Author: Jennifer Merzdorf, Alumni MS in Communications, 2015
With a myriad of online options, finding the perfect communication graduate program can seem overwhelming. As I began looking for a quality degree program in communication, I identified three important criteria which guided my search - and ultimately, helped me choose Purdue University’s Online Master of Science in Communication.
1.) Program strength
Earning my communication master’s degree was an important professional and personal goal. I knew that the right program would allow me to grow and develop as a practitioner. The online MS in Communication has done just that, providing me with the strategic communication and analytic thinking skills which have allowed me to mature as a professional in the field of marketing and communication.
The program includes a balanced blend of interactive discussions, instructor videos, scholarly readings, relevant textbooks, individual and group projects, and research projects, providing learners with ample opportunity to learn and apply strategic communication skills.
Top-notch faculty who are experienced as both educators and practitioners give students the opportunity to learn from the best in the communication field. With increased confidence in my abilities, I am building my professional communications career on the strong foundation of expertise developed through my Purdue degree.
2.) Impressive numbers
I’m always fascinated by numbers - webpage analytics, a pitcher’s earned run average, my GPA. So when I began seriously considering Purdue’s Online Master of Science in Communication, I looked at the numbers.
Purdue certainly has some impressive statistics to back up its world-class reputation as a superior institution of higher education: It is the #4 top recruiters pick (CollegeAtlas.org, 2015), and included on the list of Best Value Colleges 2016 (Forbes, 2016).
And now, Purdue University is ranked #1 in Best Online Masters in Communication (ACOnline, 2016). Knowing that my degree is the top-ranked online graduate program in the country, I have assurance that the value of my education to employers and colleagues will only continue to grow.
3.) Perfect fit
As a working professional, I knew whatever program I selected had to fit my life. My graduate studies had to be flexible to accommodate the demands of a full-time job and a large family. The MS in Communication was exactly what I needed, with coursework accessible 24/7.
With so many responsibilities demanding my time and attention, it was vital that my program also be structured. The overall plan of study was carefully laid out to include courses that provided the strongest knowledge base, while still allowing me to choose electives that best fit my long-term communication career goals.
And the duration of the program was perfect - 20 months from start to finish. Though there were challenging times when my perseverance fluctuated, knowing that the end was achievable and attainable allowed me to press on.
As you begin your own search for the right online master’s degree in communication, I’m confident that Purdue’s Online Master’s in Communication will be your #1 choice, too.
Peterson-Withorn, C. (2016, March 29). The full list of Forbes’ best value schools of 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2016/03/29/the-full-list-of-for...
Program options, career paths & salaries in communications. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/degrees/masters-programs/best-on...
Jennifer Merzdorf is an alumni of 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
Jennifer Merzdorf began as Marketing and Communication Specialist in Environmental & Ecological Engineering and Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University in July 2016. In this role, Jennifer is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a communication plan for both programs, as well as acting as the central point of organized communication for internal and external audiences. Her background is in communication in a variety of settings, from higher education to commercial print production.
Previously in Enrollment Management Communications in the Office of Admissions at Purdue, Jennifer was Production Manager, where she managed and developed production and distribution schedules for undergraduate recruitment communication, including electronic and print formats.
Jennifer completed her M.S. in Communication from the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue in December 2015. She is currently enrolled in the Project Management Essentials course offered through Engineering Professional Education at Purdue.
In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, walking the trails around West Lafayette, taking photos, and reading.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.