What Is New Media and What Are New Media Careers?

Three friends looking at examples of new media on phones

If you spend a substantial amount of time on your phone or electronic device, you have probably encountered new media. Most online news and social media sites include many types of new media. For example, articles may embed new media such as videos or sound bites from interviews as elements of a story. So, it is safe to say that new media plays an important role in today’s world and modern culture.

You may be wondering what new media is exactly and what a career in new media looks like.

New Media vs. Traditional Media

Traditional media was in existence long before new media came into the picture. Traditional media does not have a digital aspect and is more conventional. For example, you are taking in traditional media when you:

  • Pick up a newspaper
  • Glance at a billboard
  • Hear a segment playing on the radio
  • Grab a flyer from your mailbox

New media, on the other hand, includes any type of digital content, such as:

  • Technology
  • Images
  • Audio
  • Text

Some common examples of new media include online video or music streaming services, email, blogs, social media sites and podcasts.

New media is often found on the internet and has been growing in popularity since its inception. As a recent example, there was growth in digital media during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 This period also showed the impact that new media can have on society. For example, many people were able to connect through social platforms, and some businesses embraced the use of digital marketing tools to reach people during the pandemic. This growth in new media is not expected to stop anytime soon.

New Media Careers

As you explore and learn more about new media, you will gravitate toward your preferred new media channels. Earning a relevant degree can help you determine which career path is right for you. If you keep up with changes in new media, you may be able to establish yourself as an expert in the field. The following are a few examples of positions in new media.

Social Media Professional

Whether a social media manager, specialist or influencer, experts in social media represent a company or brand on social media platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These professionals determine the best content to share with audiences across platforms. They create content, post it and maintain communication with customers. A graduate interested in leveraging new media to support customers across different social media platforms would be a good fit for a career in social media.

Public Relations Specialist

PR specialists help maintain and improve companies’ reputations and public images. They do this by working with members of the media, writing press releases and organizing events. PR professionals are also usually involved in internal communications and may help company leaders write speeches and thought leadership pieces.

Graphic Designer or Digital Designer

If you are a creative thinker and are especially interested in graphics, then design may be the right career path for you. Graphic designers create visual images and may also work with video. They use graphics to tell stories for brands and products. A designer may also create logos for businesses’ social platforms or work with images that are to be posted. 

Graphic designers often work with writers to get the right interplay of visuals and text, whether through print or digital platforms such as email. They may create the look and feel of a website, and they may also work on print materials that support new media campaigns.

A digital designer, such as a web designer, works on developing websites and reaching an audience through digital design elements on the web. This may include animation or other interactive elements. 

Digital Editor

Editors play a crucial role in new media. Much like an editor polishes the language in a book, magazine or newspaper, editors are also necessary for editing content posted online in the form of blogs, websites, emails and the like.

Editors may work with more than just the written word as video editors also work with new media. These professionals analyze and edit footage to create the best possible product that is to be released online. In this age of new media technologies, video can be a powerful tool, and knowing how to use it to tell a story is extremely important.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are professionals who oversee the marketing department of an organization. The exact duties of a marketing manager differ based on where they work. For example, depending on the company, some marketing managers work with both traditional media and new media.

This career may require experience in a related field. Some aspiring marketing managers specialize in a certain area of new media before working their way up to this higher-level position, and others may even go back to school for a master’s degree or doctoral degree to gain new knowledge and increase their eligibility for this kind of position.

Writer or Blogger

If you have a passion for sharing information, you may consider becoming a writer or blogger in new media. Many online platforms or businesses use blogs and other written content on their websites in order to promote or explain their products and services. This form of new media can introduce costumers to certain aspects of a company and new upcoming products. As a writer in the digital world, you will write marketing materials such as email campaigns or social media captions in conjunction with other teams.

New Media Degrees

If any of these new media careers appeal to you, it is important to know where to start. There are many different types of bachelor’s degrees that can provide you with knowledge on new media.

Depending on your interests and what area of new media in which you would like to work, you can choose from a variety of degree programs, including:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Film with an Emphasis in Production: If you are especially drawn to the video and production side of new media, a BA degree in digital film production could be a good fit for you. This program teaches you how to tell a story through film and produce media to connect with your audience.
  • BA in Advertising and Graphic Design: Advertising and graphic design play an important role in new media, especially in a world full of social media posts and digital information. This program teaches students how to think and communicate creatively as well as how to use a plethora of helpful tools and applications.
  • BA in Social Media: If your aspirations revolve around working in social media, it will be helpful to earn a degree that teaches different aspects of successfully using social media. A social media program gives insight on how to use campaigns and communication to successfully reach communities. 
  • BA in Communications: A communications degree can help students in a variety of settings, including new media. In order to become the best communicator possible, it is important to understand and communicate effectively with various people and through different means.
  • BA in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design: For individuals with a passion for design, especially when it comes to websites, a degree in web design can help you develop your understanding of the web and provide you with experience in working on a diverse range of projects. 
  • BA in Professional Writing for New Media: If writing appeals to you, consider the BA in Professional Writing for New Media degree program. Not only does this program help you develop your writing skills, but it also teaches you how to use these skills to create and work with new media.
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Advertising: Another solid option to consider is a marketing and advertising degree. With this degree, you will be equipped to pursue jobs in business and with companies that require knowledge of digital marketing.

By its nature, all media focuses on communicating a message or idea to a wider audience. New media requires you to build communication skills in persuasive writing, digital marketing, public relations or video production.

One of the most important skills in new media is the ability to use digital technology and modern tools to deliver effective messages. Global companies are looking for people who can take what they learned during the course of their new media degrees and apply it to spreading the word about a brand or company.

Are you interested in pursuing a new media degree, such as a BA in Social Media or a BA in Professional Writing for New Media? Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers a variety of degrees online and on campus that will help you reach your educational and career goals. To learn more about the degrees offered by GCU, click the “Request Information” button at the top of your screen.


1Retrieved from Jigsaw, How the Pandemic Has Amplified Growth in Digital Media in July 2022.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.