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Communication
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Thousands of novels and movies depict journalists and broadcasters as heroes. Intrepid reporters save the day and expose fraud and corruption. Fearless news anchors speak truth to power. Dedicated producers risk their careers to do the right thing. Careers in communications aren’t always as exciting as fiction. However, with communications at the center of contemporary life, well-educated and trained communications professionals will rarely be out of work for very long.

Why Study Communications?

The skills and understanding students gain when they study communications can help them become valuable assets to any organization. Communications majors go on to careers in politics and work for multinational corporations; go into broadcasting and entertainment; move into marketing and management; and a wide range of other careers.

Students who have natural interpersonal and communication skills can gain even more from a communications degree. These students are smart enough to realize that playing on their skills can take them far. College is the perfect place to explore opportunities and gain experience perfecting innate qualities. Besides, learning how to look at situations from different angles can strengthen your ability to understand others and to become even more persuasive.

Most Popular Schools with Online Communication Degree Programs

Metro areas with the Highest Employment in Communications:

Metropolitan areaAnnual mean wage (2)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$61,060
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$63,270
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA$59,090
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV$55,780
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$66,670
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$63,090
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$50,420
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$51,760
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$53,580
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$26,690
BLS.gov, 2019

Most Affordable Online Communication Degree Programs

Communication Studies Degree: Learning the Skills

For communications majors, studying this field hones a set of skills that may be outside of students’ comfort zones. Students of communication have to practice public speaking regularly and must give presentations in front of their peers and instructors. Many communications degrees involve writing pitches and press releases for the media. This means tracking down information for meaningful news stories and crafting creative advertising ideas that could possibly be rejected.

Some of these tasks may seem scary and awkward but stretching their skills to do them can give students the confidence to succeed in the field. This also helps boost personal confidence and assertiveness. Those qualities are always valuable in the workplace and in dealing with other people.

Communication and media

If you happen to work for an advertising agency, day to day life might not be so exciting. However, you have a cool job where you get to express your creativity and create something of value to your client.

If you want to write speeches for politicians or lead political campaigns, a degree in mass communication can launch a beautiful career. Studying journalism can help you get a job at an online news outlet or magazine. With a master’s in communication, you might become a manager overseeing other professionals. The skills you develop in your public speaking classes and the writing chops you develop in journalism carry over into almost any field you end up in.

Networking: the Key to a Succesful Communications Studies Degree

As a communications professional you can advance your career through networking organizations such as the following:

American Advertising Federation (AAF)

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

The Communications Network 

Look for organizations that offer training programs and grants to help you get through school.

What Can You Do with a Communications Degree?

Jobs in communications include some of the most important roles that keep citizens informed. Jobs with a major in communications include:

1. Business Reporter
Business reporters work for print or online publications. They cover business trends driving the economy. They work for financial publications or private corporations and may report on economic policy or government news affecting business and commerce.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Gannett and Nexstar Broadcasting are some of the companies that hire business reporters.

2. Marketing Coordinator
You can use your writing and communication skills to become a marketing coordinator. These professionals set up marketing campaigns, analyze the results of different advertising, and discuss the results with company leaders.

3. Copywriter
What can I do with a degree in communications? Become a copywriter. Copywriters write and manage campaigns for brand marketing. This could include marketing emails, blogs, brochures, advertising campaigns and signage at special events. Nordstrom and Deloitte are two companies that hire copywriters.

4. Brand Strategist
Jobs for a degree in communications include becoming a brand strategist. Brand strategists develop plans for positioning brands in a positive way. These professionals work within an agency or organization and act as brand champions. They attempt to gain visibility and minimize damage to the company’s image.

5. Social Media Manager
What can I do with a degree in communication? Social media managers handle marketing and advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. They are responsible for using the platforms to generate organic and paid campaigns that position their clients in a positive light.

6. Managing Editor
What can I do with a communications degree? Become a managing editor. These communication professionals oversee the production of content for a site or publication. They are responsible for hiring staff, creating publication schedules, and approving the final layout of pages.

7. Content Marketing Manager
What can I do with a communication degree? As a content marketing manager, graduates of communication programs will be responsible for organizing content offerings for an organization. This might include creating infographics, articles, podcasts, and videos. Contact market managers must be familiar with a number of platforms including blogs, websites, and social media. Their goal is to achieve certain marketing targets and promote product awareness.

8. Web Producer
A web producer works on perfecting the user experience. These communications experts improve websites by changing page layouts, editing content, adding and removing information, and arranging buttons and menus in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

9. Social Media Planner
As a social media planner, you may have to take on many roles. It depends on the company or agency you go to work for. A media planner identifies the bus platforms for marketing and advertising campaigns. They buy and sell spots and monitor performance on different media channels.

