Media Psychologist

Improvements in media technology are revolutionizing the way people communicate with each other and receive information. This technology includes smart phones, computers, mobile devices, and GPS systems. Computer and mobile communciation devices are now found in most homes and businesses throughout the world. The Internet can be accessed from handheld mobile devices anywhere, anytime, day or night.

Perhaps the most important media used by individuals and organizations to relay information and communicate ideas is the Internet. As a result, most companies heavily rely on Internet marketing to advertise their products and services. The most important media device used to provide Internet is the smart phone or handheld mobile device.

Media psychology is a new and emerging field of psychology. Unfortunately, it's so new that there is no universal consensus among practitioners and those in academia as to a precise definition or scope of media psychology. In fact, it only recently has become an "official" academic discipline. However, most interested parties would agree that media psychology combines an understanding of new and emerging media technologies with an understanding of human behavior, cognition and emotions in attempt to describe, explain and predict the impact, responses, perceptions, interactions and outcomes that media and related technologies produce in individuals, groups and societies.

The rapid growth and evolution of media communication technologies has created more career opportunities for media psychologists than every before. Companies that refuse to utilize the Internet, especially social networking websites, put themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. Media psychologists consult with companies to help them better utilize communication technologies, including the Internet, social media, and digital mobile technologies, to market products, reach new customers and manage their brands.

The skills of media psychologists can be utilized in various industries, including education, government, and healthcare. For example, government agencies used research conducted by media psychologists for public awareness campaigns, to sway public opnion and to support political objectives.

Companies that distribute educational materials online rely heavily on media psychologists since these companies must develop materials that will better facilitate learning. Online universities also consult with media psychologists when developing online courses.

Businesses also rely on media psychologists when developing online training programs for employees. Web development and internet marketing companies utilize media psychologists when developing new sites or other marketing products.

The growing popularity and importance of social networking has created a variety new research opportunities for media psychologists since many organizations use social networking for product marketing, brank management and other business purposes.

Companies that rely the services of media psychologists include advertising and marketing firms and broadcast companies. Professionals in the entertainment business, such as movie producers or professional writers, also work closely with media psychologists. Media psychologies consult and help movie producers and writers avoid stereotypes and inaccuracies when creating their artistic productions for distribution through emerging media networks.

How to Become a Media Psychologist
Media psychology is in a sense a multi-disciplinary field of study, which requires an indepth understanding of both psychology and emerging media technology. Individuals interested in launching a career in media psychology need to have a well-grounded education in both psychology and media technology.

A traditional path to becoming a media psychologist usually starts with a bachelor's degree in psychology or communications. However, some colleges now offer bachelor degrees in media psychology. Which ever path you choose, it will be important that you take courses that are directly relevant to the career you wish to pursue. Courses in behavioral science, social psychology, general psychology, and development psychology, complimented with coursework in digital media, mobile media, social media, communications and emerging technologies will prepare you for various career possibilities within the field of media psychology.

While earning a bachelor's degree is sufficient preparation for many entry-level career positions, earning a master's or doctorate degree in a relevant discipline, such as psychology, will greatly enhance current and future employment and career advancement opportunities.

Where do Media Psychologists Work?
Career opportunities for media psychologists are vast and varied. But typically, media psychologists find employment opportunities just about anywhere where media is prevalent.

One of the more common industries where media psychologists are employed is broadcasting. Broadcasting companies, including television stations, radio stations, and movies studios, hire and employ a large number of media psychologies. Marketing and advertising firms also employ media psychologists.

Media psychologists work in education at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Media psychologists work with public school systems, colleges and universities helping to develop marketing and advertising campaigns, educational materials and learning software. They're also found working in hospitals, corporations, government and any other organization that needs to produce effective media campaigns and marketing materials.

Media psychologists with a Phd, EdD or PsyD can find employment opportunities in research at universities, with government agencies, and with other research organizations.

Media psychologists are well qualified to pursue careers in market research analysis, public relations, teaching and consulting.

How Much do Media Psychologist Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2012, the median salary for psychologists was $69,280. However, media psychology is a unique career offering a large diversity of employment opportunities, responsibilities, job descriptions and positions. A media psychologist with a bachelor's degree can expect to make anywhere between $50,000 and $80,000 a year. Those with a PhD or doctorate degree will earn slightly higher than these figures.

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