Log InSign Up

Top 11 Media & Communications Certifications

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 18 min read

Certifications in media and communications are important for job seekers because they demonstrate to employers that the individual has a solid understanding of the latest trends and technologies in their field. Certifications also provide evidence of an individual's commitment to continuing education and professional development. They can help make job seekers more competitive in the job market, as they demonstrate technical proficiency and knowledge of industry best practices. Additionally, certifications can open up doors to higher-level positions, as employers may be more likely to hire those with recognized credentials over those without any form of recognition.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Media & Communications and explains how they can help individuals advance their careers in the field.

What are Media & Communications Certifications?

Media and communications certification is a type of certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a certain level of expertise in the field. This type of certification is typically awarded by professional organizations, such as the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) or the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). It can also be offered by universities and colleges.

Media and communications professionals who are certified demonstrate to employers and clients that they have a strong understanding of the industry, its trends, and practices. Certification can help professionals stand out in an increasingly competitive job market, as it provides evidence that they are well-educated and experienced in their field. Certification may also provide access to exclusive networking opportunities and resources, which could lead to new job opportunities or career advancement. Additionally, some certifications require continuing education courses to keep them current; this ensures that certified professionals stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.

Overall, media & communications certification is beneficial for those looking to advance their careers in the industry. It can provide recognition for their skills and knowledge while giving them access to exclusive resources and networks.

Pro Tip: When considering media and communications certifications, research the accreditation of the program and ensure it is from a reputable institution. Accreditation will help ensure that the certification is recognized by employers and other educational institutions. Additionally, look for programs that focus on practical skills and provide internships or work experience opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Related: What does a Media & Communications do?

Top 11 Media & Communications Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Media & Communicationss today.

1. Certified Professional in Public Relations (CPPR)

Certified Professional in Public Relations (CPPR) is a professional certification program offered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). It is a comprehensive, industry-recognized credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and expertise in the field of public relations. The CPPR certification requires individuals to demonstrate their understanding of public relations principles, practices, and strategies.

The process of becoming a Certified Professional in Public Relations usually takes between six months to one year. To become certified, applicants must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by UAB. This includes having at least three years of experience in public relations or related fields and completing a minimum of 45 hours of approved coursework. Once these requirements are met, applicants must pass an examination that covers topics such as communication theory, media relations, crisis communications, and digital/social media strategy.

The cost for the Certified Professional in Public Relations program varies depending on the applicant’s location and other factors. Generally speaking, the total cost can range from $1,000-$2,500 USD depending on the courses taken and other associated fees.

Once certified, individuals will gain access to exclusive networking opportunities with other CPPR professionals as well as discounts on conferences and continuing education courses. Additionally, CPPR holders may be eligible for higher salaries or promotions within their current organizations or when applying for new positions.

2. Certified Digital Marketer (CDM)

Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to become successful digital marketers. The program covers topics such as search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, web analytics, and more. It is designed to help professionals gain an understanding of how to effectively use digital channels to promote products and services.

The CDM program consists of five courses that must be completed within one year. Each course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete and includes interactive activities, quizzes, and tests. Upon completion of all five courses, students will receive a certificate of completion from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

Getting certified as a Certified Digital Marketer requires passing the DMI’s online exam. To take the exam, you must first register for it on the DMI website and pay the associated fee. The cost of taking the exam is $495 USD for non-members or $395 USD for members of DMI. Once registered, you will have access to all materials needed to prepare for the exam including practice exams and study guides. After successfully passing the exam, you will become a Certified Digital Marketer (CDM).

The cost of becoming a Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of DMI. For non-members it costs $495 USD while members can take advantage of discounted rates at $395 USD. Additionally there may be other fees associated with taking the exam such as administrative fees or taxes depending on your location.

3. Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS)

A Certified Social Media Strategist (CSMS) is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise in the field of social media strategy. The certification is designed to help professionals understand the fundamentals of a successful social media strategy, including how to create and manage content, measure results, and build relationships with customers and influencers.

The CSMS exam is offered by the Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI). To become certified, applicants must pass an online exam that covers topics such as social media marketing strategies, content creation, analytics, and customer service. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and costs $295 USD.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also have at least three years of experience in digital marketing or social media management. Applicants are also required to submit a portfolio of work demonstrating their skills in social media strategy.

Once certified, individuals can use their CSMS designation on resumes and professional profiles as well as display it on business cards and websites.

4. Certified Advertising Professional (CAP)

Certified Advertising Professional (CAP) is a professional certification program offered by the American Advertising Federation. It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of advertising, as well as the ability to apply them in a professional setting.

