Online Graduate Degree Programs for Aspiring Media Specialists
Media specialists are also known as public relations specialists. Read on to learn about online master's degree programs in public relations, and explore the typical coursework. Discover what it's like to take courses over the Internet. Review the prerequisites for a master's-level PR program and the job options for graduates.
How Can I Earn This Degree Online?
Online graduate programs for media specialists generally allow you to access learning materials, assignments and assessments when you go to your course website. The website is typically incorporated into a course management system employed by the university to organize online classes. The course management system documents your online participation. When flexibility is a priority, an asynchronous format is usually selected to allow you to log in at your convenience rather than at a fixed class time. Blogs, discussion boards, news groups, e-mail and phone are some of the ways you may interact with instructors and fellow students in your online courses.
|Class Interaction Tools||Blogs, discussion boards, news groups, e-mail and phone|
|Common Courses||Public relations, communications writing, media communications, ethics|
|Other Requirements||A high GPA, strong writing skills, and GRE scores may be required as well as materials for online learning, such as internet connection|
|Career Options||Library media specialist, public relations specialist, content writer, and more|
|Media Specialist Career||A license or endorsement from a state-approved program of study will be necessary|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||7% growth (for public relations specialists)*|
|Median Salary (2020)||$62,810 (for public relations specialists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Study in a Media Specialist Graduate Program?
The most common graduate degree program of interest to aspiring media specialists is a Master of Arts in Public Relations. In this program, you'll engage in writing-intensive courses, which train you to communicate persuasively to target audiences and employ media strategies to develop and maintain strong public relations. You'll also become well-versed in organizational relationships with employees, investors, government officials, and public interest groups. Some representative course topics include the following:
- Public relations
- Media relations
- Communications writing
- Public relations ethics
- Social responsibility
- Media communications
- Organizational communications
- Media research
- Crisis management
What Prerequisites Do I Need to Satisfy?
Prerequisites for graduate studies in public relations include a bachelor's degree. Many programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work. Your bachelor's degree doesn't need to be in public relations, communications or journalism, though these are common majors for media specialists. Schools will evaluate you based on your academic accomplishments, professional resume, writing skills and career goals. Some schools will require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, as well, for admissions.
What Can I Do with This Degree?
As a media specialist, you can work for businesses, government agencies, universities, healthcare providers and non-profit organizations. You may also work for public relations firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of media specialists is projected to see a 4% increase between 2019 and 2029.
Another Media Specialist Career
The term 'media specialist' may also refer to another career, for which online education is also available. Educational media specialists (also known as library media specialists) are typically employed in K-12 school media centers. They provide information, technological assistance and educational media to teachers to supplement lessons appropriate for the students' learning levels. To qualify for employment in a school as a media specialist, you must earn a license or endorsement by completing a state-approved program of study. You can earn an endorsement certificate or a master's degree in educational media by taking courses in the selection, evaluation and administration of media collections.