New Media students working at the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization center
New Media students working at the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization center

Multiuser touch interface built by the ASAP labLearn cutting-edge skills

The New Media major teaches skills that creative people need to succeed in the 21st century.

The Internet, social software, hand-held and wearable devices, touch and gestural interfaces, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality offer unprecedented opportunities to create useful, delightful, and engaging experiences. In this major, you’ll get deep and far-ranging skills along with a broad understanding of the social and economic impact of cutting-edge technologies.

Get employers’ attention

Employers of New Media alumni
Employers of New Media alumni

New Media graduates work in globally recognized organizations from Apple to Amazon, from Facebook to the BBC, from Wikipedia to The New York Times. They’ve also started or joined start-ups and non-profits in graphic design, film, education, and healthcare. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported the 2018 median salary of a new media design professional to be $72,500 and a new media programmer $84,300. Further, the US new media job market is expected to grow 4% annually through 2028, ensuring strong future workforce prospects. And with consumer demand for video games, movies, special effects, and 3-D animation growing steadily, jobs in related industries are being created faster than there are practitioners available to fill them.

 

Go wide and deep

Cinema Switch, a New Media student capstone
Cinema Switch, a New Media student capstone

Some programs train you for a single job as a graphic designer, or a computer programmer, or an animator or filmmaker. But today’s younger workers typically change jobs four times in their first decade out of college, and are increasingly expected to have a diverse range of abilities. In New Media, you’ll learn a variety of skills to help you manage the complexities of today’s digital projects, from designing a logo to coding a website to filming and editing a video. Yet the New Media curriculum will also dive you deeply into one or two subjects of your choosing. The result is what employers call a “T-shaped” person: someone with mastery of one specialty as well as a broad array of related skills A few of the concentrations our students pursue are:

 

  • Human-computer interaction

Computers and the Internet have become a primary means of home and workplace communication, and to be appealing and functional those interfaces need a good designer. This concentration blends strengths from computing, psychology, and design to serve an increased need for software and devices that are intuitive, usable, and desirable, with a focus on humans as individuals and in social contexts, and their behavior with technology.

  • Digital storytelling
New Media student web design
New Media student web design

In a world of information overload, companies and causes need creative ways for their signals to stand out from the noise. At the same time, today’s storytellers are increasingly turning to new formats like video games, social media, and virtual reality. This focus combines technical skills in animation, video, and programming with a nuanced understanding of what makes a compelling story to help creators get their message out to today’s media-savvy audiences.

  • Web and mobile computing

Graduates who can make websites and mobile apps are in high demand. This concentration integrates back-end code with front-end user experience, producing web designers who can code and phone or tablet programmers who can make an app that’s powerful but fun to use.

 

 

Learn to code–and like it

Today’s companies seek employees who understand and write code. New Media approaches computer programming in a fun and creative way via visual and physical computing, augmented reality, and mobile apps, but also shows how graphic designers, musicians, and other artistically inclined people can learn coding to increase their chances of getting a job in their favorite creative field.

New Media students and faculty in an active learning classroom
New Media students and faculty in an active learning classroom

Collaborate on complex projects

THATcamp at Digital Humanities Week, University of Maine

As a high school student, you probably did most of your homework alone. In real life, however, most work is part of a team, whether you meet in person or coordinate your collaboration over the Internet. In New Media, we give you the skills to manage complex long-term projects as well as techniques for making everyone accountable–so you don’t end up holding the bag.

Change the world (at least one corner of it)

This major combines people and technology to bring out the best in both. As a New Media designer, you will be ready to become one of the innovative thinkers, designers, and creators of the next generation to tackle real-world problems, so your assignments in this program will often require working with actual communities on actual problems.

Learn by making

Physical computing classYou’ll be building projects from your very first New Media course, and you’ll get critiques from professors and classmates from aesthetic, technical, and social perspectives. Your first year as a New Media Major gives you a broad foundation that exposes you to key themes in the history and theory of creative technologies, from digital design and video production to coding and user experience. During your second and third years you’ll cultivate breadth and depth in a concentration of your choosing while getting your hands dirty with projects that build community collaboration and development.

A year-long senior capstone completes your BA. You will conceive, design, produce, and launch a complex and innovative project in areas such as experimental video and animation, mobile and wearable apps, community-based storytelling, and interactive games and installations.