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Why WVU Marketing Communications?

Why WVU Marketing Communications?

There are many highly talented and skilled people in the marketing communications industry. The fully online master’s degrees in Data, Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications sets your ideal career in motion. Hear from our students why they chose to grow their career with a master’s degree, online.

Data Marketing Communications

Ryan Alexander

Ryan Alexander
Graduate Assistant

In STCM 421, I was introduced to data analytics by my professor Dr. Fraustino. I was amazed by what all could be done with data especially in the world of media. I finally understood why I was receiving certain Instagram advertisements that always felt so personalized to me, and I loved it! I began to learn more and more about data analytics and wanted to be a part of this growing industry. In the spring of 2020, I was deciding if I wanted to continue my education or go into the workforce and I was presented the opportunity of working for EcoCAR. This gave me the opportunity to stay at WVU and enroll in the Data Marketing Communications program. Through this program I expected to gain a better understanding of data analytics and how to use this information effectively for communication purposes. Perhaps collecting data on a consumer base to creating a new marketing campaign for them. This is just one small example of what I expect to learn through this program. What is most important is learning data visualization, so I can let other people within a company understand what the numbers mean and what to do next. I’ve always been a person to go off the beaten path. Many of my peers form my hometown when into the same trades or degrees. I wanted to do something that I found passion in, and for me that was media. That passion has now evolved to include data. This is a growing field that shows no signs of slowing down, and I want to be a part of this movement. Data can be used in any industry, so the job opportunities are endless.

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith
Digital Strategy Lead, General Motors

I selected this program because I felt as if I was at a point in my career where I was getting comfortable. There wasn’t any room to grow in my current position because I have a traditional communications background, and I lack the digital and analytical education needed to move into the marketing organization. I was intrigued by WVU's “learn it today, apply it tomorrow” curriculum approach, and I applied because I believed the courses outlined would shape me into a more 
well-rounded marketing professional with experience beyond just social media. I’ve already been able to apply my learnings when working with our marketing team, and I’m hopeful that after I graduate, I could make the career switch. It’s taken courage to step out of my comfort zone, but I’m confident that this program will continue giving me the skills and confidence I need.

Digital Marketing Communications

Maxwell Shavers

Maxwell Shavers
Graduate Assistant

I selected this graduate program because so much of what I do involves communicating with clients and organizations digitally. My photography most times lands on a web page or Instagram. My video work needs to accurately display a client's mission or values. We live in a digital world and my desired career path revolves around just that I also need to learn the reasoning behind why certain messages are sent to various groups the way that they are. That requires research, and with the wealth of information that digital media collects, it can be hard to know where to start. My own personal brand needs revamped as well, and the courses that I have taken thus far are already paying off in the way that I am able to utilize what I've learned in my own success.

Stephen Mackey

Stephen Mackey
Chief Creative Officer, W2 Communications

I looked at a number of online graduate programs, and selected WVU for the following reasons: 1) I felt the curriculum had the most appropriate combination of skills and certifications I could use to immediately make a difference in my professional career. 2) The qualifications and real-world successes of the professors is fantastic. 3) The accelerated pace of the program, while challenging was important given my numerous commitments to family, my professional career and my "side hustle" farm brewery & winery. In other words, I knew I could survive having a full-time executive position while running an agritourism business through harvest once but wasn't sure about doing it twice! 4) The tuition was very competitive, not the cheapest, yet still attractive. Overall, I felt while evaluating WVU's program against about half a dozen others, that I would not only enjoy the structure of learning with a cohort of others, but that I could literally implement my new knowledge the following day in my client obligations. This has proven to be the most valuable part of the experience; in that I have utilized numerous techniques gained during class to win new business as well as gain more valuable results in clients' digital marketing campaigns.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Micah Beachy

Micah Beachy
Digital Marketing Manager, Orange Fish Marketing

My short answer is familiarity and the ability to customize my educational experience. I received my bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and though it was in a separate college, I had heard wonderful things about the Reed College of Media. I had also been exposed to online classes during my undergraduate education when I was obtaining my minor in strategic social media. I enjoyed the layout of the courses. The familiarity and environment of the WVU IMC program were appealing to me. The deciding factor that conclusively led me to select the WVU IMC program was being able to customize my educational experience with an area of emphasis in digital and social media marketing. Marketing is ever evolving and there are so many different aspects to it; while I do find the many different branches of marketing interesting, not all of them align with my long-term career goals or skillset. Being able to have the choice to focus on an area that I knew I wanted to pursue professionally led me to enroll in the program. I feel that being able to add a specialization to my educational experience gives me a professional advantage and distinguishes me amongst other marketing professionals that are more generalized.

Rachel West

Rachel West
Associate Director of Admission, Agnes Scott College

Throughout my career thus far, I’ve been able to practice and learn within my interests in marketing and communications through experience. However, while I have had that experience, I did not particularly use data-driven methods or best-practices in the fields because I simply did not have that information. That is primarily why I am interested in West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s program. I believe that through the IMC program, I can learn how to best utilize different communications channels, as well as how to integrate channels together to guide the customer or consumer to certain products or goals. I considered several different marketing and communications programs, but the IMC program had advantages across the board. It was important to me that my program help me reach my goals specifically in the field of higher education, which the higher education specialization provides. It’s also important to me, as someone whose career has had a strong focus on privileging the voices of minorities and underrepresented groups that whatever program I attended had a strong focus on how we create sensitive and inclusive marketing campaigns and offices, which WVU seemed to meet exceptionally well through both courses and faculty. The most important point that I wanted from my graduate program, however, was a focus on data-driven decision making. In the admissions space in higher education, we encounter and use and lot of data; when I helped design our office’s new CRM system, the entire point was for us to better track data on students and strategize on how we can use that data to better recruit and serve the students that would be interested in our institution. While we have some of that information for our marketing programs (click-through rates, A/B testing, and funnel management, to name a few), we don’t have the same level of data available that would allow us to make decisions well. I want to make sure that as I help students both who are interested in Agnes Scott and as I move into the higher education space in general, I am able to do appropriate research and analysis to make the best decisions for my target audience.


Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!

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