Should I Get Broadcasting Degree Online?

"I am trying to decide on a career and I really enjoy listening to the radio so I was thinking maybe I should become a radio DJ. I don’t have much money to spend on my education, so I was thinking that it might be better for me to attend school on the internet instead of in person. But I don’t know if that is a good idea with broadcasting because broadcasting is a very active, hands-on type of profession, isn’t it? How would I learn all the technical aspects if I were going to school online? Let me know what you think I should do; I would really like your advice so that I will not waste my time. Thank you for your help."

asked by Vivian from Sedona, AZ

Broadcasting is very much a hands-on profession, and a lot of your class work if that is your major is going to revolve around doing actual media production work in the studio. That being the case, you really can only do that portion of the program in an actual studio, which you can’t do online. So if you do find an online degree program in the field of broadcasting, odds are it will have both online portions and offline portions. Lots of online colleges have brick-and-mortar buildings in different cities where they offer these types of classes where you cannot rely on distance learning to get the necessary hands-on experience.

A lot of your classes in broadcasting would also be theory-based, however. You would still be doing your general education requirements, not to mention a lot of communication theory related classes. These classes are basically textbook and lecture-based, and therefore don’t necessarily require you to be present in person to understand the material.

You would be able to take these classes from the comfort of your home over your internet connection without showing up in person, and they would still likely comprise the bulk of your course load.

I do recommend you do a bit of research before you decide on your career. There are other professions in the communication field right now with a lot more opportunity, like public relations.

There are also a lot more jobs than DJ in the radio field. Most DJs are really announcers now anyway; the job is no longer to select music so much as simply announce the tracks to listeners. Other jobs in this field include radio engineer (which usually is more highly paid) and marketer. You also might have the job of putting advertisements together to air.

A broadcasting degree would prepare you for any of these various professions, and you also may try taking some video classes to see if other types of multimedia production interest you. Broadcasting has a pretty wide scope, and there is more you can do than just radio.

Check into programs in your area to see if you can combine distance learning with in-person production classes, and good luck with your new career!

Career Spotlight: Radio Producer

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