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Purdue’s Communication Masters Program is a Melting Pot of Experience and Backgrounds

Author: Erin Allen, Online Communication Masters Student

In college, you expect to work and make connections with people from all walks of life. That veritable melting pot of experience and backgrounds can most certainly open your eyes and mind.

Now imagine that melting pot is not limited to geography and time zones. With online learning, the whole world can quite literally be opened up to you. And, with that, comes people engagement across boundaries, industries and functions.

I’ve only been in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communications program for seven months, but I’ve been introduced to students whose credentials are both conventional and unexpected. To me, this just goes to show that a communications masters degree is useful for so many disciplines.

The program has many:

-    Social and digital media managers
-    Media relations coordinators
-    Communication consultants
-    Online content and multimedia coordinators
-    Marketing managers
-    And writer-editors (count me in that job title group!),

who all provide a valued service to their organizations. What really strikes me are those individuals wanting a communications master’s degree for jobs not traditionally part of the industry.

Take one student who is actually an animal keeper at a zoo. He aspires to use his master’s degree in communications to advance public knowledge of endangered species conservation. Another student is in law enforcement and hopes, through the Purdue communications graduate program, to improve his communication practices and acquire new skills in an effort to transition to the federal government.

The Purdue program is full of educators, including a fellow classmate who teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) in Switzerland and France. With her international background and the communications masters degree from Purdue, she’s hoping to advance to an international program director at a university.

And, while some may think that going back to school is only for professional development, take a fellow cohort member who is actually a retired insurance account executive and agency owner. He simply wants to further his education and potentially get a teaching position at his local college.

I suppose job titles are really just semantics. In today’s professional world, we really end up doing so much more than what our named role implies. These examples likely only scratch the surface of the professional diversity at Purdue and in its online Master of Science in Communication program.

Chime in and let us know what your professional background is and why you chose to pursue your master’s degree in communication at Purdue!

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Erin Allen is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

About the Author
Erin Allen has been a writer-editor in the Library of Congress Office of Communications since June 2006. In that capacity, she is the managing editor and writer for the Library of Congress blog, writes feature stories for several Library publications including the Library of Congress Magazine, and handles outreach for several Library divisions including Music, Hispanic, American Folklife Center and Rare Book and Special Collections. Prior to coming to the Library, she was assistant editor at InRegister Magazine in Baton Rouge, La. There she covered women's lifestyle, fashion and beauty; travel; gardens and interiors; and Baton Rouge society. When not at work, she plays women's flat track roller derby for the DC Rollergirls.

She holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications/Print Journalism with a minor in vocal performance from Louisiana State University. With her master's degree in strategic communication from Purdue, she hopes to transition into more of a public or media relations role as she seeks new opportunities.
 
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.