Graphic of people walking around large screens like cellphones with apps - depicting an immersive experience of technology
Photo by: elenabs/iStock

USC Annenberg launches new online master’s program in digital media management

The acceleration of worldwide mobile internet access has made digital media indispensable to commerce, culture and human connection. Digital media platforms and content are driving growth across industries, with sectors such as streaming video, music, games and online publishing experiencing an unprecedented increase in global revenues, which are expected to grow to $414.2 billion by 2025. ​

To meet this demand, USC Annenberg has launched an online Master of Science in Digital Media Management (MSDMM) program, which prepares managers to better understand this evolving media landscape while making data-driven, ethical decisions and building a more equitable future through diverse teams.

The MSDMM program is designed to advance the entrepreneurial mindset and leadership skills of media professionals who manage teams with the artistic, analytical and technical production skills needed to create engaging content and technologies.

Applications for admission are now being accepted for the Fall 2021 semester here. Students may earn their master’s degree on a one-year or two-year track, with courses and admission entry points offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. 

“In a time of transformation and disruption, this program fits USC Annenberg's mission to not only cultivate leaders in media, but to also create a lasting, positive impact on the industry and our global community,” USC Annenberg Dean Willow Bay said. “We are not only empowering students to envision and deploy the digital media products of the future, we are preparing them to foster the kind of collaboration between culturally diverse and geographically dispersed teams that is essential to achieving success.”

By analyzing how organizations use digital platforms to aggregate and empower users, students will explore how to support diverse perspectives in storytelling and content creation, delivering a user experience that balances organizational needs with the ethical imperatives to foster inclusivity, equity and access. In addition, students will use real-world case studies as a springboard to ideate, create and evaluate the cutting-edge techniques, data collection methodologies and creative guidelines that can be used to implement long-range strategies for ethical media management.

MSDMM students will also learn to strategically manage by recruiting and onboarding an optimal mix of talent, promoting antiracist and nondiscriminatory policies, and cultivating a work environment where each person thrives. 

“We recognize that meeting the demands of diverse markets starts with managers who can effectively advance an inclusive and equitable culture within their own organizations,” said Hector Amaya, director of the School of Communication. “That is why we integrated diversity, inclusion, equity and access principles into all aspects of our new curriculum.”

The MSDMM program was designed by USC Annenberg faculty experts with input from industry executives on USC Annenberg’s Board of Councilors and Alumni Advisory Board. Moving forward, the program will benefit from an advisory board of top marketing, digital media and communications leaders who will provide ongoing guidance to ensure the program’s learning outcomes remain at the leading edge of the field.

“We’ve had incredible demand for a program like this,” said Clinical Professor of Communication Daniela Baroffio, who directs the MSDMM program. “We’ve developed this innovative program to equip students with a holistic understanding of digital media culture and business practices as well as a critically oriented foundation in the intersecting relationships between digital media practices, consumer culture and society.” 

The MSDMM program’s format, developed in partnership with USC Online, accelerates the master’s pathway for experienced professionals through a streamlined 24-unit curriculum composed of twelve 2-unit courses — maximizing content breadth within a one-year timeframe.

“USC Annenberg is building on a decade of experience delivering online master’s degrees that propel working professionals to new career heights,” said Neil Teixeira, director of online learning. “Our commitment to flexible lifelong learning has produced a network of over 700 online master’s alumni at hundreds of companies across the globe, further reinforcing that USC Annenberg is the ideal place for communication and media professionals to fulfill their academic dreams.” 

USC Annenberg offers 14 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. With 200 faculty members teaching 2,300 students, and an alumni network of more than 19,000 members, USC Annenberg was recently ranked the top U.S. institution for communication and media studies by QS World University Rankings. More information on the MSDMM program can be found here.