How to get certified in digital media

One of my former colleagues from my time at The News & Observer recently sent me an email. Here’s an excerpt:

I am woefully uninformed when it comes to digital journalism, and I’ve finally decided to try to do something about it. I’ve been putting out print newspapers for 20 years now, but at some point the profession passed me by.

My biggest problem is that I don’t even really know where to begin. It seems like different employers are looking for different things, and I have so little knowledge that I can’t determine where the best place to start would be.

Do you have a suggestion, maybe some basics that I could learn or some areas that I really need to know no matter where I work? Does UNC have a course of study, maybe as continuing education or a certificate program, that would help me?

I was happy to respond: As a matter of fact, we do, and I am the program’s director.

The Certificate in Technology and Communication is aimed at people working in journalism and public relations who want to brush up on their skills and learn new ones. It consists of three courses, all online. I’ve taught one of them, Writing and Editing for Digital Media. Some certificate students go on to pursue an online master’s degree.

To apply to the certificate program, you need to submit a resume, a college transcript and a short statement of purpose describing what you hope to learn. The GRE is not required. Deadlines are May 1 for fall semester and Oct. 1 for spring semester.

Perhaps we will “see” you in class next semester.