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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Interactive Communications

Majors Overview June 28, 2015

The job of an interactive communicator is to distribute content that combines artistic design and technical execution digitally. Master’s degree programs are available as both interactive communications degrees and communication degrees with an interactive communication concentration.

Information on Interactive Communications Programs

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program in interactive communication are taught about mass communications theory along with the basics involved in producing a multi-media communications program. Students are often allowed to choose new communication technologies or interactive communication as a specialization option.

Students take about 18 months to complete the program. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, but in some programs, which span a five-year duration, bachelor’s and master’s degree studies are combined.

Coursework in this program enables students to explore mass communication theory, including the impact of interactive communications, and strategies for communications planning. Schools also provide technical training in the tools of interactive communication, in both the use of equipment, such as projection systems and scanners, and in practice through websites and social media.

Experience is available to students working on projects for real businesses; schools encourage them to pursue internships.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Interactive Communication

An issue of a magazine that incorporates supplementary material – such as video and audio – available for download, as well as a viral marketing campaign for a music album, are examples of interactive communication. Increasingly, marketers are cultivating customer loyalty and reinforcing branding through reliance on interactive marketing.

To learn about the conception and execution of such projects, individuals can apply for admission into an 18-24 month master’s degree program. Schools offer thesis, online, and project-based options. Programs combining a bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree are available; students take five years to complete these programs.

Coursework

Coursework includes the theories behind developing digitally distributed content, mass communication, and creating consistent online presence. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Multimedia design
•Writing for interactivity
•Internet Ethics
•Interactive animation
•Social media

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers in advertising, corporate communications, and entertainment, involving the production and distribution of digital content. They can choose from possible job positions such as:

•Social media consultant
•Web producer
•Interactive-content developer
•Digital media producer
•User experience designer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for graphic designers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Job aspirants with prior experience in designing interactive media applications are expected to enjoy the best opportunities. In May 2012, 259,500 individuals were employed in the United States as working graphic designers who brought in an average annual wage of $44,150 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Various schools offer doctoral programs in media arts. The focus of some programs is on redefining boundaries between technology and humans through invention of technologies that are programmed to understand human behavior. The focus of other programs is mainly on the artistic side of media design to serve new interactive functions. Master’s degree holders take 3-4 years to complete these programs, wherein students are allowed to customize their academic experience in accordance with their research interests.

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