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The Key To Success in a Mass Communications Career

Mass Communications Careers: The Key To Success

Mass Communications continues to evolve, and today’s cutting edge technology will quickly become the proverbial “yesterday’s news.” A few years ago, students studying journalism focused mainly on writing and interviewing, but 21st century technology demands much more of college graduates looking for their first job. For example, students now need to know how Skype changes global communications, the social implications of Facebook and Twitter, and how YouTube impacts video production techniques.

College students seeking to advance to a career in Mass Communications will learn the art of effectively communicating with the general public, through training and education. Practicing their craft to gain experience helps them put principles into practice. An appropriate degree emphasizes a well-rounded education, and multiple opportunities exist in this career field.

What is Mass Communications?

Mass CommunicationsA working definition of the term “Mass Communications” is the effective delivery of a specified message to large segments of the population. Those segments can be cities, states, the nation or even the entire world. Students majoring in this area take interdisciplinary courses covering a broad range of ideas and concepts. In addition to the traditional English and Literature courses, required curriculum also includes:

• Advertising
• Marketing
• News Writing
• Political Science
• Psychology
• Public Relations
• Sociology
• Television Production

Various Levels of Study

Students can earn an Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD in Mass Communication, depending on how deeply they want to delve into the discipline. An Associate’s degree, earned at a two-year community college, is a good way to break into the field with a general entry level position. More serious-minded students willing to put in the extra effort for a Bachelor of Arts or graduate degree are good candidates for a more specialized career. Industries requiring Mass Communication skills include:

• Advertising
• Film
• Magazines
• Newspapers
• Online media
• Publishing
• Radio
• Television

However, classroom study isn’t enough any more. Students looking to be competitive in the marketplace should begin preparations before graduation through a series of internships, either paid or unpaid. These are an excellent way to begin gaining the experience employers are looking for when filling open positions. That experience can be acquired by working on the campus newspaper or radio station, or interning at a local TV station, magazine, advertising agency or public relations firm.

Traditional or Online Options

Creative individuals with the drive and passion to pursue a career in Mass Communications have more than one path to achieve their goal. There is no one formula for success. Many students graduating from traditional four-year colleges with majors in psychology, sociology or political science combine those degrees with television or newspaper experience.

An academic alternative to the brick and mortar college is to study online. An advantage to pursuing a Mass Communications degree this way is the increased flexibility online colleges and universities provide compared to traditional classes. Working students can study at their own pace and take exams according to their own schedule. Professionals already working in the communications field, perhaps with an irregular schedule, need not worry about work-school scheduling conflicts.

With the right education and training, there are numerous ways to advance into a Mass Communications career. Hard work and dedication is only one avenue. Keeping up with the latest technological developments is important, but possessing the drive and passion for the industry breathes life into it.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the mass communications industry has a wide variety of interesting positions available, everything from graphics designers to reporters and technical writers to film editors, plus announcers, photographers,  translators, etc. And that doesn’t even take into consideration all the new media jobs coming on line including things like game and app designers and social media coordinators. If you are considering a career in the world of mass communications you need look no further than the master of mass communications– Walt Disney. Walt Disney was, first and foremost, a visionary. He imagined the “plausible impossible,” and he used sophisticated mass communications technology to make his imaginary world come to life in the world of everyday experience. Business students learn that Disney’s business model, like some of his art, qualifies as a masterpiece.

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About the Author:

Kendall Gilbert writes for several higher ed blogs with a focus on communications and marketing programs. Several universities offer either a degree in mass communications and/or a global communications degree.