Media degree offered

Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics will launch the new media informatics major as a Bachelor of Arts degree this fall.

The college created the new major to prepare students for career opportunities, new possibilities and positions in demand because of changes in the industry.

According to visiting associate professor Gary Ozanich, “we can now download music to our phones and soon the internet could soon converge with television. We are at the forefront recognizing that technology is changing and with it curriculum must also change.” Ozanich was deeply involved in the creation of the program and said Northern Kentucky University is only one of three schools in the nation to have this type of program.

An inter-department committee of faculty from the information systems, art, communication and computer science have been working together since August to create the curriculum. The committee surveyed similar successful programs at several universities and presented the program to a focus group made up of local businesses.

“Job placement with such a degree is already two times the average for college students. We already have companies telling us they have positions to fill right away for people with this degree,” Ozanich said.

Both Ozanich and Dean of Informatics Patrick Moynahan said media informatics is a broad degree that will allow students to fill positions in communication and other fields. The degree can be used in fields such as gaming. As technology continues to converge, the need will increase for people with this type of a degree in the corporate business world.

Media informatics will be part of the communication department but students will also take classes in computer science and art departments to complete the degree. Moynahan pointed out communication majors would benefit from taking a class or two in media informatics to broaden their skills.

“In all fields in the communications major there are positions that require more knowledge in technology; however the current majors don’t adequately prepare students for those positions,” Moynahan said.

According to Moynahan, many students in the communication, art and computer science majors are afraid changes were going to be made to their majors to accommodate media informatics. The College of Informatics assures students that no such changes will be made.

“We know there is a demand for it in businesses. We know that technology is evolving. We know that this will open up lots of opportunities for the students and for the university,” Ozanich said.