By Matthew Cummings, assistant director of online programs for West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media
“At the end of the day, it’s all about ROI.”
Our time and money are simply too valuable to invest in opportunities that do not provide a positive return — whether it’s a business deal, a client relationship or hiring decision.
At the WVU Reed College of Media, we believe a student’s decision to pursue an online master’s degree should be no different. The WVU IMC Master’s degree program is an award-winning, 33-credit program with more than 30 online courses. And it’s always evolving based on industry innovations and best practices.
At the center of the curriculum are core courses, which provide all students with a solid marketing communications foundation. The core is enhanced by a wide variety of specialty courses and more than 20 electives that allow students to focus on individual areas of interest. The degree can be completed online in as little as 18 months, and no residency is required.
As an administrator and instructor in West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications online graduate program, it is my job to help students achieve ROI on their master’s degrees — and I’m not only talking about the “soft” ROI many think of such as improved knowledge, skills and abilities.
To calculate quantifiable ROI, we regularly measure the direct impact our master’s degree is having on individuals through alumni and student success surveys. In our most recent survey conducted this fall, we learned that WVU IMC students highly value their education and that our program has offered a significant ROI:
- 98% of respondents said they have or would recommend the program to a friend/colleague;
- 88% believe that their IMC master’s degree directly led them to a better position and/or promotion;
- 55% of all respondents had seen an income increase of more than 15%; and
- 71% of respondents who graduated three or more years ago indicated that their income increased 15% or more and 50% of those report an increase of 25% or more.
In fact, we have partnered with the Public Relations Society of America and local chapters like the Greater Cleveland Chapter of PRSA because IMC meets an important PR industry need. PRSA members around the country have consistently identified IMC as one of the top five competencies public relations and communication professionals will need in the future, according to PRSA CEO Joe Truncale.
As you know, Mr. Truncale will be in Cleveland April 27 to discuss the changing demands on the profession, ethical issues and the importance of sharpening skill sets and competencies. WVU College of Media Assistant Dean Chad Mezera and I will be there too and we invite you to learn more about how an online IMC master’s degree can help prepare you and make a positive investment in your future.
We are proud of the fact that so many IMC students have been able to apply the skills they learned to move ahead professionally — and the industry tells us this need will continue to grow.
We look forward to meeting you!
Matthew Cummings teaches IMC 610, the WVU IMC graduate program’s introductory course.