In modern times, mass media such as print, radio, television and the Internet have been instrumental in conveying information to a large population of people. The study of the different means that individuals and groups relay this information through mass media is called mass communications.
For some people, the first action of the day is to turn on the television and watch the news. Others tune into radio talk shows during their commute to work. Magazines line the shelves at supermarket checkout registers, competing for people’s attention with the latest celebrity baby pictures or shocking political scandal. Because so many forms of media are available, a degree in mass communications can lead to many professions.
Since careers in mass media are generally considered appealing and even glamorous, many students pursue a degree in communications. Most employers look for a four-year bachelor’s degree as well as previous experience.
Mass communications covers a number of popular career paths, including radio, television broadcasting and print journalism.
Not all broadcasting careers are on-air or on-camera positions, such as radio announcer or local news anchor. Behind every disc jockey or television reporter is a team of technical professionals. Communications majors who prefer not to be in the spotlight can choose behind-the-scenes occupations such as audio video technician, camera operator or control engineer.
Students who enjoy researching and exposing news stories are drawn to print journalism. Although the field is competitive, the best opportunities can be found in online publications.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts slower than average growth in all mass communications jobs through 2016 due to the consolidation of broadcasting and publishing industries. To give themselves a competitive edge, more and more students serve internships or work entry-level jobs while earning their degree online.
There are many careers available to mass communications majors. Journalists can earn between $19,180 and $145,600 annually, though the median salary is about $33,470.
According to Salary.com, broadcast technicians (including audio video technicians, camera operators and control engineers) with at least an associate’s degree and two to four years of experience can earn between $21,384 and $60,489 annually.