New legislation aims to help entertainment media students in MassachusettsDigital media is a multi-billion-dollar industry that includes movies and video games. More colleges, particularly online schools, are offering programs that address this the need for more professions in this field.

The video game industry alone is bringing in nearly $50 billion per year, and some experts expect it to be worth more than $90 billion by 2014, the MetroWest Daily News reports.Furthermore, legislators in Massachusetts are currently drafting plans that aim to support video game and interactive digital media development within the state.

Officials from Becker College, which is located in Massachusetts, are working closely with legislators on a plan that will allow companies to hire short-term workers. Moreover, they also attempting to spot economic development zones where video game companies could form. Furthermore, they suggest that grants could be made available for eligible video game design students.

Full Sail University unveil online video and writing degree programs

Some online schools, such a Full Sail University, are debuting new courses that are designed to help students graduate and enter the workforce faster. For instance, the college recently announced the launch of its digital cinematography bachelors degree program.

College officials said that the 32-month online degree program provides students with a focused knowledge and understanding of the field. They added that graduates of the curriculum will obtain the skills that are necessary to gain entry into the digital-video and filmmaking fields.

The school's new program "immerses students in the emerging field of digital cinematography and storytelling through various visual mediums,” said Rick Ramsey, director of visual arts at the school. “We are providing students with the ability to be dynamic visual authors by merging communication and connectivity with technology and creativity.”

Officials added that this online degree program offers a solid artistic and technical foundation to digital video artists who are also interested in becoming entrepreneurs. These classes enable students to shoot and edit films, commercials, documentaries and webcasts. Furthermore, graduates receive the tools required to start their own production company or to join the workforce as editors, digital cinematographers and independent producers.

The college has also launched an online creative writing for entertainment bachelors degree program, which is designed to be completed over the course of 32-months. Courses are geared toward helping students to perfect their story writing abilities.

Officials noted that the program addresses topics such as visual storytelling, narrative structures, character development, scriptwriting and storyboarding elements. Graduates will have the credentials that are required to creatively write for video games, movies, television shows, websites and mobile devices.

They added that students will learn the importance of a well-crafted story as well as the ability to utilize a wide variety of digital tools that are necessary for success in creative writing. A 2008 report from The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that graduates can earn yearly average salaries of $53,070. Meanwhile, job opportunities for authors and writers are expected to increase by 15 percent over the next eight years.

Full Sail University unveils new degree in media journalism

The online school has also begun to offer a new web-based media journalism masters degree program which can be completed in 12 months. The curriculum combines concepts of traditional journalism with the new opportunities that will become available due to technological advances in the field.

“There is clearly a need in the industry for professionals who understand how to communicate an idea or story through many different outlets,” said Pat Bishop, director of business schools at the university." The courses in the new media journalism are designed to help students understand how to create content that is geared toward those outlets, and prepare them to be current with the new media tools available today."

Officials said that students will explore the advanced reporting skills that are required in the digital era, and learn how to dispatch and distribute news for new media audiences. 

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