Students in the USC Annenberg Master’s degree of Communication Management online come from many demographic groups and professional backgrounds and cut across all communication-related disciplines — public relations, marketing, and corporate and strategic communications. Regardless of circumstances or credentials, our students share common goals — understand the role of communication; develop an appreciation for diverse perspectives and solutions; cultivate their critical thinking, writing, presentation and oral advocacy skills; and remain competitive in a shifting workplace that is still recovering from economic challenges.
Some are communication professionals with extensive experience, 10-20 years in the field, with established methodology for research, analysis, problem solving and information distribution — methodologies that may or may not be the most efficient or effective. Another audience can be found in communicators who are still building their expertise in the field and have a thirst and drive to know more, to be more experimental and exploratory. A third segment of communication professionals wants to teach, and recognizes a graduate degree in communications is required.
Communication VeteranImmediately applicable, cutting-edge knowledge and skills
Communication PioneerInnovative coursework in a diverse learning community
Communication CoachesModern communication research and theory
Communication VeteranThe Communication Veteran has worked for a number of years in the communication field and has established a personal set of best practices. They know that there are intellectual, technological and experiential resources available that are outside of their current experience but highly relevant and influential to their future success and competitiveness. They are motivated to learn what they don’t know and remain competitive.
The key outcomes of the USC Annenberg Master of Communication Management online program are building fundamental skills necessary for long-term success, and learning about new, innovative subject areas. Building fundamental skills appeals to the Communication Veterans who want cutting-edge knowledge and skills that are immediately applicable in their own fields. The USC Annenberg online Communications Master's degree is attractive to a Communication Veteran because it offers exposure to modern communication models and research. Veterans do need guidance through the tangle of information and data available to them, to understand what brings value and how to measure quality in addition to quantity.
The program is distance learning in the space of new technology, and that has two distinct advantages. First, Veterans need to be comfortable with new technology and new methodology to navigate in the modern interconnected world. They know they “need to be on” Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and Foursquare. The Master's degree in Communication Online will teach them to ask — and answer — what are you hoping to accomplish with social media? Who is your audience? How will you define success, and how will you measure it? What resources do you need to make it happen? It provides the curricular exposure and training to intelligently participate in today’s digital tools.
Second, the most evident demonstration of new technology is found in the experience itself — students work within one of the most advanced learning management systems (LMS) available today. Simply put, they’re learning new technology through daily participation — their success in the program requires skillful management of this technologically advanced environment.
With the USC Annenberg online Master of Communication Management degree, students will be immersed in a culture of measurement, interpretation and analysis that can transform project managers to strategists. The online MCM prepares students to “speak the language” that matters most to stakeholders, reinforcing that their professional contribution is much greater than a “service provider” for the organization.
Communication PioneerCommunication Pioneers are technologically advanced, digitally connected, team oriented and success driven. Pioneers are curious about what is happening in other places and what others are thinking and doing — explorers. With diverse backgrounds, they seek a diverse learning environment, are comfortable with ambiguity and willing to take risks — and use them as learning opportunities. The idea of “community” is familiar to Communication Pioneers; they’re active and enthusiastic participants in modern social and professional circles — online and in person. A Pioneer would participate in the campus program to have the opportunity to see and participate in the flesh, but work responsibilities or geography stand in the way.
Communication Pioneers want to participate in the Master of Communication Management online program because it offers the innovative coursework they see as a means of climbing the ladder and jumpstarting, or updating, their learning.
The USC Annenberg online MCM program operates in a space that Pioneers understand and embrace. It connects them with professionals in other organizations who have their own understanding of theory and how to use it. It’s not, “Here’s what we did, so you should too,” but instead, “Here is what our data suggested, so this is how you should proceed.”
The Master of Communication Management online degree program includes the opportunity for live, synchronous sessions with classmates, and a Communication Pioneer takes every opportunity to participate. A blend of individual and group assignments means students aren’t just accountable for themselves, but to others. The opportunity to collaborate and leverage relationships — with classmates, faculty and more than 15,000 USC Annenberg alumni — is a key motivator for Communication Pioneers.
USC Annenberg online MCM students learn how to find, understand and apply research directly related to their work; analyze complex business and communication problems; and develop critical thinking, writing, presentation and oral advocacy skills. For a Communication Pioneer these skills open doors to areas of communication previously hidden, unexplored or unattainable.
Communication CoachesCommunication Coaches are a subset of our communication veterans; they have experience and personal best practices, but they understand there are untapped resources available. They recognize that enhancing their problem-solving and qualitative skills and learning modern communication models puts them in a better position to give back to the profession and create new experts.
The USC Annenberg Master of Communication Management online program appeals to the Communication Coach because it realigns their professional experience to a modern model. The learning community — classmates, faculty and alumni — offers access to a diverse cross section of experiences in the application of communication theory and research. Communication Coaches value a prestige brand, and understand the impact a graduate degree from USC Annenberg can have on their applications for teaching jobs.