Communication in today’s world is often focused on digital platforms, making the need for compelling and effective writing and document design more important than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the median annual salary for technical writers was $71,850 in 2018, with a projected growth rate of 11 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.
In response to this need, Penn State Berks is offering a new baccalaureate degree program in Writing and Digital Media. Penn State Berks is the first campus to offer this degree within the Penn State system.
The B.A. in Writing and Digital Media program begins in the fall semester of 2019. The degree provides a solid foundation in clear, effective writing and creating content for contemporary digital platforms such as websites, social media, and blogs, while also teaching technical skills such as web design; graphic, audio, and video production; and podcasting.
At the heart of the program is the robust communication skills that will enable students to write in a variety of professional, technical, and electronic contexts, preparing them for a wide range of careers. Students will also complete a semester-long internship, giving them real-world experience in their intended profession. Employers are seeking tech-savvy graduates who can communicate effectively, and this major helps students to refine that skill set.
With the new major comes a host of new courses focusing on writing technology, including Introduction to Digital Humanities, Multimedia Production, and Writing for the Web. To help support this new digital focus, the program has hired Assistant Professor Caleb Milligan, a recent Ph.D. from the University of Florida and a specialist in digital media.