Mass communication is a field that encompasses many different specific disciplines. As the way we communicate with each other as a society changes and evolves, so does mass communication. This means that mass communication is dynamic and constantly changing, particularly on the internet. With a mass communication major, you'll be on the cutting edge of how society communicates and disseminates information.
A mass communication major may focus on:
- Journalism - this can be print, broadcast, or web-based journalism. Often, it may include all three. Journalism is no longer merely the TV/Radio news, or the newspaper. News and information is often communicated several mediums at once. Newspapers and television news have had to adapt to include their information on the internet as well in order to be competitive.
- Advertising - Your job in advertising is two-fold. One, you must get your message out in front of potential consumers. This likely includes a variety of mediums. Two, your message must be dynamic and focused in a way that will influence potential consumers to buy your product or service.
- Public Relations - This may be for a business, a non-profit organization, or a government entity. Public relations involve creating a positive relationship between your organization and society at large.
- Marketing - Marketing is getting your product or service in front of the right people. It can include both advertising and research.
Finding a good communications program
Likely if you are considering this degree, you already have a good idea about your focus. Like any other field, finding a school that has a good mass communications program involves some research. Many universities and colleges have good communications programs, so you should have plenty of schools to choose from. Here are some things to look for:
- Employment Success - Your prospective school should be able to provide data indicating how many graduates from their communications programs acquired positions in their chosen field. In addition, they should be able to tell you about their job placement and employment counseling services.
- Accreditation - A good mass communications degree should be accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
- Internships and extracurricular activities- A school with a good communications program should be able to supply you with ways to apply the education you are receiving. Are there opportunities for internships with businesses around the area? Can you participate in extracurricular activities that involve you with the school paper, radio station, etc.?
- Reputation - This school will be listed on your resume and be in front of prospective employers. Research the reputation your potential school has in your chosen field.
Visit the school:
If you have narrowed your options down to a few schools, it's time to schedule a visit and a tour. It is during the visit that you get to see what the campus is like, tour the school itself, and talk to students and professors. This can really help you solidify whether or not you would like to attend that particular school. Often it is after visiting potential schools that students feel confident in making their final decision.