Choosing the best mass communications courses for your circumstances is a matter of determining whether you want to pursue a degree program or simply pick up a class to broaden your knowledge, and whether you want a classroom setting or prefer to take courses online. Determining how much hands-on learning you want or need and which courses can meet that criterion also is important. If the course is part of a full-fledged degree program and you have some options beyond the required courses, you likely will want to consider which course would best support your future career goals. The same can be true if you simply want to take a mass communications course to strengthen your knowledge base and incorporate what you learned into an unrelated career.
Once you have decided between a full-fledge degree program and a random class or two, you may want to consider which mass communication courses teach the skills needed for the career you want. If you aim to get a degree in the subject, think about how you wish to use it and choose classes based on that. For example, if you wish to be in front of the camera as a broadcaster, you will likely need to take classes that teach writing and reporting for television. If you prefer to operate the camera, classes in video production and television programming will likely be more valuable. Lawyers may benefit from taking courses focused on media law, while graphic designers might prefer classes centered on communication through graphics.
Hands-on training can help prepare you for a career using mass communication skills. With this in mind, consider mass communication courses that offer the use of equipment that you expect to use in your career. This may include a video camera, post-production tools or marketing materials. If your intended career centers on writing, with plans to focus on public relations or reporting, the necessary equipment may be as simple as a computer. Other equipment to look for may include video editing tools and film or television gear. Whether you need a lot or a little equipment for your career, you will likely feel more prepared if you learn to use the necessary tools while taking mass communication courses.
Another detail that isn’t so much about class quality as it is your ability to get the most from it is class time. The best mass communications course by the best of teachers won’t do you much good if it’s scheduled at a time when you either can’t attend or struggle to stay awake. If you have a hard time fitting a regular mass communication courses into your schedule, consider taking an online class; you typically can watch a webcast of the course or read the notes online at any time, though you will still have firm deadlines for homework and exams. If a degree in mass communications is your ultimate goal, you may want to talk with your school counselor to determine graduation requirements, because taking the wrong classes or too many unnecessary classes may delay your graduation.