The fastest growing job sector in Southern California is in the digital media field, according to a 2015 Los Angeles Economic Development report that studied future employer hiring needs. There are over 200,000 professionals working in a field that is growing rapidly – from 7 to 14 percent annually.
A new bachelor’s degree program in Digital Media and Communication launching at Azusa Pacific University on the Murrieta campus is geared to meet that employer demand.
“I’ve worked in the digital media field for 20 years, for the USA Today network, the Oakland Tribune/ANG newsgroup, and The San Francisco Examiner and had difficulty during campus recruiting hiring digital media graduates,” said Pamela Fisher. “I became a professor of practice to train the kind of graduates digital publishing needs.” Fisher was appointed new regional director for the program in June and moved to Temecula in August. “I’ve hired designers, writers, editors, photographers and videographers for major digital media corporations since beginning my career in Silicon Valley in 1996 and seen the demand for trained professionals increase steadily.”
Fisher joined Azusa Pacific University from the USA Today Network in 2016, relocating from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is married to a Methodist pastor, Terry, and has two adult children in college; Alyssa is completing a PhD in communication and Alexander is finishing his thesis in game studies and pop culture. Alyssa is a graduate of Gordon College, communication, and the University of Oregon, arts management, while Alexander is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati in Asian Studies. Her husband Terry is a Fuller Seminary graduate, former pastor at the Menlo Church near Stanford and senior pastor of several mid-size Ohio and Michigan congregations of 300-500.
“I’ve watched my own daughter build a career in digital media for a social media software company in her twenties and seen the ways in which an innovative communication degree reaps rapid financial rewards,” said Fisher. The Los Angeles Economic Development study found the average digital media professional earns nearly double the region’s average salary of $59,890, earning an average of $116, 820.
The degree is designed for creative communicators drawn to social media storytelling and creating content in fresh ways. Rapid innovation in digital media presents many new career opportunities, from social media managers to digital newsroom jobs. Fisher says that students will study how to create editorial content for clients, publishers, nonprofit organizations or agencies, digital storytelling skillsets across media platforms: streaming, social media, websites and print for client branding or online news.
The program also develops interpersonal and conflict resolution skillsets such as: personal presentation skills in group settings such as client presentations and meetings, negotiation skills with clients, stakeholders, editors. Students will be trained to work as a social media manager, a nonprofit organization communication manager, an audience engagement specialist or
a digital newsroom writer, editor or web content creator.
A major metro newspaper and magazine editor since 1996, Fisher served a decade in San Francisco as an arts and culture editor and theater critic at the San Francisco Examiner and Oakland Tribune/ANG newsgroup and most recently worked as a storytelling coach on long-form digital stories for the USA Today network of Southwest Florida and previously as Arts Editor overseeing an editorial team of 14 editors, critics and reporters for the Cincinnati Enquirer. As editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper, she ran a newsroom of 25 editors and writers, a record setting 1 million monthly view website and award-winning editorial team. She also worked for the nation’s largest Christian publisher as senior editor at HarperCollins Faith, where she was an innovation team leader.
“I’ve loved getting acclimated to bringing my faith into education this first year on main campus at Azusa Pacific University,” said Fisher. “The Murrieta-Temecula region has such a rich array of churches and faith leaders – our family has visited five in our first four weeks here – and I’m looking forward to getting connected.”
The degree completion program requires just 15 units to transfer into and will launch in 2019 at both the Murrieta campus and Inland Empire campus of Azusa Pacific University.
For more information on the Digital Media and Communication program launching at Azusa Pacific University in 2019 visit: https://www.apu.edu/clas/programs/digital-media-bachelors-completion or call the Murrieta campus program representative at (951)304-3400 or the Inland Empire regional campus program representative at (909)888-9977.