge in digital media, writing and editing, and communication to prepare them for these careers.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 9%
Job Description

These professionals work to maintain and enhance the public images of their clients, which may include individuals, businesses, and organizations. They create and distribute press releases, maintain relationships with the news media, and advise clients on communicating with their stakeholders. They also monitor social media activity; create speeches; arrange media interviews; and plan, implement, and evaluate public relations strategies.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 8%
Job Description

Sound and broadcast technicians use equipment, software, and technology to record music, broadcasts, and other content. They must know how to operate, adjust, and maintain audio/visual, broadcast, and lighting equipment, as well as ensure the high quality of all audio and video they record. These technicians also edit visual content on computers to create final products, while also diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning equipment at times.

Job Growth 2016-2026: 8%
Job Description

Copywriters create written content for businesses, organizations, and publications, often on a contract or freelance basis. They must know how to write grammatically perfect copy on a variety of topics and do efficient and accurate research to best meet their clients' needs. Some copywriters work for public relations or marketing agencies who hire them to create content on behalf of their clients.

Sources: BLS 2018

Because many online mass communications degree holders go on to become radio and TV announcers, we have compiled a list of job growth and salary data on this profession for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You will notice significant differences in the data depending on the state or region, as bigger media markets tend to see higher rates of pay for these professionals. Those working in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, for example, tend to bring in higher salaries than those in smaller markets.

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Media Communications Degree?

As you embark on your media communications bachelor’s degree online, you may take many different core and elective courses that expand your knowledge and skills across numerous subjects. While these programs differ in terms of their curricula, you’ll likely find some similarities when researching degree options. Be sure to look into the details of each school and program to find specific requirements. The list below includes five examples of courses common to a bachelor’s degree in media communications.

Multimedia Communication

Students learn how to tell stories and create brand strategies using new and traditional media. The course applies principles of journalism to enable students to learn key skills that serve them well in communications-focused careers.

Introduction to Audio Techniques

Students learn the basics of processing audio through sound production, editing, mixing, and adjusting wide-band processors. The course serves as a strong foundation for more complex work in audio processing as students move through the program.

Principles of Digital Communication

This course examines digital and social media, including tools like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram, Snapchat, and emerging apps and networks. Students learn how to use principles of communications and design to best leverage these platforms.

Integrated Marketing Methods

Students explore brand messaging across numerous channels, including both traditional and new media. The course incorporates principles of marketing, public relations, advertising, and storytelling to reach key stakeholder groups.

Strategic Communication

This course helps students expand their writing and editing abilities and create a variety of content relevant to public relations, advertising, and marketing campaigns. Students also learn how to think strategically about communication.

How to Choose the Best Online Media Communications Program

With all the options out there, it can be difficult to pick the right bachelor’s degree in media communications for you. To make the process a little easier, examine each program you are considering and look at factors like the school’s reputation, accreditation status, courses offered, the quality of the faculty, and tuition and fees. Below you will find answers to several common questions students have when narrowing down their online mass communications degree options.

Which Strategies Should I Follow When Selecting Media Communications Courses?

Nearly all online mass communications degree programs post their curricula online. Review the classes available and find those that interest you and relate to your career goals. Determine elective course options in addition to the program's required core classes. Make sure the bachelor's in media communications program in which you enroll offers you a solid foundation of courses, while still enabling you to select from a variety of electives to round out your education.

Should I Look for a Specific Curriculum Focus in My Program?

This depends largely on how you wish to use your bachelor's degree in media communications to explore future careers. If you know you want to become a TV producer, marketing consultant, or journalist, for example, look for programs that allow you to concentrate your courses in these subjects. Pursuing a more general online mass communications degree might work best if you’re still unsure of your exact career path, but know you want to serve in communications in some capacity.

What Should I Look for When Evaluating the Faculty of Each Program?

Review the credentials of the faculty members within each online bachelor's degree in media communications under your consideration. Many communications instructors have real-world experience in TV or radio production, reporting, public relations, marketing, or related fields. Ensure instructors have been teaching at the college level for a significant amount of time. The best professors often have a good mix of professional and academic experience behind them.

How Will I Complete an Internship If My Program Is Online?

Even if you live far away from your school's campus, your bachelor's in media communications program may still help with placing you in a required internship. In some cases you may need to find an internship on your own and obtain approval from your program adviser before you start. While securing an internship can be a little more challenging for distance learners, you may find you have more flexibility in finding the right fit for you.

How Will an Online Mass Communications Degree Help Me Reach My Career Goals?

While no degree can guarantee you'll reach your career goals, a media communications bachelor's degree online provides you with an important credential as you look to enter communications-focused fields. These programs give you in-depth knowledge on the strategies, tactics, and tools used to communicate to audiences across a wide variety of channels. An online mass communications degree indicates to employers that you have a strong understanding of what it means to achieve success in a challenging field.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Media Communications Programs

Although you have numerous options when funding your media communications bachelor's degree online, scholarships and grants provide you with money you do not need to pay back. Applying for scholarships specifically for mass communications students could help you reduce the total cost of your higher education. In addition, these scholarships may provide you with networking and internship opportunities that give you a career boost before you even finish your degree.

BEA Founders Award

This scholarship, offered through the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), provides two yearly awards of $1,500 each to those seeking an electronic media-related degree. Qualified recipients must attend a BEA-approved and accredited two- or four-year postsecondary institution. Applicants must have an above-average academic record and demonstrate enthusiasm and talent for electronic media. The award committee looks for students who operate with a high level of integrity and personal responsibility.

BMI Founders Award for Radio Broadcasting

Students between the ages of 17 and 24 and who are enrolled full time at an accredited U.S. college or university may apply for this $5,000 scholarship from the BMI Foundation. Applicants must also major in broadcast engineering, communications, journalism, electronic media, or a related discipline. The award includes a four- to six-week internship with a major broadcaster, allowing recipients to get both financial support and valuable experience in the field.

Carole Simpson Scholarship

Made available from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, this $2,000 scholarship is awarded to a college student seeking a bachelor's degree in journalism, radio, or television. Eligible students must be in good academic standing, provide up to five work samples, have significant experience, and include a cover letter detailing why they wish to pursue a career in communications. The application also requests a letter of recommendation and a current resume.

Ennes Scholarships

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust offers several scholarships to those interested in broadcast engineering as a career field. These awards offer financial assistance for tuition, room and board, and textbook and technology expenses. Each year, the foundation provides at least three awards at $1,500 each. The scholarship committee places a preference on applicants who are members of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship

Established in honor of a long-time member of the National Press Club, this scholarship provides a one-time award of $5,000 to a student aiming to focus his or her career on journalism. Applicants must indicate a commitment to the tenets of journalism and demonstrate a strong academic record. The application also asks for three work samples, three letters of recommendation, and a letter of acceptance from an accredited postsecondary institution.

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