Professional Writing and Digital Communication

man typing.

Professional Writing and Digital Communication is a flexible program designed to serve students who are interested in pursuing careers in technical, professional, and digital communication and students who see the development of communication skills as advantageous to their professional and educational goals.

In addition to skills-based classes, the department offers a two-course Micro-Credential and a four-course Certificate. Students do not need to be pursuing another graduate degree to pursue these credentials, though in many cases, courses used for these credentials can also be used to satisfy requirement of other degrees at UB.

Our Mission

Our program has two closely aligned missions. The first mission is to prepare students to enter careers as communication professionals. From technical writers to social media specialists, there are an expanding array of professions that demand adept writing skills, keen rhetorical awareness, and flexible digital literacy. These careers span virtual every industry: medicine, computers, finance, entertainment, non-profits, and so on. Our program is designed to give students a competitive advantage in entering these professions by providing them with writing skills, digital literacy, and proven methods for adapting and succeeding in new communication situations.

The second mission recognizes that it is not solely communication professionals who require these skills in order to find professional success. A degree in science, engineering, or business provides students with the necessary education to enter those fields, but, as is widely acknowledged, it is often the “soft skills” of communication that make a difference in one’s long-term career. Similarly, for those pursuing graduate degrees in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, our program offers an opportunity to adapt one’s disciplinary research and communication skills for a broader range of public and professional audiences and careers.

Our Digital Focus

Though professional and technical communication have been clearly identified career paths for decades, the development of the internet and especially the innovations of the past decade have transformed these careers in terms of the expertise they require, the variety of texts and media objects they produce, and the ways in which professionals work. Our program views digital communication as foundational to the curriculum.

Our digital focus has four key elements:

  • Developing skills to produce a range of multimedia, digital objects—document design, visual communication, web design, usability, video and audio podcasting, etc.;
  • Creating and managing complex data resources;
  • Understanding and interacting with social media, mobile media, and other web technologies as mechanisms for reaching and interacting with audiences;
  • Learning practices for online collaboration and project management in an increasingly global and diverse workplace.