Indeed.com rates "digital media" among the top 10 high demand careers based on job ads placed from 2009 to the present. The message: get educated in digital and social media and get hired. The problem: finding a reputable university for digital and social media education education online. By enrolling in American University's program, students can tap the power and prestige of one of America's top residential communication schools to earn a 15-credit graduate digital media certificate online. Professionals concerned about reputation will find no better place to master digital media online than American University. Founded in 1891 and accredited by the Middle States, AU is an established university with a record of excellence in communication and media studies. What's special about American University's online digital media skills certificate? Jodi Tirengel, online learning coordinator for the School of Communication, provides students with an insider's perspective.
1. Is this the right program for someone trained as a journalist, filmmaker or communications manager to re-tool for a career in digital media? Will students be taught real skills or academic theory?
The digital media skills graduate certificate welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds. This program teaches both real skills and the theories behind new methods of conveying information, how audiences take in and react to this type of messaging, and how media must adapt its message. Students learn a variety of skills that are useful both in the workplace and for outside projects, including how to create apps!
2. Is this program a good match for students who have no prior background in online learning?
Yes. The online program uses Blackboard, Adobe Connect and social networks such as Facebook, which are well-suited to students from all experience levels. Optional synchronous sessions, held two to three times per course, allow students to participate in face-to-face sessions online. Because of its cohort nature, students progress through the program with the same small group. Due to the degree and quality of contact, students often forget that they are distance learners.
3. This program ends with a capstone project and is designed to be completed online in one year. What advantages might this have for students hoping to exit with a career showcase of digital media skills? Can you show prospective students a video of a capstone project or achievement?
The yearlong structure of the program is one of its many benefits. In the final capstone course, students work closely with an external professional client to create a short digital media project or website as part of a professional portfolio that highlights the variety of skills learned in the program. Past clients have included National Geographic. Here is an example of our student work.
4. This is a stackable credential, meaning credits earned as a part of this online certificate can be applied later to a master's degree at AU. Can you explain the value of this type of online graduate credential for working professionals? Does AU provide any kind of career advice, networking or assistance for online students?
This program allows working professionals to complete courses in a self-paced format with flexibility that face-to-face programs do not allow. Students have the option to transfer credits earned into a master’s degree program. Students also learn from guest speakers consisting of working professionals in the field who share their career experiences during live sessions, allowing for networking opportunities.
5. What type of tuition assistance is provided for online students in the program?
Courses are offered at a 30% reduced rate from the regular price of graduate tuition at AU. Students lock in their rate of tuition at the beginning of the online program. The AU School of Communication is now offering in $850 tuition remission to the first 12 students in the Fall 2013 cohort. Don’t miss out—apply now!
Sponsored Post: This online education article highlights the unique benefits of American University's Online Graduate Certificate in Digital Media. American University is a regionally accredited residential university, founded in 1891, headquartered in Washington D.C. Visit the School of Communications online for more on the accolades and achievements of faculty and students in the University’s media programs.
About the Author: Rachel Wang graduated from Grove City College with a major in English and minor in Communications. She also holds a master's degree in library and information science from Kent State University. She is an experienced content manager, editor and writer with a background in journalism and online media. Rachel specializes in online learning news and trends for the Get Educated news team. In her spare time, she likes to read, bake and attempt to learn Chinese.