5 of the Coolest Degree Programs Offered by Columbia College

Columbia College offers students a lively, engaging campus atmosphere and a great location near the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, but that’s not all. This unique university also offers undergraduates several interesting, modern degree options that can lead to awesome jobs. Could one of these unique degree programs be the perfect fit for you?

1. Social Media and Digital Strategy

If you’re a budding social media expert, why not earn a degree in it? Columbia’s social media and digital strategy degree gives you a thorough grounding in creating online content that resonates with viewers, collecting and analyzing data, and building effective PR and marketing strategies. Students in this degree program synthesize information from courses in business, communications, and the arts. Austin search engine marketing firm, Moonraker Marketing, says that nailing social media strategy is critical to the future of businesses large and small, so there will be many career opportunities for students who complete this program including:

  • Public relations positions
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Journalism
If you're a pro at getting "likes", then a career is social media marketing could be for you!

If you’re a pro at getting “likes”, then a career is social media marketing could be for you!

2. Live and Performing Arts Management

Columbia’s degree in live and performing arts management is part of its school of business and entrepreneurship. Students in this program learn how to plan and execute live events, such as concerts, plays, and other types of entertainment. If you love working with people, organizing events, and making your vision become a reality, this major might be ideal for you. After completing this degree program, a few fields where you’ll be able to find work include:

3. International Arts Management

If you have a mind for business and a passion for the arts, a BA in international arts management might be right up your alley. This degree program will give you a good understanding of the business of arts management worldwide. You’ll learn about the intersection of art and business across different cultures, economies, and political landscapes. You’ll also have opportunities to study abroad! After earning this degree, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of fields relating to business or the arts anywhere in the world. Who knows, maybe you could be next director at the New York Met or the president of Chicago‚Äôs own Field Museum.

4. Sports Management

Love sports? A degree in sports management from Columbia gives you the opportunity to turn your passion into a career. When you study sports management, you’ll learn about all the behind-the-scenes details of how the sports industry runs, from talent recruitment to funding and marketing. After you earn this degree, a few of your employment options include:

  • Coaching at the high school, college, or professional level
  • Scouting for talent
  • Marketing
  • Sports broadcasting
The players might steal the show, but professional sports teams require behind-the-scenes experts to keep things running.

The players might steal the show, but professional sports teams require behind-the-scenes experts to keep things running.

5. Television Executive Producing and Entrepreneurship

If you enjoy working with television and digital media, this could be the perfect major for you. As you complete a degree program in television executive producing and entrepreneurship, you’ll study the creative, technical, and business aspects of digital media. After finishing the program, you’ll have a strong background for working in the television industry. You’ll also be equipped to work as an entrepreneur or a freelancer.

These are just a handful of the interesting and cutting-edge majors that Columbia College Chicago offers. Find out more about what this school offers by taking a campus tour or browsing the online catalog!

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From Oratory to Online Media: The Evolution of Columbia College Chicago

Since its founding in 1890, the Columbia College Chicago has always been interested in helping young people express themselves. Today, this fine liberal arts college has many programs for students interested in the performing arts, media studies, writing, and even entrepreneurship. However, this college didn’t start out that way. In this article, we will take a brief look at how Columbia College Chicago went from a small proprietary business for orators to the highly successful non-profit liberal arts college it is today.

A School Founded on Oratory

Of course, back in 1890 people didn’t have the communications technologies we currently enjoy. Instead, the main forum for public discourse was good old-fashioned public speaking. Columbia College Chicago was first designed to train a new generation of professional orators. The founders and first presidents of this school were Mary A. Blood and Ida Morey Riley. Both of these strong women were trained in public speaking at the Monroe Conservatory of Oratory in Boston, MA (modern day Emerson College). Blood and Riley created the Columbia School of Oratory in 1890 to train public speakers in the area specifically for Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. This fair was set to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the “New World.”

Columbia College was founded as Columbia School of Oratory, a school intended to create great orators.

Columbia College was founded as Columbia School of Oratory, a school intended to create great orators.

Leadership After Blood and Riley

As the years went on, Blood and Riley added a few courses in teaching, and they changed the school’s name to the Columbia College of Expression. The school also became incorporated into the state of Illinois in 1904. In 1924, George L. Scherger, a former member of the Board of Directors, took over the position of president after both Blood and Riley passed away. Scherger’s major achievement was to help expand the college’s education department. Scherger was eventually succeeded by Bertha Hofer Hegner, a leader in kindergarten education, in 1929. Hegner led the college into the radio age by hiring experts from around the nation involved in radio broadcasting. During the 1940s, this college officially became a not-for-profit organization, and was formally recognized as Columbia College.

1950s Media Expansion

It wasn’t until the 1950s that Columbia College Chicago expanded its coursework in a major way. To meet the demands of the new media landscape, Columbia College began offering coursework in TV, marketing, and journalism. At this time, Norman Alexandroff, a former consultant on radio technology, became the president of the college. Alexandroff expanded Columbia College’s influence by founding sister schools in Mexico City and Los Angeles. Despite these efforts, and despite the new programs of study, Columbia College did rather poorly throughout the late 50s and 60s.

The introduction of a radio broadcasting program was a total game changer Columbia College's future.

The introduction of a radio broadcasting program was a total game changer Columbia College’s future.

Social Action: “Hands On Minds On”

Mirron Alexandroff took over for his father as president in 1961. Mirron was Columbia College’s most ambitious leader. He supported the idea of “hands on minds on” progressive liberal arts education, and worked to get the most experienced men and women in the media industry to teach practical skills at the college. He also made it easier for thousands of high school graduates to attend some of Columbia College’s great seminars. Throughout Mirron’s long tenure, which lasted until 1992, the student population grew to around 6,000, the college gained accreditation for all-of its graduate programs, and Columbia College gained enough funds to purchase a brand-new building on South Michigan Avenue.

Columbia College Chicago Today

This college has done nothing but expand since Mirron Alexandroff’s term. Columbia College Chicago recently made connections with University of East London and Dublin Institute of Technology to bring its media programs into the globalized age. Members of the Columbia College Chicago staff have won Emmys, Guggenheims, and even Oscars in their respective fields. Whatever way students feel comfortable expressing themselves, they are sure to pick up the skills they need in one of Columbia College Chicago’s programs.


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