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Q&A with Ciera Noe on the New Strategic and Digital Communication Master’s Concentration

In a few months, Ciera Noe will earn her second degree from CCI as she completes the Master of Science in Communication and Information program with a concentration in Strategic and Digital Communication.

The second one will definitely be a first. 

Noe completed her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Electronic Media in 2020 and is on track to being the first graduate of CCI’s new Strategic and Digital Communication (SDC) program this summer. She does not have finalized career plans, but she found a strength in copy edited during her undergraduate studies and the SDC coursework sparked an interest in social media marketing. 

The SDC program began in Fall 2020 and is a 30-hour master’s concentration with courses offered by the four schools of CCI that focus on communication strategies and the digital marketplace. 

What led you to choose the new online masters program? 

“I came across the Strategic and Digital Communication program only a few days before the school year started, but I was already enrolled in another master’s program. However, when I read through all of the courses in the SDC program, I realized that it is such a versatile program. I was unable to branch out of the journalism field during my last two years of undergrad to explore other communications fields, but the SDC program offers a mixture of journalism, marketing and information science. I was really excited that if I enrolled in this program that I could still study journalism, but also learn about other areas too. 

“Plus, the ability to work from my home in Chattanooga was a bonus for me, even though I do miss being on campus with all of my classmates and professors. I changed my program literally days before the semester started, but it was the best decision for me.

How do you think it has prepared you for the workforce? 

“This program definitely emphasizes group work more than I experienced during my undergrad years. Through these group projects, I have learned so much more about working with different kinds of people. Sometimes, I might get partnered with someone who does not have the same work ethic as me, so then we both have to figure out how to efficiently work together to get our project completed. This is a major thing to keep in mind when working with coworkers. Also, the fact that this program offers a variety of different courses has helped me explore my interests, and now I feel more confident about having multiple doors to open in the future.”

Who would this program be perfect for? 

“I think the SDC program is perfect for students who are interested in any of the communications fields, regardless of how much background experience they may have in these fields. Some of the courses are introductions into whatever communications field you are interested in. These courses are really beneficial because they show students the foundations for these fields, such as journalism or information science. This program is especially perfect for people like me who cannot settle for just one area of expertise and who want to learn about multiple fields.”

What do you plan to do after graduation? 

“I don’t have any concrete plans for after graduation, but I am always on the lookout for copy editor jobs and even social media marketing positions. I worked as the Managing Editor for the Tennessee Journalist (TNJN) during my last undergrad year, and that really made me appreciate editing print. I would really like to be an editor for the CityScope magazine here in Chattanooga! Additionally, the SDC program has revealed my interest in social media marketing, so that will be fun to explore too. Whatever job I end up getting, I’m sure it will be great, and I will have the practical experience, knowledge and the work ethic this program has reinforced in me to help me succeed.”