Technical Communication Major, B.S.
With Technical Communication specialists playing important roles in the constantly evolving world of technology, it’s no surprise that diverse career opportunities in the field of Technical Communication are booming.
MSU Denver’s Technical Communication bachelor’s degree program provides a solid foundation in the theory, concepts and hands-on techniques as well as training in the software and equipment needed for a successful career. As a Technical Communication major, you’ll understand the ethics, legal and technology components necessary for employment in this dynamic sector.
You can choose from four areas of concentration or an extended major, which includes more credit hours but does not require you to earn a minor.
The Interactive Media Production Concentration includes coursework in the writing, editing, design, programming and production of interactive media projects such as websites and apps, as well as hands-on, professional practice and experience with computer hardware and software.
The Mobile and Social Media Concentration focuses on social media environments and platforms that are strategically designed to foster communication and sustained community engagement.
The Technical Writing and Editing Concentration teaches the theory and production practices of technical writing and editing used by industry and government for the production of technical reports, proposals and manuals.
The Video Production Concentration will give you the theoretical and practical experience required to design, write, edit and produce video productions for use in industry, government, the documentary field and other sectors.
Gain on-the-job experience through internships and valuable career insight from MSU Denver Technical Communication faculty, who use their extensive experience as corporate or independent mobile/social media and web designers and video producers to give you an understanding of real-world career paths.
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
As a Technical Communication major at MSU Denver, you’ll have numerous opportunities to gain invaluable hands-on experience in your concentration area. For instance, you can earn up to 12 credit hours completing an advanced internship at businesses such as:
- KDVR/KWGN TV
- High Noon Entertainment
- Denver Post TV
- Colorado Preservation Inc.
- Open Media Foundation
- Altitude Sports and Entertainment
- History Colorado
- Denver Public Schools TV
- Module Overload Studio
- Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network
- Mainstream Films, LLC
In addition, the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication has two paid positions available to students who qualify for work-study funds. Student lab technicians schedule and maintain the video, audio and lighting equipment. They also assist students in the Technical Communication video editing lab. The student media producer assists faculty in preparing and enhancing course materials and/or conference presentation materials.
The department houses Teaching with Primary Sources, a Library of Congress-funded program that promotes the use of primary sources by K-12 educators. As a Technical Communication student, you may have the opportunity to serve an internship with this long-running, highly regarded program.
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook, the median salary for a technical writer in 2016 was $69,850. Film and video editors and camera operators had a median salary of $59,040. Interactive media specialists (also referred to as multimedia artists) had a median salary of $65,300.
Among the types of businesses and industries where a graduate of MSU Denver’s Technical Communication program may find employment are:
- Advertising agencies
- Corporate research laboratories
- Telecommunications companies
- Television stations
- Web design companies
Associate Professor Lisa Ortiz specializes in contemporary media literacy, visual communication and graphic design, responsive website design and motion graphic animation. Prior to teaching, she was a creative director for media companies such as Athletic Motion, MediaOne and America Online.
Associate Professor Chris Jennings (MSU Denver ’96) led the development of an online learning institute for the Library of Congress before coming to MSU Denver. His background also includes experience in digital media production and instructional design at Merrill Lynch, Corporate Express and WestNet Learning. Recently, Jennings has been working with MSU Denver's sister university, Yunnan Open University in Kunming, China on interactive media production and distance education. Among his research interests are virtual reality, augmented reality, improving UX testing through eye tracking and brain wave activity technologies.
Alumni at Work
Graduates of MSU Denver’s Technical Communication degree program have been employed by:
- Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries
- Swedish Medical Center
- Lockheed Martin
- FOX KDVR-Channel 31
- National Center for Atmospheric Research
- Altitude Sports and Entertainment Network
- Rocky Mountain PBS
- High Noon Entertainment
- Dish TV Network
- Level 3 Communications
Technical Communication graduates have been accepted for post-graduate study at:
- University of Colorado
- University of Denver
- University of Nevada – Las Vegas
- Texas State University
- University of Wisconsin
- University of Dublin
Here are some classes you might take as a Technical Communication major:
Interactive Media Production Concentration:
Advanced Interactive Production
Mobile and Social Media Concentration:
Making Media Social
Video Production Concentration:
Directing and Lighting for Video
Advanced Video Editing
Technical Writing and Editing Concentration:
Technical Writing for Translation
Mobile and Social Media Communication
Facilities and Resources
The Technical Communication program has state-of-the-art production facilities including:
- Video editing labs using Adobe Premier Pro and other Creative Cloud software
- HD and 4K video cameras from small, hand-held models to sophisticated Sony and Canon bodies with interchangeable lenses
- Wireless microphones, boom poles and field audio mixers
- Photo Mechanic editing software
- Eye-tracking technology software
- Audio recording booth
- Drones used to capture video
MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus, near downtown Denver, close to many technology and media companies where you can pursue internships and jobs.