10. Senior Event Planner
Some communications managers become event planners working with small or large organizations for all kinds of meetings, conferences, and other events. These professionals often work for themselves or a larger firm. Some specialize in particular events while others are generalists.

Degree Types: Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral 

Associates’

An associate’s degree in communications online can help you get your foot in the door as a paid or unpaid intern at a media outlet or other company. With enough determination and talent, you can find employment after obtaining an online associate’s degree in communications.

Many graduates who have finished their online communications associate degree go on to achieve their bachelor’s degree. This can help them move ahead in their current job or apply for better-paying jobs at other companies.

With an associate’s degree in communications online, students may be able to obtain work for website or print publication or become a junior copywriter for an advertising agency. However, many jobs will choose applicants with a bachelor’s degree over those with an online associate’s degree in communications.

An online communications associate degree can qualify students for bachelor’s degree programs that accept transfer credits from two-year schools.

Bachelor’s 

The most common communication’s bachelor’s degrees are journalism and advertising. Other popular majors in an online communications bachelor degree include public relations and organizational communication. In these concentrations, communications majors work on projects to help them in their future careers. They receive instruction on honing their publication skills including writing in various forms and formats.

Public relations professionals handle outreach for corporations and other organizations as well as for individuals of stature. This is a useful major for those who want to work in corporations to help them polish their image. Organizational communications specialists improve how the company communicates with internal resources and external entities such as the media, vendors and other businesses.

With a communication bachelor degree online, students can work in TV, radio or web broadcasting. Schools featuring this major typically have radio stations, TV stations or web portals where students can hone their skills.

This is a hands-on course of study with instructors offering critiques on projects completed by students. Projects might include corporate videos, broadcast news, law and ethics related to communications and similar coursework. Students who want to receive hands-on training should seek out internships with local television, radio and web broadcasting sources that can help them learn more about the business.

Journalism is one of the most popular online bachelor’s concentrations in communications. Students who study journalism focus on research and writing. Classes within journalism majors include electronic media, reporting, journalistic writing, technical writing, ethical writing, and social media. Many colleges break out journalism into its own school, but many others included within the communications umbrella.

Advertising and marketing are other areas where communication majors excel. Those who concentrate in this area learn how to advertise businesses, organizations and products. Many universities have separate advertising and marketing majors. However, majoring in communications can provide a broader scope of education while exposing students to important concepts in advertising and marketing segments.

Master’s 

With an online master of communication, you can further specialize and increase your knowledge. A master of communications online can help you get a leadership position, or shine among other candidates that haven’t furthered their studies. 

There are many options for online masters in communications. Students should verify the accreditation of their top picks.

Syracuse University is a good example of an accredited online masters in communication. The school offers an MS in communications the focus is on emerging digital trends. Students emerge ready to tackle the skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing digital world.

Other schools allow students to deepen their knowledge in their current career or to change directions with a new concentration. Some students take a master’s degree to stand out among other job candidates, while others take a master’s degree in preparation for pursuing their Ph.D.

Doctoral 

With a doctorate in communications online, students can strengthen their careers in gain practice with academic writing. Courses include assignments such as writing for journals, conference papers and books.

A doctorate in communication online can enhance students’ communication skills and help them gain experience with quantitative and qualitative research. Additionally, a doctorate in communications online program introduces students to effective interpersonal and organizational communication.

Accreditation

Because communications is such a broad field, there are many programmatic accreditations for various areas of concentration. As an example, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) handles the accreditation process for schools offering degrees in mass communications.

Additionally, there are national and regional accrediting bodies for postsecondary institutions such as colleges and universities. You can check the accreditations achieved by a school on the U.S. Department of Education website

Accredited communications programs are held in higher esteem than unaccredited ones. If you want to pursue further education and get a good job, you will need a degree from an accredited communications programs.

Certifications/Licensure

The University of Massachusetts is just one university to offer communications certificates online. U Mass has a Certificate of Journalism where stadiums take five courses in reporting, news writing and journalism.

Purdue University has a communications online certificate designed to help students build strategic communication skills. This online communications certification offers students a credential from a top-ranked public university.

Other online communications certificate programs address a variety of topics. Students should consider a communications certificate online to deepen their knowledge in a certain area. Online certificates in communications may require an existing bachelor’s or master’s degree as a pre-requisite to getting a graduate certificate in communications online.

Scholarships

There are many great resources to find scholarships for communications majors with a simple Google search. With a scholarship for mass communication, students can cut back on the money they have to borrow for tuition. With scholarships for communication disorders, students can pursue master’s degrees in areas such as speech pathology.

Scholarship to look for include scholarships for mass communication majors and scholarships for media and communication studies.

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