Media and Communication Studies

Media and communication studies explore the ways messages are shared through mediums like television and newspapers. Learn about career options and the employment outlook, as well as related degree programs and course topics.

Are Media and Communication Studies for Me?

Career Overview

People who work in media and communication fill many different roles in a wide variety of workplaces. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio employ media and communication professionals, but many other industries, including public relations, business and marketing, also employ these specialists.

Media and communication professionals typically work either behind the scenes as producers, directors or writers, or in the spotlight as reporters, news correspondents, and radio and television talk show hosts. Some other related career options can include public relations, advertising and educational services.

Employment

If you're interested in pursuing a career in media and communication, you should expect keen competition throughout the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov) predicts a decline in employment of 13% for news analysts, reporters and correspondents between the years of 2012 and 2022. This is due in part to large downsizing in the publishing and broadcast industries over the last several years. Individuals with a specialization in science and technical subjects, as well as those pursuing jobs at online newspapers and magazines should see the best opportunities. The BLS also reports that broadcast news analysts earned median annual pay of $55,380 in 2012; reporters and correspondents earned median pay of $35,870 that year.

On the other hand, the BLS predicts public relations specialists will see a 12% growth in employment; the median annual pay rate was $54,170 in 2012. The recent emergence of social media used in public relations is expected to create many additional jobs in this field.

How Can I Work in Media and Communication Studies?

Education

Students interested in media and communication studies usually enroll in a liberal arts degree program, like English, journalism, communications or speech. Specific classes in this field can include new media, broadcast media, business communications, speech communications, advertising, web design and social science.

If you decide to pursue a master's degree, you also have multiple options depending on your interests and career goals. If you're especially interested in working for online publications or websites, you could choose to pursue a master's degree in digital media. If you're more interested in a career in front of the camera, a master's degree in broadcasting could be a better fit. Before applying to any degree program, it's important to consider all of your options.

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