The CAP program consists of three courses: Fundamentals of Advertising, Advanced Advertising Principles, and Digital Media & Analytics. The courses are offered online or in-person through select universities and colleges. Each course requires approximately 8-10 hours of study time and can be completed at your own pace. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate from the AAF that verifies your successful completion of the program.

The cost for each course ranges from $200-$400 depending on which university or college you choose to take it through. In addition to the course fees, there is also an application fee of $50 that must be paid prior to taking any of the courses.

Once all three courses are completed and you have successfully passed each exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will be eligible for certification as a Certified Advertising Professional (CAP). You will then receive your official CAP certificate from the AAF along with other recognition materials such as an official lapel pin and digital badge for use on social media profiles and websites.

5. Certified Broadcast Journalism Professional (CBJP)

Certified Broadcast Journalism Professional (CBJP) is a certification program offered by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF). The CBJP certification is designed to recognize and reward individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their broadcast journalism career. It is based on a comprehensive set of standards that measure the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful in today's broadcast news environment.

The CBJP certification requires applicants to pass a written exam and complete an online portfolio review. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as news gathering, reporting, writing, editing, production, ethics, and legal issues. Applicants must also submit a portfolio containing samples of their work that demonstrate their ability to meet the standards outlined in the CBJP certification criteria.

It typically takes about 4-6 months for applicants to complete all requirements for the CBJP certification.

To get certified as a CBJP professional, applicants must first submit an application form along with the required fee ($395 USD). Once accepted into the program, applicants will receive access to online resources and materials needed to prepare for the exam and portfolio review. After successfully passing both components of the certification process, applicants will be awarded their CBJP credential.

The cost of obtaining the Certified Broadcast Journalism Professional (CBJP) credential is $395 USD.

6. Certified Online Community Manager (COCM)

A Certified Online Community Manager (COCM) is a professional designation that recognizes an individual’s expertise in managing online communities. It is designed to help professionals demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the field of online community management.

The COCM certification is offered by the Online Community Research Network (OCRN), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the field of online community research. The certification process involves completing an application, passing a written exam, and submitting a portfolio of work demonstrating your knowledge and experience in the field.

The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as community building, content strategy, analytics, user engagement, and more. The OCRN also offers additional courses for those looking to further their education in online community management.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the COCM certification process depending on how quickly you can complete the coursework and exams.

The cost for obtaining the COCM certification varies depending on whether or not you opt for additional courses or resources from OCRN. The basic cost for just taking the exam is $500 USD.

7. Certified Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP)

Certified Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP) is a professional certification offered by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to recognize public relations practitioners who have demonstrated excellence in their field. The CPRP designation is awarded to those who have met rigorous standards of experience, education, and ethical practice.

It typically takes between two and four years to complete the requirements for the CPRP certification. To be eligible for the CPRP, applicants must have at least three years of full-time public relations experience or five years of part-time public relations experience. Additionally, they must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education courses related to public relations within the past three years.

To apply for the CPRP certification, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of their work experience and continuing education credits. Once approved, they will need to pass a comprehensive written exam that covers topics such as media relations, crisis communications, research methods, and ethics.

The cost for applying for the CPRP certification varies depending on whether you are a PRSA member or not. For non-members, there is an application fee of $400 plus an additional $150 exam fee. For PRSA members, there is an application fee of $200 plus an additional $150 exam fee.

8. Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APRP)

Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APRP) is a professional certification program offered by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The APRP is designed to recognize excellence in public relations and demonstrate commitment to the highest standards of ethical practice. It is open to all professionals who have at least five years of full-time experience in public relations and meet certain educational requirements.

It typically takes about three months for an individual to complete the APRP application process, including submitting a portfolio of their work, taking an online exam, and completing an ethics course. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation from two PRSA members.

The cost of obtaining the APRP certification varies depending on whether or not you are a member of PRSA. For non-members, the cost is $450; for members, it is $350. In addition, applicants must pay a one-time application fee of $50.

In order to maintain their APRP certification, individuals must complete continuing education credits every three years and adhere to the PRSA Code of Ethics.

9. Certified Content Marketing Specialist (CCMS)

A Certified Content Marketing Specialist (CCMS) is a professional who has been certified by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) to demonstrate proficiency in content marketing practices. The CCMS certification program is designed to help professionals learn how to create, manage, and measure effective content marketing strategies. It covers topics such as content planning, audience segmentation, content creation and optimization, analytics and measurement, and more.

The CCMS certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course takes approximately 20 hours to complete and covers the basics of content marketing strategy. After completing the coursework, participants must pass a 90-minute exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to become certified.

