New Masters in Media and Communication Arts Answers Market Demand

  Media and Communication Arts
    Students enrolled in the new MA in Media and Communication Arts Program are entering a booming industry.

With job growth for communications specialists expected to soar through 2014, the new 36-credit Master of Arts degree in Media and Communication Arts in Pleasantville is already in high demand.

The need for skilled communicators is projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to expand nearly 26 percent a year for the next five years. Mirroring a BLS finding that media and communications is one of the fastest growing areas of study in North America, in the last few years the undergraduate major has been one of Dyson’s fastest-growing.

The new advanced degree is intended for people interested in becoming media and communications specialists, corporate scriptwriters, public relations professionals, media producers and editors, and Web content specialists. Courses include media production and editing, media writing, public relations, law and ethics and international communications.

Building on a Strong Undergraduate Program
The new degree is being offered by a communications program whose graduates have become executives in national and international media such as CBS, Clearchannel, NBC, A&E Television Networks, public television and MTV. They have also become leaders in local and regional media, including at WFAS radio, News 12 and the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Notable alumni/ae include Paul Ryan, Senior Producer of CBS News and instructor in the Pace media and communication arts department; Charles Gasparino, on-air editor for CNBC; Mary O’Grady, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and Rossana Rosado, one of the first Hispanic women to hold a high ranking position in newspaper publication as CEO of El Diario La Prensa. Ms. Rosada is a former producer and Emmy Award winner for WPIX-NY Channel 11. Kate Crocodilis, a 2007 graduate, is currently working in production at CBS’s As The World Turns and has also worked on casting for NBC’s 30 Rock.

Another alumnus, Rob Decina, teaches “Casting and Careers” in the department. He is a five-time Emmy-nominated casting director whose credits include Guiding Light, Dawson’s Creek, and The West Wing. As an expert commentator he appears regularly on programs like CBS’ Early Show and Bravo’s It Factor.

  Students in both the undergraduate and graduate communications programs get first-hand experiences in the field. Last spring, Lambda Pi Eta honor society got a behind-the-scenes view of the WCBS-TV Channel 2 live 12 o’clock news.  

Recent Grads Flock to Program’s Facebook Site
Initial demand for the new degree has been strong. After the program was approved, Program Director Maria Luskay, PhD, an award-winning writer/producer, started viral messaging about it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The Facebook page quickly attracted over 30 fans, many of them recent graduates of Pace’s undergraduate media and communication arts program.

Pace alumna Vanessa Dones graduated in May and found a job as a public relations coordinator at a food and wine PR agency. “But in this economy,” she says, “and with growing competition in the field, I felt this was a great time to add to my resume. I spent four of the best years of my life at Pace so I knew I would be in good hands.”

She added, “I envision this program helping me climb the career ladder, validate a pay increase, and secure other job options if I decide to move on.”

Noted Matthew West, another student in the program: “Knowing communication business techniques, law, and practices is absolutely necessary for career advancement. The class discussions about these topics are both timeless and current, and they’re just phenomenal. Classes are four hours each, yet it feels as though you're only in there for a few minutes.”

Michelle Veillette, who finished her BA more than two years ago, applied the day she heard about the program. “I hadn’t started my Master’s before this because I couldn’t find a program that suited my existing communications background,” she said. “In class we review public speaking, persuasion, interpersonal communication, and everything in between, and it’s especially interesting to revisit these topics in greater depth now that I have real-world experience.”

Find out more about the program or apply.

Reporting for this article was provided by Cara Cea, Public Information Office, Pace University.