The cost for the CCMS certification program is $899 USD. This fee includes access to the online course materials, practice exams, and the final exam.

Once you have successfully completed the program and passed the exam, you will receive your CCMS certificate from CMI. This certificate will serve as proof that you have demonstrated proficiency in content marketing practices and can be used to demonstrate your expertise to potential employers or clients.

10. Certified Media Planner/Buyer (CMPB)

Certified Media Planner/Buyer (CMPB) is a professional certification offered by the International Advertising Association (IAA). It is designed to recognize those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the field of media planning and buying. The CMPB certification is intended to demonstrate that an individual has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively plan and buy media in today’s complex media environment.

In order to become certified, applicants must pass an exam administered by the IAA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as media research, audience measurement, campaign planning, budgeting, negotiation techniques, and other related topics. Applicants must also possess at least three years of experience in the field of media planning and buying.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it. In general, it costs around $500-$600 USD. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your CMPB certification from the IAA. This certification is valid for five years after which time it must be renewed. Renewal requires completion of continuing education courses or retaking the exam if more than five years have elapsed since passing it initially.

11. Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).

Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). It is designed to recognize and reward excellence in business communication.

The ABC certification process consists of three parts: an online assessment, a portfolio review, and an interview. The online assessment is an objective test that evaluates the candidate’s knowledge of business communication principles and practices. The portfolio review requires the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in practice. Finally, the interview assesses how well the candidate can communicate with others in a professional setting.

The entire process typically takes between four to six months to complete, depending on how quickly the candidate completes each step. To get started, candidates must submit an application and pay a fee of $395 USD for IABC members or $495 USD for non-members.

Once certified, ABC holders are eligible for exclusive benefits such as access to IABC resources and discounts on IABC events. They also receive recognition from employers and peers as experts in their field.

Do You Really Need a Media & Communications Certificate?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the individual and their goals. For some, a media and communications certificate may be a necessary step in order to pursue a career in the field. For others, it may not be as vital.

For those who are interested in working within the media and communications industry, having a certificate can help demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills required for the job. It can also give employers an indication of your commitment to your career path and dedication to furthering your education. This can open up more opportunities for advancement within the industry, as well as give you an edge over other applicants who do not have any kind of certification or degree.

On the other hand, if you are already employed in the media and communications industry or are looking to break into it without formal training, then a certificate may not be necessary. There are many ways to gain experience and knowledge without having a formal qualification such as taking courses online or attending workshops. You will still need to prove yourself with good work ethic, experience, and networking connections to succeed in this field without a certificate.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a media and communications certificate depends on your individual goals and circumstances. If you feel that having one would benefit your career aspirations then it is worth considering investing time and money into obtaining one.

Related: Media & Communications Resume Examples

FAQs About Media & Communications Certifications

Q1. What are the benefits of a Media & Communications Certification?

A1. A media and communications certification can help you stand out from the competition by demonstrating your knowledge and skills in this field. It can also open up job opportunities, give you access to industry contacts, increase your salary potential, and provide recognition for your expertise.

Q2. What types of Media & Communications Certifications are available?

A2. There are various certifications available for individuals working in media and communications, including social media marketing, content marketing, digital marketing, public relations, advertising, journalism and broadcasting.

Q3. How long does it take to complete a Media & Communications Certification?

A3. The length of time it takes to complete a media and communications certification depends on the type of certification you choose and how much effort you put into studying for it. Typically they range from 6 months up to 2 years depending on the program’s requirements.

Q4. How much do Media & Communications Certifications cost?

A4. The cost of a media and communications certification varies greatly depending on the type of certification you choose as well as any additional costs such as books or materials that may be required for the program's completion. Generally speaking, certifications can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars all the way up to several thousand dollars depending on the program chosen.

Q5. Are there any online Media & Communications Certifications available?

A5. Yes! There are many online programs with various levels of certifications available for those interested in pursuing a career in media and communications fields such as digital marketing or public relations. Online programs often offer more flexibility than traditional classroom-based courses so they may be more attractive to those who have busy schedules or who live far away from educational institutions offering these types of programs

Editorial staff

Photo of Brenna Goyette, Editor


Brenna Goyette

Expert Verified

Brenna is a certified professional resume writer, career expert, and the content manager of the ResumeCat team. She has a background in corporate recruiting and human resources and has been writing resumes for over 10 years. Brenna has experience in recruiting for tech, finance, and marketing roles and has a passion for helping people find their dream jobs. She creates expert resources to help job seekers write the best resumes and cover letters, land the job, and succeed in the workplace.

Similar articles